Book Reviews

Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water 2) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 04-August-2017

Book Blurb

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.


Book Review

Before I dove into ‘Red Fish, Dead Fish’, book two in Amy Lane’s awesome series revolving around a private investigator and a defense attorney, I thought I'd better skim through book one, ‘Fish Out of Water’, just to ensure my faulty memory wouldn't have me tripping over anything. Well, I should have known better. Instead, I ended up rereading book one. I'm not surprised though, because I loved it, and this author has a way of sucking me in and working me over until I'm a dried husk. And, between Jackson and Ellery, I also tend to be a bit of a limp noodle. Sigh.

“Ellery and Jackson had done their bit to get rid of the corruption, and neither of them suffered incompetence well. It was the other stuff they were having problems with, and the horrible, godawful fact of the matter was… More people were going to have to die before somebody besides Kryzynski looked up and saw the monster.”

And a truly horrible monster it is. Owens is still on the loose and both Ellery and Jackson believe he was more involved in the corruption they found in the previous book, and that he's the sniper who shot and almost killed Jackson, eight years prior. He was a cop and he's obviously very disturbed as they've narrowed down a link between Owens and quite a few murdered and grossly violated young victims. Of course, because he was a former boy in blue, nobody wants to look into these murders, or look too hard at finding him. Except for Ellery and Jackson.

I'm pretty certain that I've always been up front and honest about my liking for very psychologically damaged characters. Jackson is a doozy and I'm very glad that the author is showing me more of his issues, his vulnerabilities, and his strengths. So much of Jackson is tied up in a rotten childhood, a horrible parent (he doesn't call her mom because that title belonged to Kaden and Jade’s mother), and a self-destructive tendency based on his feelings of low worth. Some of the things Ellery deals with on the road to happiness for them both would have killed a weaker man.

“But first he needed… needed to get out of these fucking clothes. He couldn’t walk into Ellery’s house like this, covered in vomit and a serial killer’s semen. He couldn’t talk to Jade or Mike like this. His entire life felt like a violation right now. He’d been violated and soiled, and he soiled the people he loved just by breathing near them.”

If you read my review for book one, I called it murder light. In this second novel, the author pulled out all the stops and gave me a psychotic (BEYOND BELIEF) serial killer. One, originally trained by a sadist in the military, so he's smart and canny. But he's got nothing on Jackson and Ellery when they put their minds together. Two smart men, trying to do the right thing and bring justice down on the head of the depraved, is a very sexy thing.

I'm pretty much stunned after finishing this read. In my opinion, this book is even better than the first in the series, and now I'm really going to nag for another installment. I know Ellery and Jackson will want to look more deeply into Captain Karl Lacey, the man who may, or may not, have been responsible for creating what Tim Owens became. I'm also interested to see if I can get some more glimpses into two characters from another of this author's work - two men whose story captured my heart. You did yourself proud, Ms. Lane, this one nailed it all!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 330 pages/110781 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 04-August-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle, $24.95 audiobook
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