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Dead Heat: Alpha and Omega    by Patricia Briggs order for
Dead Heat
by Patricia Briggs
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dead Heat is the 4th in Patricia Briggs's Alpha and Omega series, which is set in the same world (of humans, werewolves, vampires and fae) as her well known Mercy Thompson novels.

This one stars Charles Cornick, an Alpha werewolf enforcer for his powerful father Bran (the Marrok to whom all the werewolf packs answer) and his wife Anna who is a rare Omega. Neither dominant nor submissive, Anna is a source of purpose and balance in any pack. Anna did not choose to become a werewolf and was badly abused before she met Charles, but is coming into her own now.

The story opens on the release of an imprisoned fae lord by someone even more powerful, 'the spiritual archetype of the evil queen in the fairy tales ... She adored causing misery and pain to the short-lived humans'. This fae lady assigns him a dark task.

Next we join Charles and Anna in Montana as he plans a very special birthday gift for her. It requires travel to Arizona where Charles' old friend, Joseph Sani, breeds horses. In fact, Joseph was once his best friend, but Charles has been avoiding him, pained by watching Joseph age. Even though Joseph's father Hosteen is a werewolf and Pack leader, Joseph is determined to live out his life as a human.

They arrive to find that Joseph's daughter-in-law Chelsea and her children have been attacked by fae (small Mackie can sense their presence). The only way to save Chelsea (who is witchborn) is to Change her into a were. Having been forcibly Changed herself, Anna is able to help her - and to convince Hosteen (who believes that all witches are evil) not to kill her.

As fae attacks on human children escalate, Anna and Charles work with law enforcement to track down the culprit. Along the way, Anna begins to understand why Charles has been reluctant to become a father himself. Action builds to a crescendo, during which Joseph shows that he still has what it takes to protect his family. Just like the Mercy Thompson books, this series is both engaging and engrossing, always offering an entertaining read - enjoy!

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