Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guest Review of Fair Game by Josh Lanyon

Josh Lanyon
Fair Game
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!

Josh Lanyon’s website | weblog | on Goodreads | on Twitter
Buy Fair Game here



  1. I find that I really enjoy m/m romantic suspense. You should give 72 Hours by Clare London a try!

  2. I enjoy m/m romantic suspense as well. I think it's a hold over from all my years of reading mysteries.

    If you like a touch of humour I loved Josh's Somebody Killed His Editor. I think I laughed out loud the first page and you have the mystery theme and two old lovers who connect again to solve the crime, but with a good dose of humour.

    I haven't read this one yet but I do like those kind of stories so I will likely get it at some point.

    Oh, I haven't read the Adrien English books either. Too much controversy surrounding them I think has kind of turned me off.

  3. I like romantic suspense and this one has been calling to me. I want!

    Nice review.

  4. Chris: Oh I do enjoy romantic suspense, it's just that I've read quite a lot of detectives and at the moment it is not my genre. Doesn't mean I don't like one every now and then! And yes... I do have her book! So good!!!

    Tam: especially if it has two very yummeeeee men in it. That just makes it so much better :D
    Hmmm i just might try Somebody Killed His Editor. That is after I've worked through the stack I have now! ;-)
    LOL there is controversy surrounding the A. English books? I didn't know that!

    Fiction Vixen: Thanks! And go get it! :D

  5. ..something happened and now I don't know if I will be spamming you, oops..

    So great review lis!

  6. I've only read his Adrien English books but this sounds good - maybe it's time for me to try something new. Nice review!

  7. I really liked the sexual tension in this book. Lanyon always provides a great mystery/suspense story

  8. I've heard so many good reviews about this book. I might just give it a try! :D

  9. I'm sorry Janna, but skipped through your review as I'm hoping to read this at some point. Glad you liked a Josh Lanyon book though. Do you think you might go back and try the first Adrien English book again?

  10. @Chris: I love that genre too and 72 Hours is on my read very soon list! :)

    @Tam: Yes, Somebody Killed His Editor is a great read too!
    "Oh, I haven't read the Adrien English books either. Too much controversy surrounding them I think has kind of turned me off."
    Does this have to do with a certain person's *cough*Kris*cough* dislike of Jake? ;D

    @FV: I look forward to your review of this one, hon!

    @Lis: Your observation about the distinctive voice of each character is very perceptive. I think that's what I love about Adrien English so much, his unique voice! Great review, hon!

    @Blodeuedd: No spamming, hon! :)

    @Patti: I still have to read the last books of the AE series. Soon, very soon! :)

    @Tracy: It's more mystery with a touch of romance than the other way around, don't you think?

    @Vegetarian Cannibal: Go for it! :D Love to hear what you think of Josh Lanyon's book!

    @orannia: Heehee, you also skipped the part that said it was a guest review by Lis. *g* But no problem, hon. :)
    I think that last question about AE is for Lis, because I did love it! :D
    When you get to Fair Game I hope you'll enjoy it!

  11. LOL Not just Kris' dislike but the whole relationship between jake an Adrien seems to get people fired up and him being in the closet and with a woman really doesn't do it for me. I think I'll be too frustrated by his behaviour so I have tons of other books I can read.

  12. No problem, orannia! :)

    Tam, yeah the being with a woman and in the closet part is probably going to frustrate me too *grin*. Still I've started the series and now I want to finish it as well. Despite of the tons of other books, lol!


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