Blood & Thunder (THIRDS#2)

     Author: Charlie Cochet

     Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

     Rating: 4 stars

     Buy Links: DSP  and Amazon 

     Type: Novel from Series

     Received from Publisher


Blurb:  When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta, and causing a rift between agents Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie, peace seems unattainable. Especially when a new and frightening group, the Order of Adrasteia, appears to always be a step ahead. With panic and intolerance spreading and streets becoming littered with the Order’s propaganda, hostility between Humans and Therians grows daily. Dex and Sloane, along with the rest of the team, are determined to take down the Order and restore peace, not to mention settle a personal score. But the deeper the team investigates the bombings, the more they believe there’s a more sinister motive than a desire to shed blood and spread chaos.

Discovering the frightful truth behind the Order’s intent forces Sloane to confront secrets from a past he thought he’d left behind for good, a past that could not only destroy him and his career, but also the reputation of the organization that made him all he is today. Now more than ever, Dex and Sloane need each other, and, along with trust, the strength of their bond will mean the difference between justice and all-out war.


Review:  Upon returning to Dex Daley and Sloane Brodie we see them in a relationship only in the broadest sense of the term. Dex is refusing to admit to himself he’s falling deeply in love. His denial is only outstripped by that of Sloane’s. Dex at least knows he wants more but is worried about how much he’s going to hurt himself when it all goes wrong. Sloane is doggedly telling himself there is nothing going on and he’s not in the process of getting himself a new boyfriend with whom he is falling in love. It’s not happening! It doesn’t help that the most important case they’re investigating is that of the terrorist organization headed by Isaac Pearce, the brother and murderer of Sloane’s late boyfriend and partner. Dex and Sloane are both being reminded on a regular basis of what Sloane has lost. That they have to keep their relationship secret from everyone at work just compounds an already fraught situation.

While Sloane is busy being terrified by relationship possibilities Isaac has been busy planting bombs. Strangely, planting seems to be the important part. The things THIRDS is finding feel unimportant with old evidence or easy to disarm bombs. They know Isaac is dangerous and planning something huge, but they don’t know what. That’s when the Therian Youth Center gets bombed. Dex searches the building for survivors with his team member, Calvin. After clearing an area of remaining children, Calvin shoves Dex out of a door before another small bomb goes off. Dex disobeys Sloane’s orders and goes back in to rescue Calvin. Sloane is not amused and does not handle the situation to the best of his abilities. Dex does not respond well to Sloane’s criticisms. It doesn’t end in bloodshed, it ends in silence. Things are not good in terms of the relationship that isn’t.

All evidence points to a Dr. H Freedman. As it turns out that’s not really his name, of course. As it turns out Sloane knows exactly who he is and has since childhood. Sloane has known the man who appears to be a kidnap victim since his top secret childhood. If the information about Sloane’s childhood is leaked to the media it will destroy his career. As many of the other THIRDS officers are also first generation therians like Sloane and have similar top secret childhoods it will destroy THIRDS. Isaac Pearce has the man currently known as Dr. H Freedman.

Sloane finally admits to himself he’s being a touch unreasonable in regards to the problems he’s having with Dex. Unfortunately, they make up just in time for Sloane to have serious fears Dex will no longer be interested in him once all the details of his top secret childhood become known. When THIRDS does finally get details about Dr. H Freedman’s whereabouts it turns out to be a trap. Once again, Isaac Pearce has his hands on Sloane’s partner.

Sloane has some serious issues. I’m not sure I want to punch him, but I’m certainly not thrilled with him. Mostly I’m glad I’m not in his position. I think a lot of his fears and problems have a good solid foundation in grief. Even though I feel his problems are very valid, I am very pleased Dex put his foot down and will no longer be a doormat. We got a brief moment of seeing the clown’s tears while Dex was drunk the night he saw his ex-boyfriend, Lou. In some ways I felt Dex was actually a bit more sympathetic as he was so miserable because he was dealing with Sloane. Sloane was just miserable even if it was justifiable misery. I do feel Sloane certainly needs to work on letting go of a lot of his guilt. He also needs to realize he’ll never have to choose between Gabe and Dex.

The investigation of the next book was set up with therian extremists attacking human extremists. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Rafe is going to be a bad guy. We can all laugh about that later when I’m proven wrong! I’m not sure what I’m actually hoping for in terms of where Dex and Sloane’s relationship is headed. If they admit they’re seeing each other one of them will be transferred and they’ll no longer be partners, so I’m kind of stuck. I can’t tell if comments about Dex’s skill set are to prepare the readers for Dex moving to a different unit, or if they’re just random comments about Dex’s skills. There are also some other characters that may do well in a different unit based on their skill sets. Several relationships are being set up. I’m eager for all of them.


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