Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Length: 10 hours, 37 minutes
Victor Bayne is turning in his detective’s badge at the fifth precinct and joining the FPMP. He has some worries, because he’s Victor and he always worries, about working at the same place as his boyfriend, Jacob Marks, and just how well he can do the job. Quickly, Victor realizes that what he’s being asked is not the job he thought he was signing up for. But even more importantly, no one looks at him strangely or gives him a wide berth. At the FPMP, Victor is respected for his talent.
But problems quickly arise and Victor’s past comes to back to haunt him in several different ways. He needs to figure out how to test mediumship while also attempting to help solve a murder, and do both things well at the same time he’s trying to find his place at the FPMP. Nothing is quite as it seems and he and Jacob are scrambling to find answers. Together, they know they can do it. As long as they don’t end up dead first.
As a long time fan of the PsyCop series, I was really looking forward to the latest installment. There were parts of this book that worked incredibly well for me, and showcased the reasons why I love this series, this author, and especially Victor Bayne. But at the same time, I found myself a bit disappointed in the story as well.
First and foremost, this book is Victor at his best. He’s thoroughly him, but he’s also learning to open up. I loved watching his progress throughout this story, and I loved seeing him really come into his own. At his heart, of course, he’s still the bumbling, insecure, unsure man he’s always been. But he also owns his talent in a way we haven’t quite seen from him before, and I really enjoyed the progress he made. It seemed especially fitting that he was so solid, even in the face of truths about his past coming to light.
I like the direction the author took the story in regard to Vic’s personal life and past. Some questions were answered, but more came up. I like that we’re finally understanding some of what has always been a blank spot for Vic, and it really makes sense for everything that’s already been presented. He and Jacob continue to be a loving and committed couple, and I love the way they support and care for one another without it being too much or too over the top.
But, as I said, I was also disappointed. It was painfully obvious, from fairly early on, who exactly the “bad guy” would be. At least to me. I kept hoping for some twist to shock or surprise me, but it never came. In fact, the whole mystery, such as it was, played out exactly as I expected. In this case, it brought things down a bit for me as it was just so obvious and unexciting. I expected more from this series in that regard.
I listened to this one in audio, and Gomez Pugh nails Victor and Jacob incredibly well. The characters are so well portrayed that I had no trouble falling into the story. I love Pugh’s narration, and especially love the way he embodies Vic. However, I had a little trouble with some of the secondary characters, especially Darla. Pugh’s chosen voice for that character really grated on my nerves and made her seem like a caricature. As much as I enjoyed the ten plus hours engrossed in this story, whenever Darla came on page, I would cringe. In the end, I loved her character and the role she played, but her voice did not suit for me. The rest of the book, however, was exceptional in continuity and inflection, emotion and delivery, so I was willing to overlook this for the most part. This book, and the series, is a great audio treat.
All in all, I have no qualms about recommending this book to fans of the series. And if you haven’t jumped on the PsyCop bandwagon yet, then I definitely suggest you give it a try.