Review: Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1) by Justin Gustainis

Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis

Copy Courtesy of Justin Gustanis and Angry Robot Books
Already Released

Stan works for the Supernatural Division of the Scranton Police Department. Scranton, it would seem, is very attractive to the supernatural set. When vampires start turning up dead though, it's Stan's job to figure it all out even if he doesn't like vampires all that much.

This book delivers exactly what it promised - a gritty story about supernatural folk as seen by one mundane cop. It pulls on many existing beliefs about the paranormal especially as it pertains to the undead varieties, but it's almost refreshing to find a story where all the pre-existing rules such as sunrise, silver, holy water, garlic, and wooden stakes apply since so many books throw one or more of them out the window.

You can sense the demons that haunt Stan throughout the book, and the revelations of his background come in piecemeal although the one big revelation does seem a bit forced. He was a realistic and interesting if not particularly happy character to follow.

This will likely appeal to Jim Butcher type fans, and I definitely like the re-purposing that Gustainis has done with a lot of historical events as well as modern-day stuff. All in all, a good and engaging story.

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

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I like old-fashioned vampires and sometimes gritty tales .. the two mixed as they are in this one sounds like a winning combo! Thanks for the review!


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