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Dead Heat

by Patricia Briggs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Alpha and Omega (4), World of the Marrok (21)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8034819,195 (4.07)32
"For 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-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" --… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Please note that if you have not read the previous books in this series what follows has some spoilers from events from those books and the Mercy Thompson series.

What can you say about a book that was practically flawless? Not much really. The last book in this series, Fair Game had a spectacular ending, but I found to be a bit all over the place and had some truly what the heck moments included. With the fae declaring that their truce with the humans was over and starting to hit them where they live we have not really had any out and out fae going against the humans in the Mercy Thompson series. Instead this book is dealing with the fallout.

Things I loved:

Charles and Anna are a strong unit. One of the many reasons why I didn't exactly love Fair Game was because the two had been on the outs when that book started and it took more than halfway before they got back to normal. We do start off this book with Anna and Charles at a slight impasse since Anna wants to have children and Charles is resistant to the idea. In Briggs world female werewolves cannot carry a child to term. Usually around the 3rd or 4th moon the woman miscarries. Male werewolves can still sire children though and we all know that Adam (from the Mercy Thompson series) had a child with his human wife after he was turned. I loved the fact that we have Anna and Charles disagreeing, but not having it be this whole thing where they were not talking to and loving each other. So claps for Ms. Briggs for showing two adults in a marriage not doing that let's not talk about the thing that is bothering us dance that frustrates me in so many books.

Anna has grown a lot from the first book where we were introduced to her (Cry Wolf) and is confident, sassy, and brave. I have to admit the last book drove me nuts with Anna's constant inner dialogue about being an Omega wolf does not mean she is not submissive. There was one scene where she remembered it meant she was not submissive and she was able to move and I was so confused during that whole scene. Why in the world would her remembering not being submissive meant she could move. In this book we do still get to see what an Omega wolf is, however in this book we get tons more show and that made me happy.

Anna met Hosteen's eyes and then showed him what being an Omega really meant as she flooded the room with her own particular and peculiar power...

We also happily get more back-story on Charles. We get introduced to people from his past and they flow into the story quite organically. I wasn't thrilled that Charles for some reason never told Anna about this people (that part threw me), and the explanation of why he didn't was a bit clunky, but I quickly ignored it and just got back to reading the book. We also get to see someone undergo being made into a werewolf which also gave me shivers too. Seriously these scenes in this book are seriously powerful and I could picture everything in my head. It was great.

There are two plots going on in this book and they both work well. We have the A plot (Charles and Anna) and the B plot (the Sani family). Both plots work well with the overall story-line of the fae doing their best to wreak havoc on the humans. I thought that everything flowed together quite naturally and all of the characters in this story had a distinct voice and were written with so many layers. No one we were reading about was a cardboard cut-out and everything we get slowly introduced to brought up more questions for me. For example, I seriously need a book or short story on witches in the Briggs universe. We have been introduced to dark and white witches before. However, with the developments in this book, we have a really good way of looking at the witches and how this plays into the werewolves. Additionally, the story-line also brings back some characters from previous books that I love, i.e. Leslie Fisher from the FBI and Moira and Tom from. I love Moira and Tom and was so disappointed that we did not get more of them in this story.

We get more details about the fae. Always a good thing to me. The fae as a whole are mysteries and we get more light shed on the Gray Lords and what exactly they plan on doing in the future. I would say that if you have any sensitivity at all about stories about children being harmed you may want to skip this book.

We get more officials from the Cantrip agents that I liked a lot who I would love to see again in future installments. Let's just say everyone who was not a bad guy was interesting and I want to read more about them. Heck even tertiary characters in this book were written so well you want to know more about them.

Things I was just okay about:

The whole point of Charles and Anna being in Arizona is for Anna to get a horse that she can ride. The horse is to be a birthday present from Charles to her. I have been around horses when I was younger, but was never a horse crazy kid. I was more into being fascinated by dogs and cats since our dad refused to allow us to have pets. We hear a lot about Arabian horses in this story and a lot of times we take an action break to have Charles and Anna frolicking with the horses. We do get why in one scene why that happened and it made sense. And when you get to the ending you understand why Briggs brought up so much details about these horses and the specific horses in this story. Still, there was a lot of horse detail to wade through in here. I found it fascinating myself, but yeah it becomes a bit much to wade through.

To sum, I loved this book a lot. I would love it if we get a spin-off from the characters that Briggs introduces in Arizona. These characters would be great for some short stories in the future or to pop up in further Alpha and Omega books. I have to know how Chelsea and Kage are going to deal with things. I can't wait until the next book in this series and how the events in this book will come into play in the Mercy-universe. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
This was another excellent addition to the Alpha and Omega series. Charles and Anna travel to Arizona which allows Charles to see an old friend and buy Anna an Arabian horse for her 26th birthday. For once, they are not traveling on Bran's business which makes Charles the executioner who eliminates werewolves who are out of control and a danger to werewolves everywhere.

Things go sideways immediately after their arrival. First of all, Charles's old friend Joseph Sani is dying of lung cancer. Even though Charles is willing to turn Joseph to a werewolf and Joseph's father who is the head of the Arizona pack is putting pressure on him to make his son a werewolf, Joseph is adamant about not becoming a werewolf. Charles needs to deal with his grief at the idea of losing one of his few friends.

Second, Joseph's daughter-in-law Chelsea has been placed under a geas to kill her children and then kill herself. Because Chelsea is witchborn, she is able to resist the geas but only by injuring herself with the knife she was supposed to use to murder her children. She is injured so badly that Charles offers her - through her husband Cage - the option of becoming a werewolf which he takes for her.

Third, Charles and Anna need to find the fae who placed the geas and who has been hunting and killing children for hundreds of years in the Phoenix area. They have the help of the FBI in the person of their friend Leslie Fisher who was reassigned to Arizona to be near the fae reservation there after her previous case in Boston. They also have the help of two CNTRP agents who are actually useful.

As they investigate, the fae is still on the hunt for Joseph's five-year-old granddaughter Mackie and Charles and Anna will do anything to keep her safe. The hunt for the fae known as the Doll Collector brings up a lot of issues for Charles and lets Anna know why he has been so reluctant to have children with her.

This was a powerful story. I loved the relationship between Charles and Anna. The emotional intensity of Charles dealing with the grief at the up-coming death of his friend Joseph was strong and brought me to tears more than once as I listened to this story. I loved the message that love is what matters even if the end result is loss and grief and sorrow. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jun 27, 2020 |
I was surprised at how much this book could be a starting point for someone new into the series. No you don’t need to have read the previous three books as details about what has happened previously are woven into the story bit by bit as needed and not infodumped into the beginning.

Charles and Anna head to Scottsdale to possibly buy a horse for Anna and see an old human friend of Charles before he dies. Of course any happy trip never lasts long in fiction and the grandchildren of his friend have been targeted by a Fae that is stealing children. Turns out Joseph [Charles’ friend] daughter in law has been hiding her witch blood and by almost sacrificing herself was she able to stop the geas of killing her own children. Charles and Anna both immediately start trying to find out who is behind this and why. Charles involvement as pack enforcer comes to play since Joseph’s father is the Pack leader of the Phoenix werewolves. Even with everything going on there are breathing spaces in the story to allow the reader to see how much Charles and Anna have grown into their relationship.

The overall plot is good and it was nice seeing a slice of Charles’ background that didn’t have to do with being the werewolves executioner. Really enjoyed this and now waiting for the next book.

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 6, 2020 |
Charles and Anna go to visit Charles friend to buy her a horse and discover a Fae kidnapping children and other nasty things. I really like this couple, their foundation is so strong, it's lovely to read while they search and find the bad guys.
( )
  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
I LOVED this! It is very touching but also bittersweet. An interesting introduction of new characters of all ages. Anyway, I loved it. ( )
  bm2ng | Apr 9, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Briggs, Patriciaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, MikeAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
del Rosario, KristinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dos Santos, DanielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To the lovely people who've made the journey with the Arabian horses so much fun: Brenda, who was there at the beginning; terrific travel companions Ed and Adriana; Alice, Bill, and Joan of Rieckman's Arabians, who made the trek before I did and tendered useful advice along the way; Dolly, Doug, and Peggy at Orrion Farms, who provided a jump start and guidance; Deb, Kim, and Portia at High Country Training for turning my ponies into good citizens; Robert and Dixie North, who love the horses as much as I do; and Nahero, my big Arab gelding, who has been my companion these twenty-eight years. But mostly to my very patient husband, who is particularly gifted at making dreams come true.
First words
The fae lord stalked back and forth in his cell of gray stone. (Prologue)
'Okay,' said Charles Cornick, younger son of the Marrok who ruled the werewolves in North America, and also, Anna had come to believe, the rest of the world. (chapter 1)
Cantrip [acronym for 'Combined Nonhuman and Transhuman Relations Provisors, as stated in chapter 2 of Fair Game] seemed to attract a variety of people, from the true-believer geek to the rabid 'kill them all and God sort 'em out' kook and most everyone else in between. Leeds, Anna thought, was of the geek variety, but Marsden seemed to be a disbeliever. That didn't make sense. Why would someone who didn't want to believe in magic become an agent of Cantrip? (chapter 7)
[Leslie Fisher to Jim Marsden]

'...It was your people, Cantrip analysts, who first alerted us -- that would be the FBI -- that the fae are sending out... a few individuals who have particularly nasty histories and letting them loose on the general population.' (chapter 8)
Humans weren't used to following the hierarchy of the pack, but it still worked on them. At least it worked on them when Charles was giving the orders. It wasn't magic. But there was a reason Charles was usually the most dominant in his world that was filled with dominant wolves. Even humans had that primitive brain that drill sergeants around the world tapped into, the part of the brain concerned with survival. That part heard an order and just obeyed. (chapter 10)
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For 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--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
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