(Alpha and Omega #3)
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.
Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.
Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...
Review by Rose Red:
This book is such a trip! Patricia Briggs proves once again that she is a master storyteller. The world she creates has me actually believing that there are werewolves, witches, fae, and the like living among us. I can't get enough of this world and how she incorporates magic, mythology, and spirits into her books.
And Anna and Charles, I love you two so much! From the very first Alpha & Omega novella, Patricia Briggs has given us such a complex hero and heroine that I feel like I know them personally. They are flawed, brave, loyal, insecure, and violent. But they always, always love each other and their pack.
I was surprised at the onset to see how much time had passed since the events of Hunting Ground. While it's not spelled out precisely, it's been a few years. (Events from River Marked are referenced and we know the first two books take place roughly around the same time as Moon Called.) But what's interesting is that Charles and Anna have changed very little with the passage of time. I would have expected that with a love like theirs, a few years would find these two in the happiest place they've ever been. But things are harder than ever.
Charles has always been his father's hatchet man. But now that the werewolves have come out to the humans, it's vital to keep any extra werewolf violence under wraps and not in the media. So Bran is sending Charles out to kill their misbehaving brethren in record numbers. All that killing is doing a number on Charles. He has cut himself off from Anna because he's literally being haunted by the ghosts of his prey. To give him a reprieve, Bran sends Charles and Anna to Boston to help human investigators solve a serial killer case. (I also love the little peek this book gave inside Bran's head.)
The serial killer they are hunting has been torturing and murdering victims for decades. Recent years have seen the killer move onto Fae and werewolf targets. Details of the killer's depravity were disturbing at times, but it was really a captivating case. The mystery introduces us to new characters, like Leslie, a tough human FBI agent; Isaac, the Alpha of the Boston pack; and Beauclaire, a fascinating Fae whose daughter was among the abducted. I love that Briggs isn’t afraid to create such diverse casts for each of her books. It’s always refreshing when you read books like that. I won't spoil all the amazing twists and turns in this book, but I can say that the case was unpredictable and kept me on the edge of my seat.
This is the book where we finally see the damage that being the Marrok's hatchet man has done to Charles. He's worn out with all the killing he's had to do and he's starting to second guess whether he is killing in the name justice as he was before the wolves came out. His worry about the kills being unjust has made it so Charles can't get rid of the ghosts of his victims. And since he can't get rid of them he has been keeping himself away from Anna to protect her. The distance has strained their relationship. Anna wants to help, but Charles won't let her for fear of his ghosts hurting her. For most of this book, Anna and Charles work their way through the ups and downs of this strain and they are still able to work together on the case. Brother Wolf also makes many appearances that eventually help them get back to where they are meant to be relationship wise. The romance isn’t as pronounced in this book, but there are still some really sweet moments between the two of them.
The thing that I love most about this book though is how confident and in control Anna is. She has really become a strong character who doesn't let her past trauma interfere with her life anymore even though she can never truly forget what happened. I love that she has grown so much in these books!
The world-building is flawless and merges seamlessly with the Mercy Thompson series. I love the effortless way I can sink back into these books. But most of all, I love how deeply Charles and Anna care about each other. It baffles me that either one can still manage to question their worth to the other, when it's so obvious to us the reader just how deep their love runs. But it's refreshing to see them prove that love over and over again.
Fair Game reminded me of all the things I loved about this series: the perfect match between Charles and Anna, some mystery, and enough action to keep me on the edge of my seat. I only wish there were more pages! And that ending! It was spectacular and nothing is going to be the same. I can't wait to see the consequences it has on the future books in this series as well as the Mercy Thompson series.