Misunderstanding and failure to forgive have plagued Elliot Mills and Lance Tucker for seventeen long, lonely months. After being injured in the line of duty, Elliot refuses a desk job and ends up at a small university teaching, while Lance remains with the FBI. The more time that passes, the more solidified Elliot’s anger grows. Then fate throws these two together again when a young man on campus goes missing and Elliot is asked to help out with the investigation by his father. Before long, another boy disappears and one is attacked and then Elliot himself is targeted in a dangerous cat and mouse game with the killer. Can Lance and Elliot set aside their differences and work together to solve the mystery of who is abducting and killing young men? And what about all those unresolved feelings between them? Can Lance and Elliot put aside their past and renew the relationship they once had? So many questions and in this taut fast paced thriller, mysteries mount until everyone seems to fall under suspicion.
First released in August of 2010, Fair Game was one of many successful mystery stories author Josh Lanyon has slipped onto the m/m market. After his incredible success with the Adrien English series, this smartly written crime drama solidified how wonderfully talented this author was at inventing interesting and gritty characters who move through his intricately woven plots that are drenched in realistic investigative practices. Writing flawed heroes who live and breathe on the page is a decided gifting of this prolific author. But lest you think Lanyon churns out dime store detective novels, be forewarned. His stories are multi-layered cleverly done, with intelligent dialogue and men who never pander to our imaginations, but remain true to themselves, tough, aggressive and smart.
The strength of this novel lies in Elliot’s simmering anger against the idea that life is fair. Having his entire future tragically cut off along with the abrupt shut down of his tenuous romance with Lance has left Elliot less than patient with people who would bellyache about the fairness of life. Lanyon creates a determined, slightly bitter Professor out of this former FBI agent, who also harbors a definite grudge against his former lover. And what about that lover? At first glance, Lance seems to be somewhat of a brusque overbearing ass. But upon closer inspection we discover the tender underpinnings of this sensitive FBI agent and realize his gruff exterior masks a genuine love for Elliot and a promise to protect him at all costs.
The story, the characters, the pacing and overall presentation was simply top notch—everything we have come to expect from a Josh Lanyon novel. If you have not read Fair Game before, I encourage you to pick it up today! If, like me, you have plumbed this gem before, why not give it a re-read and enjoy it all over again? I know I certainly did!