Things are going well for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and cop Vic D’Amato and now Vic is moving in to Simon’s little bungalow in Myrtle Beach. The guys are even navigating their first holidays as a couple and are going to visit Vic’s family in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving. Simon is a little nervous to meet the whole D’Amato clan, but Vic’s family is warm and accepting (which is a nice change from his own family).
While they are in Pittsburgh, Simon encounters a ghost who was murdered and is looking for justice. It seems like some Pittsburgh hunters have the situation well in hand, until a similar murder happens back home in Myrtle Beach. And when Simon gets a vision of another potential victim, he knows he needs to get involved and try to figure out who is behind the attacks and prevent any further murders. With Vic’s help, Simon is determined to figure out what mystical creature is behind the deaths and stop it before it’s too late.
Lucky Town is a short novel that is officially book 1.5 in the Badlands series, following the fabulous first book, Badlands. In that story, we meet both Simon and Vic and see the men get together while hunting a serial killer. While at first Vic was wary and somewhat disbelieving of Simon’s psychic abilities, he came to recognize that Simon is legit and the two are now taking “special” cases for the police that involve the supernatural, amidst their other responsibilities. Author Morgan Brice has done a good job providing the backstory on their relationship and how the guys have become happier and more settled since getting together, so I think you could probably jump in here without reading the first book. But Badlands is just wonderful, incredibly exciting, and with great world building, so I would definitely suggest starting there.
This story starts out mostly relationship focused as the guys are moving in together and spending Thanksgiving with Vic’s family. We can see how far they have come together, and how much their lives have both improved from the lonely men they were before. Neither man was fully settled into life in Myrtle Beach, but now that they are together, they have found their place and their connection to one another. The visit to Vic’s family gives us a nice contrast between Vic’s warm and loving relatives and Simon’s more icy and disapproving family. The pace here is a little slow early on as things felt a bit meandering, but once they get back home and start putting the pieces together for the case, things did pick up nicely.
This is a short book, so the mystery end of things isn’t nearly as developed as with Badlands. But despite that, Brice still brings in some interesting lore and the case has a nice holiday tie in that works well for a seasonal story. The stakes didn’t feel as high as they did in the first book, again because this one has a simpler plot. Still, I found it clever and interesting and I liked seeing Vic and Simon working together to solve it, along with some help from some their other friends with supernatural abilities.
I’ll also note that Brice has a great way with setting and the series is really filled with little details that bring Myrtle Beach, and now Pittsburgh, to life. These small touches really help round out the books and made me feel like I was right in the middle of things.
So I think this series is coming together really well and I continue to really enjoy this couple. I am very much looking forward to the next full book in the series to see what else is in store for Simon and Vic.