Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigati) Mass Market Paperback – July 26, 2011
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Silent Corner" by Dean Koontz
A dazzling new series, a pure adrenaline rush, debuts with Jane Hawk, a remarkable heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“A cool mix of cop show and creature feature. Gustainis had me at ‘meth-addicted goblins’.” - Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the Skinners series
“A magical mystery tour of a murder case rife with supernatural suspects. Sit down for an enchanted evening of otherworldly entertainment!” - Laura Resnick, author of Unsympathetic Magic & Vamparazzi
“Hard Spell deals with hardened professionals looking for supernatural things hiding under rocks, and then dragging them out and giving them a good kicking. The cops act like real cops, the vampires act like real vampires, and the monsters aren’t messing about. The plot twists and turns like a twisty turny thing, and moves like a weasel on speed. The real things feel real, and the supernatural things feel like they might be. The prose is a joy to read, and the whole thing was more fun than is probably legal.” - Simon R Green
“Punchy dialogue, a fun alternate history, explosive action, and a hero whose monsters haunt him even beyond the job… Gustainis has given us a fantastic supernatural cop story that just dares you to put it down!” - Chris Marie Green, author of the Vampire Babylon and Bloodlands books
“I enjoyed every page of Hard Spell. If Sam Spade and Jack Fleming were somehow melted together, you’d get Stan Markowski. I can’t wait to see what Gustainis does next.” - Lilith Saintcrow, author of Night Shift and Working for the Devil
“A winning mix of urban fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction.” - Jennifer Estep, author of the Elemental Assassin series
"If you’re looking for an author who does gritty cop thriller blended with film noir accompanied by a good helping of Urban Fantasy then you really can’t do better than Justin Gustainis." -Falcata Times
"I was hooked on the very first page." -Lesa's Book Critiques
"Gustainis has had plenty of practice with his art, and here he shows off his exemplar writing skills in a truly entertaining novel." -Theresa Derwin, www.terror-tree.co.uk
"Hard-hitting, gritty detective novel meets the paranormal in a witty and entertaining read." -www.fluidityoftime.blogspot.com
"Hard Spell is hugely entertaining, enjoyable and just downright awesome." -www.walkerofworlds.com
"Hard Spell is a very good read, one I recommend to fans of Urban Fantasy, paranormal, or even cop dramas." - www.booksavvybabe.com
"This is definitely a book I will read over and over again!" - The Bibliophilic Book Blog
"Genre mash-ups seem to be all the rage these days, and Justin Gustainis' Hard Spell is a perfect example of how to do them right." - Kate Sherrod, www.kateofmind.blogspot.com
"...non-stop cop drama with a nice dose of paranormal." - Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog
"This is a really fun read, and is a great start to a new urban fantasy series..." - Suzanne Johnson, author of the upcoming Royal Street
"Hard Spell is a good bit of paranormal fiction that is more crime novel than paranormal one. The two elements are mixed well together, and I would certainly enjoy reading another mystery of the Occult Crimes unit in the future." -John Ottinger, www.graspingforthewind.com
"Justin Gustainis has given us one of the best supernatural cop stories I’ve ever read." -www.mysterysuspence.blogspot.com
"Full of suspense, drama, and magic, Gustainis has created another fine fantasy series with interesting characters and riveting mystery. With fast-paced adventure and plenty of twists, the novel was impossible to put down. This new series debut is a must-read for urban fantasy fans." -www.scifichick.com
"Much to my surprise, this was a story that worked well as both an urban fantasy and as a police procedural. Take away the supernatural elements, and there is still a good detective story here, but it's the mix of the two that make this such a great read." -www.bibrary.blogspot.com
"Gustainis writes with the kind of economy that you might expect in the more standard brand of hard-boiled tale, but he also has a knack for invoking the eerie menace of the supernatural – without going all florid and purple prose on the reader. He skillfully introduces the history of his world’s supernatural elements and brings together his cast of characters in a way that would make Dashiell Hammett or Robert B. Parker proud. His villain’s plan is audacious and well thought out." -Sheldon A. Wiebe, Eclipse Magazine
About the Author
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.
After earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.
Following military service, he held a variety of jobs, including speechwriter and professional bodyguard, before earning a Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State University, where he earned the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002. The author lives in Plattsburgh, New York.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Stan has to keep something bad from becoming even worse and that ain't always easy. ( Sorry no spoilers here)
Hope to see more of Stan and his partner Karl along with more depth about them. Nice level of sarcastic humor and a good pace.
Definitely recommend the Occult Crimes Unit series.
It's fun for me to see how the author treats the area and it's residents, with a healthy dose of reality, even if it is an urban fantasy.
Okay, there are some mistakes, which would matter only to someone like myself who lives here, Clarks Summit is on the wrong side of the county and he actually means Waverly for the mega rich snobs. Also Abington Heights is a school district, not a muni, and actually encompasses both Clarks Summit and Waverly. But most else is spot on, including the Rite Aid (the first store in the chain actually, I am in there all the time) on Spruce Street, as well as the corruption locally. Oh, and the University of Scranton which is locally referred to as "The (or more often Da) U".
As far as the story, it is well written, and unlike others it doesn't get bogged down in over blown fight scenes. It has plenty of action nonetheless, as well as humor. The characters are well done and I see that more of their backgrounds and the whole universe he has created will be expanded in future stories. I look forward to them, even without the local angle.
If you enjoy the Dresden Files and the Nightside books you will really enjoy this series.
I am looking forward to reading the next two stories in the series. And if Gustainis wants a local to help with references I am wiling to help.
The protagonist is a hard lived cop living in a small town. Vamps, witches and sorcerers abound and his team is the one that has to deal with the mess. This is not a kids book. Adult characters and a lot of violence make this book a quick, fun read. Highly recommended.
Straightforward story, well written. Main drawbacks: as other reviewers have noted, the supernaturals are standard-issue, and the prose, while fine, doesn't have quite the sweeping pull of the Elders of the Genre. I skimmed over a few sections in the 80%-ish area that slowed down the story unnecessarily. No X-Ray, chapters, or page numbers.
The things I liked: Straightforward cop, decent chap, not the bestubbled battler of personal problems that you see so often these days. Good clean prose, without the problems that you see so... Good plotting, with no "HEY, wait a minutes" when you finish the book, because with hindsight you've seen a glaring plot blunder. Some reviewers found the police procedural template a bit dry; I did not, as I do enjoy PP's, and this one is a nice example. There are small touches of clever humor, (to paraphrase, "All right goblins come out with your claws up") that I enjoyed greatly, and seem to be part of this author's unique flavor. They offset the dryness very well. They do tail off a bit towards the end, as the story accelerates.
I hope this direct story-telling and the humor continue in the later members of the series, which I will certainly read.
So, in summary, a good cross-genre urban fantasy and traditional police procedural that works (and reads) well.
Enough disclosure. This is a outstanding series. It is hard hitting with flawed lead characters. They have their own problems that are very real and they are forced to deal with them and develop new challenges. The main character is a police office that joined the supernatural squad to get a chance to kill the blood suckers that took his family. He is a cop. He thinks like a cop. He talks like a cop. The people he works with are cops. The author did a truly outstanding job in capturing that cop look and feel in a world where vampires and werewolves and demons are just another perp, or victim. Great character arc though the book and through the entire series. This is what Anita Blake should have been. But Justin does a much better job and dangit, I read this one in a single setting. Not that it was short, but I was riveted. Well done.
Get all three in the series. Hopefully there will be more. The action is believable. The dialog is spot on. Cop humor and outright fear that the main character, or characters, are simply not going to make it. You best set some time aside as you won't be putting this one down.
In the first book, he spent some time showing the world, i.e. a president that had a closeted werewolf etc. There was a cheesy reference or two to some old cop TV shows, but after the first few pages, all that fell away and holy smokes, what a ride.