Tucker and Elliot are back in Josh Lanyon’s new novel, Fair Play. An intense sequel to the Fair Game, the novel picks up just a few months later. Elliot and Tucker are together, and both have recovered from their last case where Elliot was staked and nearly killed by a serial killer who is now behind bars. But all is not well in the Mills household as Elliot’s father, Roland, is poised to publish his memoirs, which has sparked something dangerous to resurface from Roland’s anarchist past. The game is now afoot as the story opens with Roland’s home being burned to the ground by an arsonist, which is quickly followed up by Elliot and Roland being used for target practice by a rogue archer. Elliot and Tucker must now discover just what was in Roland’s memoirs that has caused someone to try and shut down its going to press by any means necessary—even murder.
There are many aspects to this novel that make it a both fascinating mystery and a turbulent romance. Author Josh Lanyon adds an interesting dynamic to Tucker and Elliot’s private life, which most notably has their intimate moments erotically charged and introduces an emotional dynamic that will cause increased tension between the two in their everyday life. And it is this life that is written so well and so fully fleshed out with realistic dialogue and its fair share of tension that makes this novel so much more than a simple whodunit.
As subplots go, Fair Play is rife with them and each is spun out to its logical conclusion. The appearance of Tucker’s birth mother, the still tense dynamic between former FBI agent, Elliot, and his anti-government father Roland, and the lurking terror of the ongoing investigation of the serial killer all circle around the very real and current threat to Roland’s life. Readers will need to read Fair Game to understand how all of these threads are interwoven and why each has the ability to potentially derail the fragile relationship between Tucker and Elliot.
Finally, it is the dialogue and pacing of the story that reveals author Josh Lanyon’s strong suit as a writer. Grit and determination are part of the terse shorthand that sometimes serves as the conversations between Elliot and Tucker and, in turn, between Elliot and his father. These are men of action and, as such, even their intimate moments are direct and clear. The story takes off like a shot with the 3 am call of arson and relentlessly moves on to the startling conclusion. This is a well-written and fascinating mystery and a worthy sequel to its former best seller.
Fair Play by Josh Lanyon does not disappoint. It is an action packed thriller with a tension filled romance that will leave any mystery buff sighing in contentment and any romance reader pleasantly surprised. I highly recommend it to you.