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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Fair Game: A Treat Mikkelson Mystery, Book Two is a murder mystery novel written by Michael Matson. Treat Mikkelson is a Vietnam veteran who struggled with drug dependency issues and PTSD after returning home. With the help of other veterans and veteran groups, he was able to reconnect with his life and earn a degree in sociology. Treat quickly gained respect as a criminologist but decided to explore a different path, preferring a simpler existence on Drake Island, a small island off the coast of Washington state. His days included writing, maintaining the cabin he had renovated, digging for clams on his beachfront property, and communing with the locals at Chancel and Emma’s store or in the small mainland town of La Conner. When Michael Medina is found brutally beaten to death at the Skagit County fairgrounds with cocaine packages in his car, the authorities are inclined to dismiss it as a drug-related issue, but Michael’s brother, Kyle, is steadfast in his belief that Michael would never have gotten involved in drugs or gangs. Treat believes him and his old sleuthing instincts begin to ferret out the machinations behind the killing.
Michael Matson’s murder mystery novel, Fair Game: A Treat Mikkelson Mystery, Book Two, can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Matson infuses just enough background into this tale to get a new reader invested and involved in this marvelous series set in the Pacific Northwest, but I strongly recommend reading the first book, The Dancing Boy, first. Treat Mikkelson is an iconic hero who carries his past in his waking and dreaming life, and I found reading the books in their order allowed me to get more and more familiar with the man. The Pacific Northwest settings are spectacular and had me considering once again planning a vacation up there and maybe even looking into an island rental. Fair Game offers the reader a satisfying mystery and psychological thriller filled with tension, introspection, and a look into the thought processes of a genuinely spooky killer. I knew, after having read the first book in the series, that I was in for a marvelous reading experience with its sequel, but Fair Game actually exceeded my expectations. Fair Game: A Treat Mikkelson Mystery, Book Two is most highly recommended.