Rating: 4.5 stars
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Victor Bayne has never wanted anything to do with the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program, but now that Jacob is working there, it is hard to ignore the place. Not to mention that Vic still owns Con Dreyfuss an exorcism, and with Vic’s PsyCops parter Bob Zigler off at a funeral, Vic figures he might as well take care of that now. The break actually comes at a good time, as Vic’s frustration with his job is at an all time high as he learns how many of his cases get overturned due to anti-psych bias by judges and juries.
Jacob doesn’t talk much about what he does for the FPMP, but he eventually tells Vic he has been assigned to figure out who killed Roger Burke. Considering Vic saw Con’s assistant Laura Kim at the site of the shooting and Roger’s ghost seemed to implicate her, Vic is pretty sure that the case has been solved, but apparently there is much more going on there than he expected. Both men are determined to figure out who killed Roger and what Laura and Con’s roles might have been in his death.
Working at the FPMP also gives Vic a chance to spend more time with Richie, a fellow medium from Vic’s Camp Hell days, as well as to meet other key players at the agency. Not to mention get some more time with the ghost of Jennifer Chance. Vic is pretty sure she has some secrets he wants to know and plans to use his time at the FPMP to find out more about what is really going on.
On top of all this upheaval, things at home are tense with his best friend Lisa. She is stilling living with the guys at the cannery and the idea of her leaving terrifies Vic. But Lisa is dating someone new, someone whom she is keeping a big secret. Add to that conflicts about her si/no talent, and things are very tense. Every time Vic tries to make it right between them, things get even more complicated.
With so much going on, Vic actually finds he is learning quite a bit over at the FPMP and somehow the place is growing on him. Especially when it becomes clear that they may not be the biggest threat to his safety after all. As new enemies become clearer, Vic must work to figure out who to trust before things truly become dangerous for him, Jacob, and everyone he cares about.
Finally! I am finally caught up on this fabulous series and I must say that Jordan Castillo Price continues to impress me with how she keeps the series growing. Much like book four, Secrets, this seventh book felt like a turning point for me. In Secrets, we really start delving into the larger world of psychs, moving beyond Vic and his individual investigations. And now in Spook Squad, things feel like they are at a transition point once again, as Vic and Jacob really get involved in the FPMP. We meet new characters, learn about new threats, and the guys start to really figure out where they fit. This time there isn’t a larger police investigation running along with the psych plot. Instead the guys are totally immersed in the FPMP world and their investigation of Burke’s death, as well as a learning more about what really goes on at the place. At the end of the book I feel like a whole world of possibilities have opened up for this series and I am so excited to see where Castillo Price takes things.
If one thing remains constant, it is the love between Jacob and Victor. While their relationship isn’t as physical in this book (boo!), we do see how incredibly strong the emotional connection between them continues to be. We hone in on the subtle ways these guys communicate, how they understand one another with a glance, and how well they are able to play off one another so perfectly as they investigate. It is fun to see the little moments when a glance between them or raised eyebrow is able to convey everything they need to say. I love that how we see this bond is also a deep connection of their psych energies, a symbiotic relationship between the two of them that ties them together even more than we originally knew. I have said before that Victor and Jacob are one of my all time favorite couples, and I love how they continue to grow and evolve together over the series.
As I said, this book is a bit of a turning point in many ways, but there are a lot of details I can’t give without spoiling the story. I will just say that we see changes come for Vic, Crash, and Lisa. We see growth in the deep connection between Vic and Jacob. And we learn much more about the FPMP and the role of the government and the larger world as it affects the psychs. I think things here could have been tightened a little early on, as we spend a lot of time with Vic hanging around the FPMP that moves a little slowly. But I also see why we immerse ourself in that world, and the payoff is great when we find out what is really going on there and with Burke’s death and the suspense ramps up. I continue to find this one of my all time favorite series and am so impressed with how the author continues to make it grow and develop over the seven books. If you are not reading the PsyCops series, you need to be. This series is amazing and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.