Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hard Spell by Justin Gutsainis

Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: July 7, 2100
Source: Net Galley

Book Blurb (courtesy of GoodReads)

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.

My Review

I loved this book! Set in Scanton, Pennsylvania, a veritable hotbed of paranormal activity, Stan Markowski and his new partner, Karl Renfer, race the clock trying to find out who ritualistically killed a powerful vampire magician.  When a spell goes seriously awry, Stan is unwittingly responsible for putting another close friend and colleague in terrible danger.

The uneasy, untested relationship between Stan and Karl was realistic and believable.  As their partnership gained cohesion there developed between them a camaraderie and trust that felt very natural.  Adversity and occasional set-backs only further cemented their partnership. This book combines nail-biting suspense and contemporary forensic science with a magical element full of twists resulting in the creation of a story that is totally captivating and difficult to put down.  I hope this is but the first in a series and there are more escapades in store for us in future installments.  Reminiscent of Jim Butcher’s, Dresden Files series and P.N. Elrod’s, Vampire Files, but with a decidedly darker, snarkier tone, this is an author to keep on your radar screen.

Thanks so much to Net Galley and Angry Robot who provided this book to me in return for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Reviewed b


mike draper said...

Hi Laurie,
I enjoyed your review. I have a niece living in Scranton. I'll have to tell her that it's a hotbed of paranormal activity. She'll get a kick out of that.

Lena said...

So he is like a paranormal dective of sorts. Kinda reminds me of the tv series, Supernatural.

I am a new follower, enjoying your blog. I am also a Twitter follower and sent you a Goodreads friends request. Looking forward to staying connected.

Great reviews!

Laurie said...

Hi Mike!! thanks for the smile...I really think you would enjoy Hard Spell

Hi Lena - Thanks for finding my blog and I appreciate the follow :). Supernatural hadn't crossed my mind but now that I think about it....you're absolutely right. I really liked the short-ran Dresden Files from a few years ago, but of course, it was canceled before the first season even ended, I think...

Donna said...

What a great review. Thanks. I am following you back. Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog. Hope to visit a lot in the future. Donna


Laurie said...

Hi Donna, Thanks so much for the follow-back. I got such a kick out of your story about shooting the snake....what a blast! Look forward to more!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I almost reviewed this book, but was hesitant because of the male lead character. I will have to check this out now. :)