Title: Fair Chance (All’s Fair #3)
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 13, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery and Suspense
Page Count: 336 print pages
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Elliot Mills comes face-to-face with evil in this follow-up to Fair Game and Fair Play from bestselling author Josh Lanyon
One final game of cat and mouse…
Ex–FBI agent Elliot Mills thought he was done with the most brutal case of his career. The Sculptor, the serial killer he spent years hunting, is finally in jail. But Elliot’s hope dies when he learns the murderer wasn’t acting alone. Now everyone is at risk once again—thanks to a madman determined to finish his partner’s gruesome mission.
When the lead agent on the case, Special Agent Tucker Lance, goes missing, Elliot knows it’s the killer at work. After all, abducting the love of his life is the quickest way to hurt him.
The chances of finding Tucker are all but impossible without the help of the Sculptor—but the Sculptor is in no position to talk. Critically injured in a prison fight, he lies comatose and dying while the clock ticks down. Elliot has no choice but to play this killer’s twisted game and hope he can find Tucker in time.
This third and final instalment of the All’s Fair series is a great read, both in terms of the mystery and the romance. These are skilfully interwoven as Elliot hunts down a possible accomplice of Andrew Corian aka The Sculptor from Book 1 and the heads of his victims. The mystery is quite complex, and although I guessed the identity of the accomplice, there are other characters and aspects that add depth and further interest to the plot. As always there are a few red herrings. Elliot is also in conflict with his father for part of the story and that causes a strain on their relationship.
What I enjoyed most about this story is the connection between Elliot and Tucker. They’ve come a long way over the past few months and are really in tune with each other. They are in love and now living together. They talk more, know each other’s foibles, and although Tucker is still protective of Elliot, he is working to accept his role in assisting the FBI. How Elliot reacts to Tucker’s disappearance, and even before that, as he gradually realizes something isn’t quite right shows the depth of his feelings for his partner. I’ve seen many reviewers commenting on the fact that the blurb gives this aspect of the story away, but I think the reader knows and is waiting for Elliot to work it all out. Watching Elliot’s emotions and thoughts has a greater impact than if we didn’t know beforehand.
The tension rises as the clock ticks and time appears to be running out. Elliot’s realization that he may never see Tucker again and what that would mean for his life is heartbreaking and tear-inducing. “He’d prefer to be kneecapped every day for the rest of his life to losing Tucker.” The loneliness is palpable. “Hard to imagine life ever being normal again…” And yet he carries on, trying to find missing victims and the allusive accomplice. Superbly done!
As always, Josh Lanyon’s writing and characters are engaging throughout. The story is a real page-turner, with plenty of suspense and exciting scenes, along with the gradual unravelling of the mystery as seen through Elliot’s eyes. In fact, I read the story twice and enjoyed it even more the second time around. I’ll definitely read it again and am now looking forward to the audio version. (Note: Fair Game and Fair Play are currently available at a reduced rate. Both well worth listening to).
Although this storyline appears to be rounded off, I hope there are more cases for Elliot and Tucker in the future. They are in my top favourite m/m couples.