Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages
At a Glance: Charlie Cochet delivers yet another roller coaster ride of emotions in this latest installment. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first to the last page!
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Life for Dexter J. Daley has never been easy, but he’s always found a way to pick himself back up with a smile on his face. Taken from his home, and the arms of his boyfriend and THIRDS partner, Sloane Brodie, Dex finds himself in a situation as mysterious and lethal as the Therian interrogating him. Dex learns what he’s secretly believed all along: his parents’ death wasn’t an accident.
Discovering the whole truth about John and Gina Daley’s homicide sets off a series of events that will change Dex and Sloane’s lives forever. As buried secrets rise to the surface and new truths are revealed, Dex and Sloane’s love for each other is put to the test, with more than their relationship on the line. If traversing the waters of murder and secret government agencies wasn’t enough, something inexplicable has been happening to Dex—and nothing will ever be the same.
Review: Oh my! Where to begin? First, this series must be read in order. Do not try to read Smoke &Mirrors as a standalone; it won’t make any sense.
Book seven of this series begins right after the events of book six, with Dex being held prisoner. His mysterious kidnapper is convinced that Dex knows where the secret files his mother had are located. He informs Dex that his parents were targeted for murder and not just random victims during the riots. While Dex hasn’t ever voiced this thought, he knows immediately that it’s true. But he doesn’t know where the file is; he’s never seen anything that would lead him to believe that he’s in possession of such information.
Meanwhile, as Dex is being held hostage, Sloane and the rest of his team are going crazy. They are being kept at arm’s length by more than their bosses. Things only get worse when they are all back together, but old enemies sow the seeds of doubt among the team, and particularly between Dex and Sloane. Tony and Cael are involved too, but they can only do so much. Dex and Sloane are the ones who are going to have to determine how far they are willing to go—for answers and for each other. Fair warning, a lot of this action will have the reader biting their nails as the story continues.
There are some really nice moments in this book as well. Dex and Hudson grow closer as Hudson helps Dex deal with some of the changes that he’s experiencing a result of being marked. We learn more about his relationship with Seb as well, which is very enlightening. Hudson is one of my favorite characters and I can’t wait until we get to see more of him.
There are humorous moments too, particularly with Cal and Hobbs. Thank goodness, because there are many, many more tense moments in this one. Dex and Sloane really are the center of this story, but there are a lot of other secrets that come to light beyond them. Unfortunately for our heroes, many of these surprises only lead to more questions than answers. It is definitely going to be an uphill battle to get to the bottom of everything that has happened to not only Dex and Sloane, but what could potentially happen that will affect the whole world if they don’t discover what is really going on and why. And yes, there is only a slight cliffie in this one too, but not a cruel one like last time.
This series just gets better and better. I always anxiously await the next book, and then I just devour it. I love these characters and this amazing world that Charlie Cochet has built. The blend of humor and pathos and action and drama and the new secrets and mysteries that keep us guessing are perfectly balanced. There are always new twists and turns that ratchet up the tension in each episode. I know that I will be very sad whenever this series ends, so I’m hoping for all of us that it goes on for a long time.
You can buy Smoke & Mirrors here: