Criss Cross by Jordan Castillo Price (PsyCop #2)
Regina’s Review: 4 stars Grade: A
Book purchased from Amazon.
Criss Cross starts off right where Among the Living left off. Jacob is homeless due to the events in Among the Living and staying with Vic. The transition is not easy on Vic, but the guys’ relationship is new, Jacob seems confident and Vic, typical to his personality – – internally worries and questions everything. JCP hits so many things right with this series and this book is no exception.
Setting: Urban and Chicago. JCP gets it so right. She knows the city. The opening scene begins with Vic fishing with his partner – sounds ideal right? Ha – not if you are fishing on the Southside of Chicago. Here is an excerpt from that scene,
“A train clanged by to the north of us and the scream of a siren drifted by from a stretch of elevated highway. Nature.”
Ha – nature in Chicago.
Characters: JCP gradually introduced 4 key characters in Among the Living. There is no overloading of people and readers do not need to try and keep names straight. JCP slowly leads readers into her stories. She puts flesh on the characters and lets them out to play so we can get to know them. We see their flaws and some of their good qualities. Criss Cross continues with the main four characters (Carolyn, Jacob, Vic, and Lisa) and adds another character – Crash. Crash, what a fun character – a little bit punk, a little bit new age and a lot of attitude.
“A man’s hand, wrist covered in black O-ring bracelets and silver on every finger … Crash was maybe thirty, with spiked-up bleached white hair and a ring through his nose.”
While the story is told from Vic’s first person point of view, each character seems to exist independent of Vic. Vic’s insecurities and worries continue. In that same fishing scene, Vic asks,
“Shouldn’t I have, uh … a lifejacket on?”
His partner answers,
“S’okay, Victor. Water ain’t but waist high.”
Poor Vic, he makes me want to hold his hand, the guy never gets a break.
Drama: JCP builds up to it slowly. We meet new characters, we get re-acquainted with the ones we already knew and then bam – the drama begins. Not all is well with Vic, he is sick and has to undergo numerous tests. But don’t worry, despite his problems, Vic is the same old lovable, insecure and worried guy,
“I thought of the not-gay brochure I’d stuffed into my back jeans pocket.”
“She slipped a pamphlet into my hands. On the cover was a triangle with a rainbow inside and I nearly spewed the bagel the nurse had given me. Jesus Christ, how’d she know I was gay? It was the blowjob. They’d found traces of semen in my mouth. Oh God, I was so fired. And then I’d lose my health coverage, and then my liver would explode.”
Poor Vic, not only does he have to deal with seeing dead people everywhere he has to worry about his employer finding out that he is gay, his employer finding out that he is dating another cop and now he has health issues.
Sex: JCP can write SEX (all caps necessary to express how damned well she writes the sex). These books are not for readers sensitive to sex scenes and they are not for readers who are bothered by gay relationships.
In the end (after witty dialogue, action, and mystery), Vic surprises himself – and the readers. PsyCop is one of my favorite urban fantasy series and I highly recommend it.
Ms. Price has written a number of books in this series, the main novels and novellas are for sale, but she offers the in between short stories free (for the most part) on her website:
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