Author: Josh Lanyon
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Page Length: 270 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
A crippling knee injury forced Elliot Mills to trade in his FBI badge for dusty chalkboards and bored college students. Now a history professor at Puget Sound university, the former agent has put his old life behind him—but it seems his old life isn’t finished with him.
A young man has gone missing from campus—and as a favor to a family friend, Elliot agrees to do a little sniffing around. His investigations bring him face-to-face with his former lover, Tucker Lance, the special agent handling the case.
Things ended badly with Tucker, and neither man is ready to back down on the fight that drove them apart. But they have to figure out a way to move beyond their past and work together as more men go missing and Elliot becomes the target in a killer’s obsessive game…
I am super into romance mysteries right now, so of course I had to start on another Josh Lanyon series after reading The Adrien English Mysteries. I feel like I enjoyed this book a lot, simply because the story was much more tighter from beginning-to-end. The main characters were introduced quite early on, and their characterizations were well-developed. The mystery aspect of this story had me on my toes and kept me guessing until the end.
This is the start of a trilogy starring an ex-FBI agent, Elliot Mills. He was injured on the job, and rather than take a desk job at the FBI, he is now a college professor where his father used to teach.This book is told just from Elliot’s POV. He lives in a cabin out on a island he has to travel by ferry to each day to and from work. He still has aches and pains in his leg that’ll never truly go away. When a student goes missing on campus, his father calls Elliot in to help a family friend find their son. The FBI is already on the case, but with Elliot’s experience, his father thought Elliot can help keep them in the loop better than the FBI can. This is how Elliot then finds himself working alongside his former lover, Tucker Lance, as they hunt down suspects to the boy’s disappearance.
Elliot and Tucker were lovers when Elliot was still in the FBI, but they were never really quite boyfriends. When Elliot left the FBI, that was the end of their relationship, and it becomes evident very quickly that they left things on a bitter note.
What I really love about Lanyon’s mysteries is that there are so many secondary characters introduced into the story that it’s difficult to tell who the killer is. Everyone starts looking like a suspect at one time or another. Then, there’s the fact that there’s two student disappearances, and when there’s absolutely nothing to tie the two together, the case gets even more complex. The story is intricate, and there’s even some harrowing moments for Elliot when his investigation into the missing students starts angering the wrong person.
I especially love that while there’s a mystery going on, the reader is also left wondering about Elliot and Tucker’s relationship. Their relationship feels natural, and while the two characters knew each other before this story began, I don’t think we’re really left out on any missing storylines between the two from before. Elliot and Tucker just never really had a close, emotional relationship before their separation and everything that builds up between them happens in this book. I really liked reading about Elliot and Tucker and their newfound growing attraction for each other.
Overall, I really liked this story and feels like it’s a fantastic start to a series!