Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis is the first book in a new series that mixes urban fantasy with a hard-boiled noir detective tone set in a world where America (and Scranton's) got an uneasy "live and let unlive" relationship with the supernatural. The city of Scranton actually attracts more supernatural elements than most cities so Detective Sergeant Stan Markowski on the Scranton PD's Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit has his hands full. Not only does he carry a badge, but also a crucifix, wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water and a gun loaded with silver bullets.
The writing would fit any police procedural show (just add in the supernatural!) and the story kept me interested. Only warning I would give for new readers is there is a lot of profanity and of course violence. For me, I found it in an odd way, a very fun read even though it definitely has some horror elements. And I found Karl just as interesting as Stan and think the two make a good combination to take on the forces of "evil". Hard Spell is a good book to relax with when you desire to have a bit more realism to the setting while having cops act like cops while dealing with lawbreakers from the supernatural set with a male protagonist. I give this one four out of five stars and look forward to book two in this series!
Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD's Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.
Like the rest of America, Scranton's got an uneasy 'live and let unlive' relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that's when they call Markowski. He carries a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Dial V For Vampire | Forbidden Spells | Bite Club | Scranton By Night ]