by Justin GustainisPublished by: Angry Robot Publish Date: July 26, 2011 Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Investigation Source: EBook provided by author for review My Rating: Summary from 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.File Under: Urban Fantasy (Dial V For Vampire | Forbidden Spells | Bite Club | Scranton By Night ) My Review: Hard Spell is a cop/investigation novel, with the supernatural/paranormal mixed in. Stan is a long-time cop in the Supernatural division of the Scranton Police Department. This means that Stan gets do deal with vampires, witches, trolls, werewolves and all sorts of other paranormal creatures. Anytime a paranormal element is involved in a crime, either Stan or another member of the Supe division are called to investigate. Stan has issues with vampires, and in Hard Spell he is called to investigate the strange, sacrificial style deaths of vampires by a dangerous wizard out to change the world as we know it. With his new partner Karl, and sporadic help from the vampire leader, Stan has to apprehend the wizard, before it’s too late.
I really like Hard Spell, all of the supernatural/paranormal elements are in place, with the main characters keeping them in line. Now, the setting is Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is a great setting. However, I am a long-time fan of the US TV show “The Office” which is also based in Scranton. So, I have to admit, that for the fist 10% of the book or so, I kept chuckling to myself, hoping Michael Scott would jump out at any second (if you are familiar with The Office, I think you would understand). Thankfully, this was not the case, and I got to know Stan Markowski, investigator of supernatural crime. It is evident that Stan has to deal with a lot of crap in his line of work, and the danger level is pretty high, considering the supernatural status of his investigations. Stan is a good cop, he has bias towards vampires, but he still manages to get the job done. I also like Karl, Stan’s new partner. Karl and Stan develop a strong partnership, and while they are in the supernatural division, they are still cops.
The Paranormal/Supernatural community was excellent. All manner of paranormal creatures are there, from vampires and werewolves down to goblins and witches. Hard Spell creates a world where supernaturals and regular humans manage to co-exist successfully. The police force is equipped to handle the supernaturals. I really loved the supernatural SWAT team, with priests and Jesuit special-forces and silver bullets. The mythology of the paranormal mixed right in with an urban city, and the result is a very creative city setting.
The author captures the feel of the cop world and the dynamics between the cops, their superiors, and each other. I can totally see this book as a series on TV, with the local cops chasing the local paranormal riff-raf. The story was fun, the situations were dangerous, and the outcome was unexpected. Hard Spell is a very good read, one I recommend to fans of Urban Fantasy, paranormal, or even cop dramas.
If you would like to read this book, you can find it at AMAZON.