Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Though this is the fourth book in the Fish Out of Water series featuring Ellery Cramer and Jackson Rivers, this could also be considered Racing for the Sun #2 as Sonny and Ace figure prominently in the story. In fact, Ellery and Jackson’s page time is mostly a repeat of their previous conversations and activities as they raced to bring down Karl Lacey, renegade colonel in A Few Good Fish. The difference is that we mostly hear them via the bugs planted by Lacey’s team and monitored by Lee Burton, friend of Ace Atchison and Sonny Daye (Racing for the Sun) and special ops division covert operator.
Only Amy Lane could get away with having characters named Burt and Ernie, or in this case, Lee Burton and Ernie Caulfield. When Lee takes an assignment to “hit” Ernie, he’s cautioned by his manager that the target doesn’t seem to fit the usual mold and he tells Lee to back off if he agrees. Not only does Lee agree after a few days of watching Ernie, he saves the young man’s life when Lacey’s team of hit men arrive to finish Ernie off. Sending five guys seems like overkill to Lee, and he quickly dispatches the three who have Ernie pinned in an alley. He gets Ernie to a safe place before beginning a new job—covert, of course—working for Corduroy, the organization housed with Lacey and his deranged group of “special” soldiers who Lacey is training as assassins. His job is to monitor the activities of a lawyer (Ellery) and his partner (Jackson) and to let Lacey know if they get further in their investigation of him.
In the meantime, he’s installed Ernie with Ace and Sonny. Ernie is a psychic and a beautiful character. Sweet and loveable, the guy wants the best for those around him but he can read their emotions like a book and Sonny is one explosive book. Over time, he comes to value Ace’s role in Sonny’s life and vice versa as he sees how one completes the other. He’s also growing to care for Burton who comes to see Ernie during the night, make love with him under the star-filled desert skies, and then head back into insanity to try to foil Lacey’s plans.
Amy Lane has given new life to Sonny and Ace with this story. I loved them when I first met them years ago, but I adore them now—even with the chaos that is Sonny’s brain. Ace is strong, inside and out, and loves his man wholeheartedly and that strength of character and love shines through. His ability to think on his feet, when he and Ellery have their adventure, just adds to the enjoyment of the story. Ellery and Jackson are just as sharp and fun to read as they always are. In Ernie, the author gives us a very different character. He’s sweet and innocent on the outside, but strong and complex on the inside. His ability to “see” the future or “read” others before the actual events occur and his acceptance of his gift make him totally endearing. And Lee, perhaps the strongest character of all, has great depth of character with a strength and fortitude to keep moving forward toward his objective, despite the odds. He’s intelligent, resourceful, and comes to love Ernie with all his heart. His quiet, soul-searching moments reveal more of his personality, adding to readers’ enjoyment.
Honestly, how Amy Lane juggled all those balls in the air at one time, without dropping any, and then gave us an outstanding and complex story is beyond my imagination. But she most definitely did it!
The cover by Reese Dante features a gorgeous black man staring at the night sky. This, of course, is Lee Burton, and it’s a wonderful representation of the core of the story as he and Ernie generally get their time together at night in the desert.
ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Hiding the Moon
Edition Language English
Series Fish Out of Water #4