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REVIEW: “Lovers & Other Strangers” by Josh Lanyon



Recovering from a near fatal accident, artist Finn Barret returns to Seal Island in Maine to rest and recuperate. But Seal Island is haunted with memories, some sweet, some sad; three years ago Finn found his lover in the arms of Fitch, Finn’s twin brother. Since that day, Finn has seen neither Conlan nor Fitch. In fact, no one has seen Fitch.

What happened to him? Did Fitch run away, as everyone believes? Or did he meet a more sinister fate? To put the past to rest – and see if there’s any chance of a future with Con – Finn must discover the truth. But the deeper he digs, the more reason he has to fear Con is the only one who knows what truly happened to Fitch…


It was bound to happen at some point, but I’m a still little upset…a Josh Lanyon book that I didn’t connect with.

Say it isn’t so!

To be fair, I didn’t hate Lovers and Other Strangers. I’m a bonafide sucker for Lanyon mysteries. It came down to this for me: it simply took too long to get to the dang point.

There was an awful lot of setup. Getting to know MC Finn; understanding the complicated relationship with his twin, Fitch; understanding MC Con; understanding the complicated relationship between Finn/Fitch/Con; understanding Finn’s complicated relationship with the place where he grew up; and digesting the general mystery of the story. It was a lot to digest/compartmentalize/sort for being such a short book.

But see, that’s my beef. Lanyon is usually The Master™ at the quick staging required for a novella to work. He’s also The Genius™ at drawing chemistry between MCs. Except not here. (Sad face.) I felt chemistry, I did, but coming in at around 80 percent-ish is too late, IMO. I get that the delay was part of the story. You’ll spend a good deal of the time trying to figure out the who-done-it, and Con is tied into that, so Lanyon did a brilliant job of not letting me get too close to Con. (I mean, you can’t fall in love with the guy if he might end up being the villain, right?)

What I did like about Lovers was the setting. Seal Island was a creepy, mysterious place that felt a lot like another MC. I’m always a little dazzled when an author can pull that off. I thought Finn was pretty awesome too. *Points to The Genius/The Master* Lanyon’s The Man™ at creating flawed, down-but-not-entirely-out MCs who are struggling to find their way back to their own personal normal. At the end of the day, I think if I’d had more of Finn and Con retracing their past and examining how the complications and trouble of their love affair tied into Fitch, I’d have been a much happier camper.



Susan – 4 stars

Sheri – 4 stars


13000782Title: Lovers & Other Strangers
Author:  Josh Lanyon
Publisher:  Self-pub
Pages: 110
Release Date:  November 1, 2011
Purchase Links:  Amazon, ARe

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2014 by in Contemporary, Mystery / Suspense, Reviewer: Jenni and tagged , , , .

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