Patricia Briggs is one of the current leaders in urban fantasy with her two companion series Mercedes Thompson and Alpha and Omega. Briggs’ newest work, Fair Game, is the third full length novel of Alpha and Omega, starring Anna Latham and Charles Cornick.
Werewolves have been exposed to the modern American media, following the Fey out of the shadows. Not everyone is happy about this, especially since werewolves represent a huge unknown. A serial killer in Boston has begun to target werewolves, and the FBI has requested expert help. What could possibly take out werewolves without any apparent issue? Anna and Charles are sent in to solve the case.
Short and sweet
This book is relatively short, which I appreciated. There’s no extra fluff cluttering everything up and the pace is fast, which makes the book feel even shorter than it is. Briggs does a great job of keeping the tension pretty taut, letting up only so that she can surprise you to greater effect later on. I also enjoyed the tension between the different groups involved with the case. You have the FBI and the werewolves, of course, but that attracts the attention of other government agencies as well. While this book is an obvious (and conscious) ode to police procedurals, it’s not relying on sleight of hand to carry the plot. Instead, Briggs has done her homework on the FBI and on serial killers, presenting a believable scenario.
Moving beyond the romantic start
The novella that spawned this series, Alpha and Omega, is a romance. Cry Wolf, the first full length novel, is as well. In Hunting Ground and now in Fair Game, Briggs is swiftly stripping away the emphasis on the romantic line, while still leaving Anna and Charles’ relationship as a major theme in the book. They’ve been married several years at this point and are quite beyond the courting stage. Briggs understands that, and I’m thankful for it. The real thrust of this book is solving a crime, and it would have been so easy to allow the personal conflicts between Anna and Charles to overshadow that. While I could perhaps have done with a little more fleshing out of the sub-plot, overall I was satisfied.
Why you should read this book?
If you’re a fan of the Mercedes Thompson series and haven’t picked up the Alpha and Omega books, it is high time you did so. The ending of Fair Game has a major series plot development point that is going to affect Mercy and her crew. Why not get the news firsthand? If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, I consider Briggs to be a must read. However, Fair Game is effectively book nine (as both series build off each other), so I would not start with this book. And of course, if you’ve been keeping up with Briggs’ work, this book is a shoe-in for your to-read shelf. It’s a fast and entertaining read, and I couldn’t put it down.