Title: Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 324 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics: Charles and Anna combine a visit to an old friend with a horse buying trip. Anna is surprised that Charles hasn’t mentioned his friend Joseph — a human — is dying. Once in Phoenix, they are pulled into Kage’s family for more than the purchase of a horse: a fae has targeted Chelsea. Charles and Anna team up with FBI agent Leslie Fisher and local Cantrip agents to find a missing child and bring her home.
Banter Points: It’s inevitable that Charles and Anna are always going to be pulled into cases; I like how Briggs uses their travel and life together to show the impact of the Fae and Werewolves on the human population. Agents like Leslie and Cantrip are a realistic reaction to changes in this urban fantasy. The complementary storyline to Mercy Thompson is an excellent way to appease readers who want to know more about this complex world without burdening the same group of characters with overly complex storylines.
Briggs is a horse person and adds them into this story as an integral part of the telling without over doing the details. She picks Arabians as the breed Charles wants to buy for Anna. By the end of the story, I was half way to wanting to know more about them and understand their character and personalities. And I’m not a horse person at all. It’s a challenging balance for an author to achieve and Briggs accomplished it.
Also, the raising of the stakes by showing how the Fae are violating the treaty? Yeah, I cannot wait to see where this one goes.
Bummer Points: I never get the sense that either Charles or Anna is in any real danger. I wouldn’t want any harm to come to either of them but there is this steadiness about the two of them that let’s me know that they are always coming to come out on top, leaving the characters introduced to be the ones to bear the burden of tradegy. Briggs is capable of writing this way as there have been times when I wondered about the two main characters in the Mercy Thompson series.