Sunday, 29 August 2010

M/M Challenge, Body and Soul by Jordan Castillo Price (Psycop 3)

Psycop 3 continues the story of Victor and Jacob. This time in between looking for a new house or apartment where the two of them can live together, sans ghosts. Victor is involved in a case of three missing people. Unfortunately unlike the previous case (in Criss Cross Psycop 2) where he couldn't seem to get away from the dead, this time they are proving very difficult to locate.

I have to be honest I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the previous story. Saying that, this is still some of the best m/m I have read recently. So I almost feel overly picky even mentioning it.

Unlike the previous story which integrated the mystery with the relationship stuff. This one is more of a story of two parts. The mystery (for me) was not as interesting as the interaction between Jacob and Victor. Though it is interesting seeing how Victor handles himself in his job when he's not working with Jacob (as he did in Psycop 1, and in Psycop 2 Jacob was kind of involved as well, where here the two are separate).

What we do get here is a lot of insight into Victor. He's almost painfully honest with himself to the point where he over analyzes, which kind of leads him into assuming what people are either thinking or are going to say or how they'll react and then he bases his responses on these assumptions. It's no wonder he sometimes struggles with what he's going to say.
"I could feel him staring at the side of my face, waiting for me to have a coherent thought and speak it out loud. He'd gotten eerily adept at not filling in any awkward silences with my over the last couple of months. Damn him."
It's these little touches that let you see how their relationship has developed. Jacob doesn't rush Victor to speak, he waits for the words to come.

Ironically you would think that Jacob would be the one who was most secure in himself and the relationship. He's out at work and with his family, whereas every time Victor gets a new partner he struggles with telling them that he's gay. But here I think we see that Jacob is not maybe as sure of Victor's feelings. You could take this back to the first story when you think about what both of them saw the murder suspect as. (Don't want to give away spoilers for book 1)

I like stories which take protagonists out of their comfort zones. And this story opens with Victor and Jacob at Thanksgiving with Jacob's family. And the presence of children is great because it means the protagonists get asked socially inappropriate questions. Which they then have to decide how or if they're going to answer. Something of a minefield for Victor.

I think when I go back to re-read this one, it will be the domestic and house-hunting scenes that draw me. For me the mystery in this one came second place (apart from how it served to see more of Victor) to the developments in the relationship between Jacob and Victor. I think in this story they have moved to a new level. I still think maybe Victor is a little unsure of himself, which leads to Jacob feeling a little unsure of the relationship as well. But that's what makes it interesting.

Onto Psycop 4.


Chris said...

Even a not-quite-as-good PsyCop book is still very, veryy good. :)

LesleyW said...

Chris - yep. It's still among the best m/m I've read.