Format: Kindle, 371 pages
Release Date: April 17, 2023
Publisher: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Off a two-lane highway outside of a southern Tennessee town you’ve probably never heard of stands a hole-in-the-wall establishment called the Fat Cat Bar and Grille. Drinks are served by a woman named Charley, who seems to hear things a little too well and see things a little too clearly. She might listen to your life story, but she won’t tell you a single word of hers.
The other thing she won’t tell you? That you have wandered into the only shifter-friendly bar in the country…
In the three years since I was infected, I’ve finally managed to put my life back together. The bar is actually turning a profit. That bad breakup is totally behind me. And as Marshal, I now run the northern zone of the Mississippi Valley Pride.
So when two fierce, gorgeous strangers accuse one of my regulars of killing a human woman—a charge he vehemently denies—I’m determined to get to the truth. With the victim’s brother in search of justice, the widower demanding brutal vengeance, and the fate of the entire “stray” Pride resting on the outcome of this case, I can’t afford to make a mistake.
But then my investigation unearths a
shocking connection to a killer I put in the ground years ago, and I
realize the cards were stacked against me before this game even began…
Rachel Vincent's Fat Cat marks the authors return to the world of the Shifters which I would recommend having some knowledge of before jumping into this story. This story follows Charlene (Charley) Studebaker who, along with her sister Davey, operate the Fat Cat Bar & Grille deep in the heart of the Mississippi Valley Pride zone run by Alpha Titus Alexander. Charley is the Marshall of the northern zone of Titus's region, and her word is law. It is her job to keep tabs on how many shifters live in the zone.
All but two members are strays, which means they were illegally bitten by a werecat and managed to survive the infection. In this world, it is illegal for a werecat to infect a human and the penalty is always death for the transgressor. For Charley, she was bitten by Silas Morelock 3 years ago. Silas, like other werecats, have been trying to create more female werecats. Thankfully for Charley, she survived. Unfortunately, not many human women survive the infection and what happens next.
Which brings me to the point of the story. When two strays appear at the Fat Cat Bar, Austin Graham and Bishop Matheson and get into a brawl with one of the regulars, they claim that one of Charley's pack has done the unimaginable. He has murdered a woman that was a wife and sister to the two men. Charley also has a unique problem of her own. Her sister is human, and she is not supposed to know about the werecat world. Thankfully, she has the full support of Titus, as well as Charley's pride.
Now, here's where it gets good. Faythe Sanders, the world’s first female Alpha, is still a badass, show up a few times in this book. She has a challenge for Charley that she seems to be perfect for. So, while Charley and her enforcers, including Vance Cooper, along with Bishop and Austin, who is a police officer, try to investigate who may have killed a young woman, Faythe seems to think she's found a way to balance the imbalance when it comes to the numbers of men vs females werecats. It may very well be a game changer if it works.
There are others who appear in this story as well including one Jace Hammond who, if you read Faythe's series, know that he's another badass who stands shoulder to shoulder with Charley. Titus Alexander is the Alpha of the Mississippi Valley Pride. It is his Pride that is filled with Strays who have been ignored by the main US Prides and the Council. Also mentioned are Robyn Sheffield, who was the first female stray before Charley was found. Abby Wade is Faythe's cousin, and she last appeared in a short story called The Hunt. And, of course, Kaci Dillon who I don't know much about since I didn't read Wild Card.
Although I would love to see another story in this world, especially after what happens in the final pages, I won't hold my breath or beg for a sequel. I really liked seeing Faythe again and urge readers of this review to go back to the beginning and see what she had to deal with before she became the first on only Female Alpha.