Scranton, the strangest city on earth has 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 me.
"My name’s Markowski, a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD’s Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit. I carry a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets."
Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings. He is currently a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State University. His popular series of urban fantasy novels featuring investigator Quincey Morris include Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman, and the forthcoming Sympathy for the Devil.
©2011 Justin Gustainis (P)2014 Audible Ltd
I was really hoping to like this. I'm a fan of the paranormal detective/thriller genre. But apart from being superficially 'noirish', this was deeply disappointing. It's gravely lacking in any of the attributes that make the genre engaging. It does nothing creative with any of the various paranormal mythologies. The plot is predictably structured and plods along. But all that would be forgivable if the characters had any depth or humour or a spark of intelligence.
It was not helped by the clichéd and annoying narration.
I mostly likes me some sword and sorcery, not really in to sifi but theirs a place in my library for anything from John Scalzi.
From the author maybe.
The narrator no, not even if it was the next Dresden book.
Change narrator, only the main guy and characters with one or two lines had a "normal" voice. All most every one else had an over the top almost slap stick voice. Guys first partner was described as a big guy bit over weight, Brook makes him sound like like that big dumb guy from the old merry melodies cartoons, he was only missing the "duh which way did he go George". (Spoiler warning) Sorry but I was glad when he died in the very beginning of the book so i didn't have to hear to much of it. Others are more annoying others less but over all it really kills the feel of the story.
If I could pick, Michael Kramer or William Dufris. There two of my favorite but both also have a wight range of normal sounding voices to pull from.
Story wasn't bad, could be polished a bit better.
I don't know who this Peter Brook is but he should narrate children books. That's about the only place I can see those voices fitting in and not killing a story.
I commute about 3 hours a day so I go through ALOT of books! I prefer stories that take me away from reality... what does that say about me
The narrator. He is the worst perfomer I have ever heard. His "voices" are ridiculous. It sounded like a stupid cartoon. I was unable to get past chapter 2. And that is a shame because the premise of the story seemed like it might be really good. But I will never listen to this narrator again.
never finished it. I will be returning it due to the ridiculous performance of the narrator.
He destroyed it.
Please! re-record this book with a good performer.
I really liked this book. A new voice in urban fantasy with all the requisites! But Peter Brooks pronounces werewolf we'arwolf and coven co-ven. Grr! And a coupleof his voice choices don't jibe with the written characteristics. Like Prescott isn't a 13 year old boy.
I love the hard-bitten urban cop type of story - and when you throw in a few vampires and witches it's even more fun - but really, the narrator used comic book voices for all but the main character and makes them just sound silly. Whoever produced this one needs to be sent to his room without supper - this should have been stopped before more than a chapter was recorded!
Would love to continue with the series - but a new narrator would sure help the experience!
A shame that this book book didn't have a decent reader. Narrator voice is far to young and his character voices made it impossible to listen to.
Not with this reader
In every imaginable way
Probably a decent story. A shame that this reader was cast.
I was a 'readaholic' for most of my life. I started crochet and other hobbies. That took away from my reading time. I discovered audio books at the library. That set me off. now, that I am older my eyes make it too difficult to read. So I now am a very diligent audio book listener!
I am not sure. The plot is a little too predictable. It just plods along, something happens then plods along. Portions of story could have been cut with out affecting plot.
I have not listened to his books before. The story line seemed intresting.
No. I will say Peter Brooks did an adequate job. He did seem to get carried away with some character interpretations. These came across as comical in many instances.
I did enjoy some of the facts spaced out in book other wise nothing was inspired.
I like books with humor and heroics. I like the good old fashion good guy.
The reader try's to do women voice which threw me out the story. The last 20 minutes dragged on. The character were disappointing and made ridiculous decisions. I read a lot paranormal fantasy series but this one I won't continue with
Justin Gustainis is a fine writer, and a great addition to the Urban Fantasy genre. I really love the Occult Crimes Unit. And Peter Brook is an outstanding reader. Every character has a distinct voice, accent, and mannerism. This is what I expect in an audiobook, and all too rarely get. If you enjoy good Urban Fantasy, and an excellent reading, this book will repay you in full.
I would make the main characters a little more like real people instead of caricatures. The angry cop, with the angry boss just gets old real fast. He's a troubled man carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders... Please! And give some of your secondary characters a bit of intelligence. Your main guys aren't exactly rocket scientists. When they're portrayed as the sharp ones, the guys around them start looking like plant life. It's just lazy writing.
First one. I'm not planning on a second.
Yes. By making them all sound like cartoon characters. It's bad when you cheer when a character dies, but if I had to listen to Brook's interpretation of Paul for more than a few pages I would have deleted the book right then. He sounds like that old sheepdog from the Warner Brothers cartoons. And the captain sounds like a bad impression of Jimmy Stewart. I like Carl, but I don't know how he got from Brooklyn to Scranton. His woman's voices are just grating.
I'm indifferent to it. I'm from Northeast Pa., so I'd like to see a successful series of books based in Scranton. But not if they don't get a lot better that this one.
"A perfect recipe."
I haven't had the pleasure of the print version - as yet.
I wouldn't be able to settle on a favourite. The whole is so good and better than its parts.
His ability, within his vocal tones, to be able to "portray" women, nationalities, accents, etc. he also has a wonderful sense of the funny parts but doesn't make his performance feel like someone has just held up a "Laugh" board to the listener.
Oh, most certainly.
It was simply my ideal mixture, but with added humour for spice. Please keep them coming, Mr Gustianis!
"Refreshing and Funny!"
A fantastic story, it mixes the the urban fantasy with the crime detective novel and adds comedy. The story line keeps you interested to the end, with all the twists and turns you would expect from a detective story. The author also allows the character to grow on you! Stan reminded me of Harry Dresden but with a real detectives brain and no magic!
"Not as good as Dresden Files or Rivers of London"
Two problems with this. First is that the story just seems a bit too predictable, even for a crime story pastiche. You can see certain plot points a mile off. Second is the narration - there's some truly over the top accents which seem to be there just to telegraph who's speaking when. Worst offence is a Japanese origin character who "speaks better English than me" being voiced with a chop sockey style.
I'd stick to Dresden Files or Rivers of London.
I liked this book, to a point. The story is good and the narrator does an okay job, but there are certain things that just irritated me.
The author seems obsesses with porn and mentions it incessantly, even when it has absolutely no relevance to the storyline. At times your lucky if he goes more than a few paragraphs without a mention of it.
My other problem is the narrator. He does an okay job but some of his voices are really annoying and grated on me a little.
Other than that the book is worth a listen, and I probably would give another in the series a try.
"Nasty, small-minded, plodding stuff"
If you're looking for something along the lines of Harry Dresden or Felix Castor, don't look here. This book gives you the most worn-out conventions of police procedural combined with supernatural elements that seem present purely to give the 'good guys' something else to be bigoted about. Genuinely nasty.
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