Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Narrator:: Gomez Pugh
Publisher: JCP Books
Run Time: 2 Hours, 59 Minutes
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.
He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or “Stiff”) from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party, and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness’ idea of the world’s hottest guy.
Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer’s not leaving any spirits behind.
Review: When I first discovered gay fiction/romance, Jordan Castillo Price was one of the authors I gorged myself on, her PsyCop series introducing me to two of my all-time favorite characters—Victor Bayne and Jacob Marks—so it seems only appropriate that I’d lose my audiobook virginity to Vic and Jacob and Among the Living, the novella that invites us into a world where the sixth sense isn’t only real but those who are gifted (cursed?) with extra sensory abilities use them to aid the Chicago police force.
Having read all seven books in the series—not to mention all the shorts in between—I feel confident in saying the series just keeps getting better with each installment, and my unfettered joy at hearing Gomez Pugh bring Vic and Jacob to life is probably, on a scale of one to ten, approximately an eleven. Pugh captures Vic’s pragmatism, his skepticism, his sarcasm and drug-blurred awareness, all with the cadence of his voice. Vic’s first meeting with Jacob at a retirement party for his non-psychic partner, Maurice, is nothing short of sizzling, and I have to confess that having sex narrated to me in a voice other than the one in my own head was not an unpleasant experience.
Each voice, each accent Pugh uses to delineate the characters works to keep the narrative clear and the dialogue distinct from one scene to the next, which has always been one of the biggest detractors in my choosing to listen to audiobooks—not only the distinction between characters but also not being read to in a monotonous and lackluster way. Gomez Pugh not only tells the story but animates the characters, from Vic’s languid mannerisms to Jacob’s husky full-of-sex voice, bringing them to life.
At just eighty-nine book pages, two hours and fifty-nine minutes of audio, Among the Living is only a taste of the brilliance yet to come in this series. It gives the reader—or in this case, the listener—a hint of Camp Hell, the “training” facility that left its share of detritus in Vic’s psyche. It’s a peek at the special brand of unusual that is Vic’s life when he investigates a series of murders that are connected by the unusual motif in which the murderer leaves his victims displayed. It’s a beginning to the love story between Vic and Jacob, and the two halves of the same whole that they are.
If you’ve read this series in ebook format but aren’t sure if you could become an audiobook convert, I would recommend starting with a book you already know you love—Among the Living, for example. I enjoyed my first outing enough that I could see myself becoming addicted to the format. If you’re not familiar with Vic and Jacob but already know you love audiobooks, I’d say Among the Living is a great way to introduce yourself to the PsyCop series.
You can buy Among the Living (PsyCop: Book One) here: