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Publisher's Summary

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 trigger-man 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' 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.

©2017 Amy Lane (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Includes bonus audio!

I felt like Red Fish, Dead Fish was a really strong sophomore installment to the Fish Out of Water series.

There's a solid mystery element, suspense in trying to figure out serial killer Owens' next move, some pretty hairy situations Jackson stupidly puts himself in, and even a bit of suspense in just how far Ellery is willing to go for Jackson and their relationship. Spoiler: He's willing to go all the way.

I loved the way Ellery handles Jackson. Their relationship is so much better this time around. They seem more comfortable with one another and Ellery knows Jackson so well he's able to anticipate certain boneheaded moves before it ruins everything.

I really liked that Red Fish, Dead Fish ties up most of the loose ends from Fish Out of Water and we get an ending where Jackson and Ellery are in a good place relationship-wise, while opening a side plot to be explored in a future story. Yes, it technically ends on a cliffhanger, but it's not the kind that will probably drive anyone nuts.

I have loved listening to this series because I can get lost in Greg Tremblay's voice and just sit back and enjoy. He has great character voices, and he paces his delivery to really draw out the suspense.

While Red Fish, Dead Fish could possibly be read as a standalone, there's a lot happening that directly ties in to Fish Out of Water, so I would definitely recommend reading/listening to Fish Out of Water first for background and the case that finally brought Jackson and Ellery together as a couple.

P.S.: The audiobook includes a bonus after the book of four stories that were posted on various blogs before Red Fish, Dead Fish began that Greg narrates for the listener. Two of the stories involve Ace and Sonny from Racing for the Sun and the action from these stories is discussed in Red Fish, Dead Fish. I sort of wish they'd been at the beginning of the audio rather than the end.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This is a fantastic story

If you could sum up Red Fish, Dead Fish in three words, what would they be?

Holy fucking hell

Who was your favorite character and why?

It’s a tie between all of them. Making me choose is cruel. Jackson and Ellery for different reasons. Also Lucy Satan. Also mike. Seriously there is no choosing. They are all wonderfully written well rounded characters whom I would love to meet in real life.

What does Greg Tremblay bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The accents and the pacing. I’d read too fast, miss too much. And Greg isn’t just reading, he’s acting. It’s like watching tv but better.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh god, if only. I would have if i could have. But at the same time i wanted to draw it out and make it last because god only knows how long it’s going to be until the next one. I’ve been waiting for this book since last summer. It was worth the wait, no question, but I listened to it a lot faster than It’ll take for the next one to come out.

Any additional comments?

I’m about to go fangirl at Amy Lane. These books, both Fish out of Water and Red Fish Dead Fish are some of favorite books. And Greg Trembly is a narrator of unimpeachable quality. The combination is outstanding.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

This is the story I was missing when I read book one, Fish Out of Water. The characters were there and the action was there, but I was really missing the feels and the romance.

Amy gives us these things here. We finally get to really plumb the depths of Jackson and Ellery’s feelings for one another and get some of the ooey gooey romance that I crave so much!

There is certainly still a lot of mystery and action going on, and I was so pleased by the romantic elements, too!

If you’ve read book one you’ll want to read this – even if book one wasn’t your favorite – I think this does a lot to make book one come together.

Highly recommended! (Not as a standalone!)


5 of 5 stars

Audio

Woot! So Greg Tremblay is AWESOME and in addition to doing all the awesome he did for book 1, we get the bonus chapters Amy published in her blog and performed those too! While he won’t replace Nick for me as far as Ace and Sonny – I did appreciate his version
This was wonderful and definitely the best way to experience this story! (The ficlets are maybe the best part…;)

6 of 5 stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Chaos, panic and disorder... before breakfast.

I'm going to preface this review by saying this is the second book in a series that MUST be read in order. After the shenanigans in Fish out of Water, book 1, Jackson has moved in the Ellery along with his cat while he recovers and his house is refurbished. While Ellery is ready to add Jackson's name to the deed and write Jackson into his will, Jackson already has one foot out the door, waiting for the guillotine to drop on his head. You'd think these two have been through enough and it's time for their happy ever after, right? Yeah... not so much. Chaos erupts at Jackson's house and Ellery is in a panic, his perfectly planned life in disorder. And that's all before breakfast!

Holy crap this book kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end! I love the way Amy Lane can weave intricate plots and characters together and keep you wanting more in the middle of the maelstrom. Jackson's life has been nothing but miserable, one disappointment after another, so when Ellery starts making promises Jackson already has his running shoes on. Ellery's life is perfectly planned out, everything routine, normal and boring until Jackson comes along and pulls him out of his shell, makes Ellery want something more. Their relationship is like lightening, sunshine and an atomic bomb sewn together with barbed wire, duct tape and long stem roses with lots and lots of thorns.

The narration is nothing less than extraordinary. Tremblay has a way with words that truly brings the characters to life, makes them feel real. He totally nails Ellery's sarcasm and Jackson's internal struggle with his world falling down around him with tones, nuances and inflections.

This is an audio that I'll be listening to again. On a side note, can somebody tell Amy Lane that I really want Ellery and Jackson to work a case with Ian and Miro (Mary Calmes Marshall series)?! THAT would be an amazing story.

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A+ rating...

My Review:
Overall: 4.75
Performance: 5.0
Story: 4.75

I didn't really have high expectations for this book. Although I love Amy Lane, that cover just didn't do it for me and really messed with my perceptions of what this book would be. OMG, was I ever wrong in my pre-judgment of this book. This story was PHENOMENAL...seriously, almost perfection and the audiobook version of it was perfection. It truly took an incredible book and the audio raised it just one notch higher. Greg Tremblay...happy sigh...he is just a fantastic narrator. I love what he does with his voices.

So, this book. Ellery is a lawyer. Jackson is a PI that works for his law firm. They've worked together for years, but have basically just circled around one another. They really don't even like one another, but that's because they really have no idea what the other one is about. To Ellery, Jackson is a manwhore. Jackson thinks Ellery has a stick up his butt. They are both right and wrong. What they're missing in their perceptions is exactly why the other is like they are and as they begin to work together to get Jackson's brother cleared of killing a cop, they begin to get to know one another...and realize there is so much more.

Jackson...OMG, my heart wept for him. His story is just so tragic. And I loved how protective and alpha Ellery became about that and Jackson. OMG, Ellery started out this book as such a beta, but by the end he was kicking butt and taking names. I loved that. The two of them together were just EVERYTHING. The romance in this story is perfection...everything I love about romance. They grow to respect one another and that becomes so much more as the relationship evolves and deepens. I LOVED JACKSON AND ELLERY TOGETHER!

But there is also a mystery about what really happened in that gas station that night that is also really well done. I loved the corners they wended their way through and all the places their investigation took them.

It was just an incredible book. I HIGHLY recommend it and am so excited to read book #2. I'm just sad it's not out in audio yet. So, I'll read it first...and then listen to it when the audio comes out, too. I LOVED THIS BOOK!

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Almost continuous action - Strong delivery!

I listen while driving and read in the evening. Greg Tremblay absolutely brought the story to life seamlessly with a performance that added to the story. I think that, in this case, the audio version more completely engages the reader.
I loved both main characters. Jackson because he has never really had things go his way yet he perseveres and Ellery because he is equally determined to take care of Jackson.
The title is somewhat of a tribute to analogies based on observations of the fish tank of Jackson’s childhood, “the big fish”, “the little fish”, the one thrown back to lure the big fish. I enjoyed the book so much that I fell asleep reading and woke up in the middle of the night when I dropped my kindle to finish reading. 
This is an incredibly intense story with an intricate and complex plot requiring the full attention of the reader. The action is almost continuous with seemingly unconnected plot points converging in an unanticipated fashion. I didn’t read the earlier story in this series but didn’t find that too much of a disadvantage. 
Jackson Rivers was a police detective who wasn’t held back by the blue line when he discovered crimes committed by police officers including one who got away. Now he is a private investigator working with a top law firm and his lover/partner to finish the investigation that he started while in uniform. 
Together Jackson and attorney Ellery Cramer are trying to find a serial killer. They know who it is but they need to prove, first that there is a serial killer and that a former police officer is responsible for the murders of ‘dirty but pretty’ young men and women. 
The supporting cast contains some truly evil characters, some truly wonderful allies as well as disinterested, disengaged authorities with misplaced focus on the investigators rather than the investigation.
Jackson’s focus is on protecting the few people in his inner circle, the family of his heart, while finding the killer of young people whose lives have a similarity to his own youth. Ellery’s focus is on convincing Jackson that he is loved, that he has worth and that he isn’t going anywhere. 
In addition to the tense action-filled drama, I welcomed the sweet and sometimes sappy but oh so sexy interactions. Ellery keeps reminding Jackson that “I deserve you.” he whispered. “The good and the bad. Don’t take that away from me. “

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Loved the second half of this story

4.25*

The story follows on from book #1 with the same characters and continuing storyline. This time around Jackson and Ellery are tracking down Owens, the ex-cop and now serial killer, who evaded capture in the previous story. Jackson is recovering from a gunshot wound and is staying at Ellery’s home while his place is being repaired. Although their relationship is more established, Jackson is fearful of commitment and is struggling to see a long-term future with Ellery. As much as he wants it, he doesn’t think he deserves it or is good enough for him. The romance development is nicely balanced with the murder/mystery storyline. There’s a lot of dialogue with not much action during the first half of the story. I think you need to have read/listened to the first story to follow exactly what’s going on. We find out more information on Jackson’s background here.

Once the story got going, I was gripped. It’s intense, exciting, and somewhat gruesome in places. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense-filled second half as Jackson and Ellery close in on Owens and also sort out their relationship issues.

There’s also four bonus short stories that are linked to the characters/plot and also Racing for the Sun. The serial killer storyline is wrapped up and a HFN ending, but the story’s not over yet.

I enjoyed listening to Greg Tremblay’s interpretation of the story and that he acts rather than just reads the text. His narrative voice is soothing and his voice evenly-paced. He imparts plenty of emotion when necessary and has created distinct character voices. Jackson and Ellery are so different in personality and their voices are perfectly suited to them. I thought Greg did an amazing job at portraying Jackson’s suffering when he was unwell and in pain, and also Ellery’s desperation when things go badly.

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A superbly narrated, intense romantic thriller.

Red Fish, Dead Fish is the second book in the Fish Out of Water series by Amy Lane, and should not be listened to as a stand-alone novel. This is an action packed series and must be listened to in order to fully appreciate its complexities.

In Fish Out of Water we first met gritty troubled PI Jackson Lane; a man who learnt at a very young age that trust often led to betrayal and worse. Attorney Ellery Cramer, on the other hand, grew up in a world of privilege. Meeting Jackson turned Ellery’s life upside down in more ways than one. Dealing with his growing attraction to the rough around the edges, prickly man was hard, but seeing the world without his rose coloured glasses was even harder. Together these two extraordinary men fought corruption at the highest levels but, even as they achieved justice, one man remained standing and it is in Red Fish, Dead Fish that Jackson and Ellery must face the most evil of their adversaries, thus far.

Red Fish, Dead Fish is the story of how two men of character, backed by their closet friends and family fight, not only a deadly adversary, but also an officialdom more intent on covering themselves than uncovering a potential serial killer. The fact that he is an ex police officer makes them slow to believe Jackson and Ellery, and this will lead to deadly consequences. With Jackson, Ellery, and their family, in the killers crosshairs not everyone will survive, and it will take the abduction of a fellow police officer to finally get them the help they need. It will be a miracle if Ellery can save Jackson, when Jackson’s passion for justice overcomes his need for self preservation.

I loved Jackson, with his survivor/warrior strength, and Ellery with his strong sense of justice and openness to see the world through other’s eyes. The fact that he also called Jackson on his bs was a bonus. Watching the development of Jackson and Ellery’s relationship, against the horror of all that they lived through, added glimpses of happiness in this otherwise harsh and gritty tale. The secondary characters were all multifaceted and very easy to connect with, or despise, adding even more depth to an already multidimensional story. Red Fish, Dead Fish really is a riveting, roller coaster novel.

Greg Tremblay’s narration was pitch perfect as always. He is a superb voice actor and the characters come alive under his masterful touch. It was impossible not to disappear into the world he created, and in his hands this story was riveting, horrifying, touching, and very difficult to pause.
A compelling story, beautifully narrated. Highly recommended.

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What a ride!

🐟 🐟 🐟 🐟 🐟

I love this series! I finally found Amy Lane books that I can love. Red Fish, Dead Fish, is just like Fish Out of Water mainly a suspense novel, The romance is secondary, and this is even more true for this book where intimate moments are few and far between. This book picks up a couple of months after we left Ellery and Jackson the last time. Now they are going after Owens, trying to stop him before it's too late.

The hunt for Owens isn't an easy one, especially when law enforcement or the DA refuses to listen. (I'm skipping the rant about the opinion that some people have it coming and aren't worth the time and effort) Gruesome bodies (do not read these descriptions if you are fainthearted or disturbed by detailed descriptions of mutilated bodies) pile up and soon Owens hits close to home. The more Ellery and Jackson finds out about Owens the more horrified we all get. He really is evil personified and is the stuff nightmares are afraid of. The hunt is intense and it is filled with a lot of twists and turns.

The relationship between Ellery and Jackson slowly grows stronger as they learn more about each other and what it means to be in a committed relationship. That being said, they don't have it easy, far from it. They are really put through the wringer, when the past mingles with the present, making "tomcat" Jackson revert to his solitary ways, proving he is not yet fully domesticated and he has ways to go yet. As this book focuses mainly on the hunt for Owens Jackson and Ellery don't get that many tender moments but they are still there. As are the humorous moments and the beautiful and touching moments, especially the ones when Jackson realises and admits to his feelings for Ellery.

🎧 "I got attached. That one. That one's mine."

My main issue with this book was Jackson's invincibility. Cats do have nine lives, but Jackson sure seem to use up a lot of his....With that I don't mean that everything that happens in a book needs to be 100% believable or even possible, but it still needs to be done in a way that makes the unbelievable believable.

🎧 "If we ever get married, I think you need to maybe open a book of poetry or something. That sounded an awful lot like contract law."

I'm a huge fan of some of the secondary characters in this series, but "Lucy Satan" is by far my favourite one. The banter between her and Jackson is hilarious. (Wonder if he'll remember to buy that scarf?). Kickass, take no prisoners, Jade is also a sight to behold, but I felt like she didn't make much of an appearance in this book, and I hope that will change for the next book.

Greg Tremblay was as always amazing and I can’t fault a single thing with his performance of this book. He brought you into this action riddled and at times gritty world Lane created. Held you captive and I had a really hard time putting this book down when RL came knocking. It was flawless.

Just like Fish Out of Water, the story doesn't end when the book does. Ellery and Jackson have more fish to find, catch and then fry. I for one can't wait for the next book! Until then I might just go and read Racing for the Sun and get reacquainted with Ace and Sonny and their story I have a feeling they're going to show up in the next book. Until then, swim safely in the deep waters you never know what might hide in the dark.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes

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  • Barbara
  • 03-18-18

Enjoyable!


I enjoyed this. As well as the ongoing developing relationship between two main characters I really liked the story and looking forward to part 3.
Greg Tremblay’s narration was Excellent.