Review of Partners (PsyCop #1-2), by Jordan Castillo Price

Psycops: PartnersI’ve had Partners, by Jordan Castillo Price on my wish list for a while. My husband recently bought it for me. (See, I knew there was a reason I married that man.)

Description from Goodreads:
Featuring two PsyCop novels, Among the Living and Criss Cross, this volume will leave you on the edge of you seat, wanting more.

In Among the Living, Victor is a PsyCop, also known as a member of the Paranormal Investigation team. He’s not popular with the living, as most people consider him a little odd, but the ghosts of violent crimes can’t wait to tell him all about their deaths. His new case pairs him with Jacob, a non-psychic who works in sex crimes. Victor and Jacob have a history, and as they and work together to solve a set of serial crimes, they begin to explore the possibilities of a future. The case is like nothing they’ve ever experienced, and soon Victor finds that he’s the only one who can solve the crime, and save Jacob’s life. If he’s not too late.

In Criss Cross, Vic figures life is pretty good. He’s got his lover, Jacob. He’s got some time off to go fishing, and his new partner in the Paranormal Investigation Team buys the coffee. Naturally, nothing that good can last. When Vic starts to see ghosts everywhere, things go very wrong, resulting in a trip to his doctor, who says he’s got problems. Vic’s friends tell Jacob he has to leave for Vic to get better, sex is starting to get dangerous, and Vic’s abilities are getting out of hand. Can he and Jacob figure out what’s happening in time to save Vic from becoming a pawn in a dangerous game?

Review:

Among the Living
I am a total sucker for M/M cop stories. I just am. I admit it. And I found Vic and Jacob a wonderful combo—one so willing to pursue and one barely keeping up with the idea of being pursed, but not resisting either.
I also liked that the language was real and not glossed for PCness. How do I express this? At one point, for example, Vic states that a room was full of black boys. But as a reader you understood that this was nothing more than a physical description of the people inhabiting the room. There was no judgement inherent in it or slight intended and thus Vic could skirt the ‘is it PC to say this’ question. It got around the overly scrutinized way many Americans’ sphincter clenches in fear every-time someone dares describe a racial minority. (Please don’t get me wrong, in the same way I appreciated the book’s frankness, I don’t mean to trivialize or demean the very real stresses that still exist in America. But after several years living abroad, I’ve come to appreciate that not only our utter inability to even talk about the subject, but also our unwillingness/inability to allow the language around race to become normalized and uncharged is prohibitive and I was impressed by the authors willingness to allow the color of a character’s skin to be as normal and non-angsty as hair color. Plus, there simply were characters of color.) Similarly, Vic’s observation of his own and the victims’ gayness felt natural and non-titillated.

While I enjoyed the mystery, I was bothered more than once that Vic had information that the other detectives needed but he never provided. And I thought Lisa’s contribution made the whole thing feel a little too easy.

All in all, though, I really quite enjoyed it.

Criss Cross
Again, I quite enjoyed this story by Price. I’ll definitely be looking to finish the series and keeping my eyes open for others. I found Vic and Jacob hot together and Jacob is just so wonderfully accepting and understanding. He makes me swoon.

I did think Vic came across as pretty wimpy for a lot of the novella, though I understand he was kind of experiencing constant trauma. I also thought  it was all a little predictable. I had it figured out quite early and I thought the plot line (as in who was the bad guy, etc) was one I had read many times before, even if not necessarily with the psychic aspect. And, for being the elite of the bureau they sure don’t seem to vet their officers very well.

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