Throwback review: Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price audiobook version – SO GOOD!

Secrets (PsyCop, #4)Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price
My old rating: 4 of 5 stars
My new rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

As long as Gomez Pugh reads the Psycop series I will listen to them. After each one I beg for more so I’ll continue the same trend – please do the whole series! This has definitely become one of my favorite audiobook series up there with Harry Potter, Iron Druid, Adrian English, Mercy Thompson, and Jane Yellowrock series. So so good. I keep raving about the narrator but it’s not that often you come across a truly spectacular narrator that elevates the book themselves. Just like the other narrators, I’ll read anything Pugh narrates.

But enough about Pugh, if there can ever be enough good things said. Secrets is a fun book with a nicely plotted mystery and good relationship development. Lisa is back, yay!, to team up with Vic and help solve a rape case Jacob and Carolyn are working on. The mystery this time allows all four characters to be present for the majority of the book in a nicely paced way that keeps the book focused and interesting. Additionally Jacob and Vic’s relationship has some good developments and the heat is definitely turned up when Jacob’s considerable focus centers on Vic. I found the story delightful and fun to read. I’m appreciating how the books get longer as the series progresses. I’m pretty impatient to get the entire series so I can listen to it often. Secrets has the strong writing, witty dialogue, and hot sex scenes that showoff JCP’s excellent writing and timing. It’s as good as the first book and definitely has the series hitting its stride. Read it!

Old review…still relevant.

The fourth book in the series harkens back to the style of the first and creates addictive dialogue, entertaining prose, and a quick pace to the story that is as engaging as the first in the series. Although the last two books had some plot problems – weak and unfocused – this particular offering combines Vic’s work with Jacob’s and allows the focus to tighten with great results. The focus on Vic and Jacob’s relationship alongside a case they are both working on allows both the police/ghost case to shine while looking deeper at their relationship. For fans of the series, you won’t want to miss this installment but those new to the series should start at the beginning. Readers can read this as a stand alone, enough information is reiterated so readers won’t be lost, but the depth and context are greater in the series.

Here Vic and Jacob have moved in together but before they can unpack Jacob is called in on a sex crime at a retirement home but with a twist that may need Vic’s special talents. In the meantime, Vic is left wandering around their home with barely any idea of how to unpack or what to do with himself. This leads to trouble of course and Vic realizes that everyone around him is “in” on the secret to keep him a mystery and hidden. Between the pill popping, the investigation into Vic’s online presence (or lack thereof), and Jacob’s new mystery case, the two are in over their heads in ghosts, secrets, problems, and potential pitfalls.

The police case in this particular offering is much tighter and more interesting than the past two books. Jacob’s rape case in the retirement home leads to some paranormal action and thus Vic and a surprise cameo of Lisa must work with Jacob and Carolyn to find some answers. The fact that the police case allows all four to work together helps keep a tight focus and quick pace to the story without wandering off in any one direction. The problems and issues Jacob and Vic face from jealousy to lies to uncomfortable conversations are not a separate tangent as in the other books but tightly woven into the main police case. Whereas in the past the various cases Vic worked on felt inconsequential and forgettable, the force of Jacob’s dynamic personality combined with the chemistry between Jacob and Vic to give a more interesting and riveting narrative. This keeps the pace consistent from scene to scene without needing too many side trips.

The relationship between Vic and Jacob also gains more depth as previously I’d worried that Jacob seems to only be with Vic because of his psychic abilities. Clearly this is part of Vic’s appeal for Jacob but considering the absolute mess Vic is, there has to be an appeal somewhere besides good sex so I’m not as uncomfortable with the theme as in previous books. Instead the mistakes and flaws Jacob exposes are refreshing and humanizing, showing a man with more texture and interest than the perfection Vic sees. Vic is slowly gaining insight into his talent and finally the need for control – other than pharmaceutical based – is sinking into his head.

The writing is good with few awkward pauses and information dumps. There is enough reiterated information that a new reader won’t be lost and old readers can catch up but less jarring commentary. Instead the dialogue and prose keep the story moving quickly and easily with Vic’s engaging voice and first person narration. The pill popping, ghost hunting, and relationship challenges make for a thoroughly entertaining story and the mixture of all of those into one tight, cohesive plot makes this one of the best in the series. Be sure to pick up this series if you haven’t, it’s quick and composed entirely of novellas so each fast story is a delight.

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