Red Fish, Dead Fish (Maya’s Review)

Title: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water #2)
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Aug 4, 2017
Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 330
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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.

This is second book in series, but can be read as standalone.

I have to give high marks to this book.

The writing was sharp and decisive and the story was emotionally charged.

Ellery and Jackson are now in relationship (for a given value of relationship – Jackson is gun shy but luckily Ellery is patient with him.) I mean they live together, they sleep together, Ellery nags him about his injuries and they are clearly head over heels for each other. Jackson is simply too afraid to believe something good finally happened to him. He is struggling with demons of his past and stubbornly persists in trying to prove he can survive alone. I was honestly ready to throttle him at times but both his reasoning and emotional turmoil were explained and an important factor in the plot.

When the book began, Jackson was still not completely recovered from events in the last book. Despite that he and Ellery are trying to track and apprehend the one villain they didn’t manage to get arrested last time. Neither police nor DA’s office seems to be willing to help them.

The book’s outlook is grim and characters go through emotional and physical wrangler. They are doggedly pursuing the villain and the story abounds with twists and turns.

The story culminates with tense stand off and heart-in-my-mouth-scene, but there is HFN end. There is also a set up for the next book in series.

Even the supporting characters are vivid and real. Each chapter has cheeky title. There are fun moments in otherwise harrowing story but this is not a light and easy read. It’s interesting story, and the writing is great, but there is no masking the fact that Jackson is product of his abusive childhood he is self destructive and it has impact on both him and Ellery. This is great book, but some readers might find subject matter upsetting.

Fish Out of Water Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water #2) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

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