Carina Press, 2010
A crippling knee injury forced Elliot Mills to trade in his FBI badge for dusty chalkboards and bored college students. Now a history professor at Puget Sound university, the former agent has put his old life behind him-but it seems his old life isn't finished with him.
A young man has gone missing from campus-and as a favor to a family friend, Elliot agrees to do a little sniffing around. His investigations bring him face-to-face with his former lover, Tucker Lance, the special agent handling the case.
Things ended badly with Tucker, and neither man is ready to back down on the fight that drove them apart. But they have to figure out a way to move beyond their past and work together as more men go missing and Elliot becomes the target in a killer's obsessive game...
Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Mystery, Murder, Serial killer
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 1 out of 3 flames
*Review copy received from the publisher through Netgalley*
Guest review by Lis:
Yes, it's me again and I snagged Josh Lanyon's Fair Game this time. Which is unique, because I read the first book in the Adrian English mysteries years ago and didn't like it. Not to say it was bad, but for me it didn't click as sometimes happens with books. However over the years I've heard a lot of good things about Lanyon's books and I couldn't resist another try. Tastes and interests change over the years so I put on some blues music and settled down to read Fair Game with my criticizer's hat on straight. But to my utter amazement, I liked Fair Game. A lot! Here's why.
Elliot Mills was a FBI agent and good at his job until a wackjob shot his kneecap off in a courthouse shooting (yes major ouchies and my knees hurt in sympathy). His life got turned upside down and eventually he learned to walk again and now holds a University teaching job with a lot less excitement. Until male students start disappearing that is. Then Elliot is pulled straight into the mystery and he has to come to terms that he's now a different person. I sympathized with Elliot because I know how hard it is to give up a job you really like and Elliot didn't just lose his job, he lost his lover too, because Tucker couldn't deal (the idiot).
Fair Game is first and foremost a mystery with a side dish of romance. The focus is on Elliot's involvement in finding out who is making the male students disappear. Second is his rekindling romance with Tucker...once they actually start talking. One thing you can always count on. Men never talk about their feelings and are only willing to talk things through if they are tied down to a chair (or, as in Elliot's case, have a bad knee acting up making walking difficult). So for the first bit of the story there was a great big elephant in the room.
The mystery itself was a bit of cross between a British murder mystery and an episode of Criminal Minds. It is good. For someone like me, who has read quite a lot of detectives and mysteries, the plot was good. It rivaled stories by Karin Slaughter or Michael Connelly.
Josh Lanyon has a real talent with words. He knows how to write things so that when something happens, you feel like you're standing right beside Elliot. His characterizations are spot on and he is not afraid to write characters with flaws and show them. Even Tucker, who I wanted to kick in the beginning of the story, grows on me.
What I especially liked about Lanyon's writing is that each character has its own distinctive voice and personality. When reading e-books I often notice that characters 'talk' or 'speak' in the same manner as all the other characters. While in real life, everyone has their own little speech characteristics or certain words to describe situations and objects. Lanyon pays attention to this little detail so that the host of support cast in this story are really their own person, so to speak, and not just one of the characters.
All in all this might not be my all time favorite book, but it's worth the money and time if you like a good mystery/detective. I now better understand why so many people are ranting and raving about Josh Lanyon's books and I might even read more!
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Buy Fair Game here