Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Narrator:: Gomez Pugh
Publisher: JCP Books
Run Time: 5 Hours, 57 Minutes
At a Glance: I have one word for the PsyCop series and Gomez Pugh’s narration: perfection.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Victor Bayne’s job as a PsyCop involves tracking down dead people and getting them to spill their guts about their final moments. It’s never been fun, per se. But it’s not usually this annoying.
Vic has just moved in with his boyfriend Jacob, he can’t figure out where anything’s packed, and his co-worker is pressuring him to have a housewarming party. Can’t a guy catch a break?
On a more sinister note, Vic discovers there’s absolutely no trace of him online. No trace of anyone else who trained at “Camp Hell,” either. Everyone Vic knows has signed a mysterious set of papers to ensure his “privacy.” The contracts are so confidential that even Vic has never heard of them. But Jacob might have.
What other secrets has Jacob been keeping?
Review: One thing I’ve discovered after listening to Gomez Pugh’s three previous performances in the PsyCop series is that by now I can anticipate the characters’ voices before he speaks. I can hear in my head Vic’s sardonic and deadpan drawl, Jacob’s husky sex voice, and Crash’s wiseass sarcasm dripping from nearly every word he speaks. The tone and cadence are there even before Mr. Pugh utters a single syllable, and the same goes for Carolyn, Lisa, Zig, and Miss Mattie. Listening to this series come to life has been like eavesdropping on a conversation between old friends.
There are a great many brilliant things Jordan Castillo Price does in this series, one of them is to contrast the bizarreness that is Victor Bayne’s life with the stability Jacob brings to it—rather mundane things like a home and a partnership. If anything concerning Victor or Jacob could ever be considered mundane, that is. In this installment of the series we now get a good taste of what Vic’s abilities do to Jacob, and let me tell you, it’s kinda kinky and really sexy. Among all the secrets floating around in Secrets–things Jacob is keeping from Victor, something everyone has been keeping from Victor—is something it’s impossible to miss: how Jacob truly feels about Victor.
The biggest revelation in Secrets is leading us directly to Camp Hell. Or, maybe that should be a lack of revelation because according to the internet, Heliotrope Station never existed. And for that matter, neither does Jacob. For a guy who has no presence on the information superhighway, someone, or a lot of someones, are keeping an awful close eye on our favorite medium. Part of the fun of having already read all the books in this series is knowing what’s coming next, and knowing what’s coming next for Gomez Pugh to narrate to us? Gah! The anticipation is killer.
The paranormal crime being investigated in Secrets is ghastly and ghostly, and it begins to take its toll on Jacob personally, while Lisa’s psych abilities begin to take a toll on her in both a mental and emotional way. I loved seeing Vic step in and step up in this novella to champion Lisa, and I loved listening to him attempt to figure out Crash, where he stands with Jacob, and simply try to understand what’s best summed up as the total erasure of his past as well as his virtual non-existence now—imagine being the corporeal specter in one’s own life, having memories of the days you’ve lived, remembering the work you’ve done, but having no tangible confirmation to prove you’ve been where you’ve been or done what you’ve done. It’s a pretty cool web JCP has woven for Victor, and now the fun will be watching him work his way through all the tangles.
This series is so many things: other-wordly and all-consuming, with characters it’s impossible not to feel on page, and now have come to life in spoken word. I have one word for the PsyCop series and Gomez Pugh’s narration: perfection.
You can buy Secrets here: