Story Rating: 4.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length: 10 hours, 15 minutes
Private investigator Jackson Rivers and stuffy lawyer Ellery Cramer have solidified their odd-couple relationship with Jackson finally conceding to move in with Ellery and build a life together. Jackson’s barely recovered from being shot and nearly killed back in November by Tim Owens, a serial killer seemingly trained in the military, and Ellery would like to wrap Jackson up in cotton balls and keep him safe for a change. While Jackson still feels he’s an inadequate partner to wealthy, successful, brilliant Ellery, he’s also certain that Ellery loves him without restraint. While playing hooky from the temple mass Ellery wants Jackson to attend, Jackson catches a kid attempting to plant a bug on Ellery’s car. And this kicks off a new investigation into who’s messing with their lives now.
Back when they were investigating Owens, Ellery ran into a navy operative who seemed ultra-shady. Is this the mastermind who’s apparently bugging their home, their bedroom? They need to reconnect with two men Jackson interviewed down in southern California—men who’d worked in the military with one of Owens’ counterparts—Ace and Sonny. These are MCs of Racing for the Sun, a book I haven’t read, but they are a misfit pair like Jackson and Ellery so there’s kinship. While having a friendly chat about the possibility of a serial killer training facility run by the navy, Ace and Ellery are kidnapped and the race is on to save them.
A Few Good Fish is the third book in the Fish Out of Water series and should be enjoyed in order. This audiobook is non-stop action, from the growing love between Ellery and Jackson, to the converging investigations, and then the daring rescues. Narrator Greg Tremblay’s range of voices, even within a character, expressed illness, tenderness, hostility, despair, and love. There are a lot of men in this book, and I didn’t have difficulty telling one from the other. The story is a rollercoaster ride, if that rollercoaster had jet packs filled with C4. Jackson really spends a lot of time coming to terms with his low self-esteem, and letting Ellery pour love into him. Their connection has never seemed so robust, and it’s only further solidified with even more terrifying escapes from danger and near death.
I loved the secondary characters, in this case Ace and Sonny, as well as Ernie, a psychic who had been rescued instead of assassinated by Lee Burton, a black ops specialist and Ace and Sonny’s friend. When Jackson needs help to rescue Ellery, he’s got some sure hands to lean against. Despite the constant mayhem, there is real tenderness and laugh out loud humor. I couldn’t stop giggling every time Jackson and Ellery think about the bugs laid around Ellery’s house. Clearly, the homophobes on the other end of the surveillance couldn’t comprehend exactly how much sex those two could have. It became a bit of a running joke, and that made me chuckle. The humor throughout is welcome, and proof that laughter is a solid strategy against tragedy.
The good guys win here, with what seems to be plans to begin new professional endeavors and potentially a permanent bond in the offing. While I didn’t know Sonny and Ace much, it seems they’ll have a bigger role in the next story—that features Ernie and Burton getting their futures aligned. I can’t recommend this series more.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.