Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Publisher: Ace
Where did you get the book: Netgalley e-ARC from publisher
Release date: 3rd March

The Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…

deadheatFor once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Disclosure: I must disclose that in the past I’ve been involved with the social media presence of the author and on her website forum.

I wasn’t going to request this book for review. I really wasn’t but temptation got the better of me. I saw the NG widget and before I could blink, I pressed the request button. Oops.

The fae plays a huge part in Dead Heat after the dramatic and scary conclusion to Fair Game. A war is beginning to play out against the fae and the humans, and the werewolves so far have managed to stay neutral. But for how long that lasts, I don’t know.

Dead Heat is what I would call a filler book. While nothing major of importance happens in the politics, it’s a prelude to what’s coming from the fae, especially if they keep sending out and releasing their monsters into the human population to cause fear, murder and mayhem. And this evil fae was evil and horror rolled into one. Patricia Briggs always has a great mystery wrapped up in her stories, and Dead Heat is no exception. It was really eerie and heartbreaking, especially with missing children involved.

Charles and Anna become involved after Charles receives a phonecall from a very old friend, Joseph, a man he once and still considers his best-friend. But as the way of the wolves, they tend to leave the past behind because it’s too painful for them to remember and see old friends and family pass away from old age. Charles doesn’t hesitate and accepts his friend’s invitation to Arizona so he can meet Anna. It’s there where Joseph’s daughter-in-law is compelled by a fae to murder her children (I’m really starting to dislike the fae. the evil fae at least) which then expands into a wider search of this fae who has been kidnapping and murdering children for years. While the mystery aspect was a little quieter in action compared to previous books, I loved the characters involved in this story. Chelsea, the mother who tried to murder her children, is a compelling character and what Charles and Brother Wolf did to her was surprising. I wonder if we’ll see more of Chelsea because I can see her becoming a wonderful leader, especially that of a female in a dominant male hierarchy, where if the females are mated they must take the dominance level of their mate. There is slight tension with Hosteen, Alpha of the Salt River pack, who has never given a Chelsea a fair shot because of old beliefs that he’s stubbornly held on to. The family dynamics were great, especially with Maggie, Joseph’s wife, who has a long history with Charles. I hope we see this family again soon.

Cantrip agents are once again in the forefront and I was happy to see FBI special agent Leslie returning. There’s not much to be seen of the Aspen Creek pack and Bran. Dead Heat is a mystery and Anna and Charles are even more established as a couple. Their romance is always wonderful to read about. Anna is talking about children but Charles has severe and valid concerns about even attempting to conceiving and bringing a child into the world when he has such a huge target on his back considering he’s the North American’s pack enforcer that everyone fears. I’m glad it didn’t become a huge issue with Anna and Charles. It’s something Anna feels very strongly about but I was worried it would become a bone of contention about them, as I strongly feel that babies shouldn’t be the ultimate HEA, but that’s just me. But I’m glad Patricia expanded on how pregnancy might be possible through different avenues without breaking the worldbuilding and rules that she has set into place.

My only critique of the book is that I felt the middle was a little slow. It took a long time for the action to heat up in finding the fae, and while I enjoyed seeing the insight to horses, I did feel it went on for a little too long. I found myself skim reading some of the pages. But once it did finally get rolling, I had chills because it was very dark and disturbing reading about the fae, whose main prey are children. Patricia Briggs doesn’t hide the fact that the monsters in her world are monsters. They do terrible and evil things and the fae are determined to show the humans what their true natures are.

Dead Heat wraps up the mystery and fae killer neatly but I really can’t wait to see what happens next in the fae war. It’s chilling, dark and where are the werewolves going to side? Anna and Charles will always been on the side of good but I got the sense there may be tension and issues ahead with Bran, who may not see things like Charles and Anna do. I wonder if there are many more half-fae humans hiding their powers in in plain sight.

Despite Dsome of the slow pacing in the middle, I did enjoy Dead Heat. Anna and Charles are a wonderful couple and their romance and deep love for each other only solidifies with each story.

I give Dead Heat a B+

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