“Badlands” by Morgan Brice features Sebastian Simon Kincaide (Simon), whose psychic talent and background in folklore stands him in good stead when his town is plagued by a serial killer. Lieutenant Vic D’Amato has relocated and started over, never expecting that his homicide investigations are going to force him to deal with a man who believes in the very things that Vic’s brush with cost him so much in the past.
This adult m/m urban fantasy is loosely connected to “Witchbane” and “Dark Rivers” but is set in Myrtle Beach. The tension ratchets up even as the connection between the main characters intensifies and having some of the clues to the mystery provided by ghosts gives the tale an intriguing twist. I was caught by the characters and the chemistry between them, but the paranormal aspect really set the story apart and kept it from becoming too predictable. I wasn’t thrilled by a choice that one character made and thought the decision to handle something by himself was pretty ridiculous, given all that had gone before that, but I enjoyed the tension and the unfolding of the mystery. I am looking forward to reading more in this series and the connecting books written as Gail Z. Martin.
Medium and clairvoyant Simon Kincaide owns a Myrtle Beach boardwalk shop where he runs ghost tours, holds séances, and offers private psychic readings, making a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal. But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.