Friday, July 22, 2011

Decidedly Deft Detective

Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis

* Received this book from the author for review
* Will be released July 26, 2011

This book gets a grand 4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes for having an old school detective story type atmosphere and for being full of paranormal goodness.  Hard Spell was so much fun to read and would make for an excellent TV show or movie. The cover may look a tad cheese-tastic but it really fits will with the spirit of the story.

I of course wanted to read this book because it takes place in Scranton, PA (the home of one of my favorite TV shows, The Office).  The setting and tone of the book make it a must read.  It reads like a film noir type novel in places but also happens to have a lot of f-bombs and some great humor which makes for an exceptionally enjoyable read.  It’s kind of like NYPD Blue, Psych, and Supernatural  all blended together to make some kind of beautiful demon baby.  I found myself giggling in the first chapter when they are called to a crime scene that features meth addicted goblins robbing a store.

Stan Markowski is a cop who solves crimes that deal with supernatural beings.  He seems like the quintessential hard-boiled detective who knows how to get the job done.  He and his partner Karl have a lot to do when a case takes a weirder turn then usual.  If they don’t solve this case it could be the end of the world, for real.  

There are a wide range of paranormal creatures/beings in the story.  Vampires, Sorcerers, and witches are prominently featured.  All of the magic mixed with everything else makes for quite the wild ride.  

There are some potential love interests but they don’t go beyond potential, at least for now anyway.  It was great to see the different people that Stan cares about and watch relationships develop.  Stan’s a character who actually seems to grow wiser and more tolerant as the book goes along.

Like any great mystery there are some red herrings and danger aplenty.  The duo of Stan and Karl are almost killed multiple times and kept guessing about what exactly is going on.  

This book has an extremely satisfying ending and I know I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My favorite quotes:
"I was never a Boy Scout, but "Be Prepared" is still a good motto to live by. Especially if you plan to keep on living."

"Speaking of the devil doesn't necessarily make him appear – but it might."

You've read the review and seen my favorite quotes so now take a look at the book trailer for Hard Spell.

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