Monday, August 14, 2017

Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

 Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

The second of Amy Lane’s new mystery series has Jackson and Ellery hunting a serial killer in Sacramento. This time, the two are attempting a romantic relationship but the street rat PI and the elegant lawyer have a few things to work through before they can ever work as a couple.

I made the mistake of reading this book without reading Fish out of Water first and I really struggled to get into this story – there isn’t much recap at the start of this book so readers really need to read these books in order.

Both Jackson and Ellery are complicated, interesting characters who continue to develop in this second book. Their family and friends are engaging and watching this new couple attempt to mesh their very different family and friend groups is entertaining.

I enjoyed the crime solving action in this book but I had a few reservations. I love Amy Lane’s emotional, high angst romance writing but I’m not sure it works well in this format. I really wasn’t convinced that the hardened PI and the shark-like lawyer would be crippled by emo angst at various points in a terrifying hunt for a serial killer. The relationship angst slows down the action and weakens both characters.

The pacing of this story also confused me. The crime is solved at 70% and the rest of the story is relationship drama. When Ellery’s mum visits, we even get one of Amy Lane’s super-mums providing acceptance and nurture to the injured men. This familiar device works well in new adult writing like the Candy Man series, but it doesn’t really work for proper grown up men who have just saved the city from a serial killer.

I’m conflicted about this story. I’ll probably go back and read the first book but I’m not sure if I’ll stick with the series. I think I need less romantic angst in my crime stories and I might need a little less gore in my angsty romances.

Also Available in the Fish out of Water Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Fish out of Water post.

AMY LANE is a mother of two college students, two grade-schoolers, and two small dogs. She is also a compulsive knitter who writes because she can’t silence the voices in her head. She adores fur-babies, knitting socks, and hawt menz, and she dislikes moths, cat boxes, and knuckle-headed macspazzmatrons. She is rarely found cooking, cleaning, or doing domestic chores, but she has been known to knit up an emergency hat/blanket/pair of socks for any occasion whatsoever, or sometimes for no reason at all. Her award-winning writing has three flavors: twisty-purple alternative universe, angsty-orange contemporary, and sunshine-yellow happy. By necessity, she has learned to type like the wind. She’s been married for twenty-plus years to her beloved Mate and still believes in Twu Wuv, with a capital Twu and a capital Wuv, and she doesn’t see any reason at all for that to change.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish out of Water #2) by Amy Lane to read and review.

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