Review: Camp Hell (PsyCop #5) by Jordan Castillo Price


Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publication Date: December 10, 2008
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 292 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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Victor Bayne honed his dubious psychic skills at one of the first psych training facilities in the country, Heliotrope Station, otherwise known as Camp Hell to the psychics who’ve been guests behind its razorwire fence.

Vic discovered that none of the people he remembers from Camp Hell can be found online, and there’s no mention of Heliotrope Station itself, either. Someone’s gone through a lot of trouble to bury the past. But who?

This is my favorite out of all the PsyCop books so far. Also note that this is the longest PsyCop book of the first five books. Even though this is my favorite of the bunch, I do have a few concerns that I’ll address later in this review. After all the secrets in Secrets and Vic not getting the answers he needed, he decides to go to the one person who might be able to help him out. From prison.

Vic is nearing forty, but his anxiety and low self-confidence makes him seem much younger, especially when compared to mid-forties confident Jacob. Vic does venture out alone at times and when he does, he winds up questioning the guy who was wiling to fake smiles, be his PsyCop partner, and kidnap him in book three – Roger Burke. Roger’s not a good, wholesome guy like he initially pretended to be, and now that he’s in prison, his true personality shines though. Vic doesn’t have leverage against Roger and Roger knows that Vic wants information about Camp Hell. Vic’s memory is spotty, or otherwise missing when it comes to his Camp Hell days. And when Roger can’t give him what he’s looking for, he manages to seek out the one person who might – his ex-boyfriend from Camp Hell-turned-psychiast, Stefan Russell.

Stefan goes by Steven Russeau these days and co-owns his own practice. While Vic hasn’t physically changed much from his Camp Hell days, Vic notes that Stefan is considerably older and much more middle-aged looking that he’d expected when they do meet up. Stefan’s does use hypnosis on his patients, and when the opportunity arises to do so with Vic to get his memories back? We walk down quite a few chapters with Vic into his younger days with a much younger Stefan. I love the flashback scenes. I know some people hate flashback scenes in general, but I really liked discovering a new side to Vic we hadn’t seen before. The Vic before the social anxiety and when he was just free to wreck havoc and get high off anything he could get his hands on with his boyfriend.

There’s a mysterious case Vic works on with Zigler and it winds up scaring me a lot. Reminder that if you get scared or creeped out easily, consider reading Camp Hell during the day and not in the dead of night.

Jacob. Mr. Sexy Pants. The sex is still hot between Vic and Jacob. But there’s this tension between them now. I don’t want my OTP to fight or get into angsty situations, so it pains me to see them disagree about anything at all. The book wraps up with them in much better graces with each other, but it does get a bit hairy for a second.

“Going behind Mister Perfect’s back. That’s fucking hilarious. You guys think you’re so virtuous because you both fall into the same bed every night, but I’ll bet you haven’t had a single conversation that was a hundred percent honest. You know what? You two deserve each other.”

I love Vic. So far, his psychic ability outside of seeing dead people is producing balloon of white light to protect himself or to ward off other spirits. I think it’s hilarious that Vic’s gotten around to naming it a “white condom” though, even when the situations he’s placed in totally calls for all seriousness.

Now, some concerns I did have with this book that I hadn’t noticed really with the previous books. There’s a administrative assistant named Laura who is just gets referred to as “Asian”. This book was published quite a few years ago, so I could give that a pass for not clearly just stating which “Asian” ethnicity she is. The thing that gets me is that near the end of the book, Laura is presumably referenced again by another character who indicate to Vic that Laura’s behind something big that just happened by pulling his eyes back. If that’s not the most racist thing I’ve ever read about Chinese people, I don’t know what is (and at this point, Vic does refer to Laura as Chinese because of this…incident *rolls eyes*).

There’s also one point that a psychic, Richard, from Vic’s past in Camp Hell who is a total sweetheart, and has an IQ of 80. Vic does acknowledge that he was a dick in his younger days when he and Stefan would make fun of the kid to his face, BUT. He does mention the r-word when it comes to Richard, and again with another psychic he’s just annoyed with back in Camp Hell. Again, this book was published a little ways back, but it would be nice to see all this edited out or changed up.

So, plot-wise and with the characters, I really did love this book, despite the few things I’ve pointed out. For every one question Vic gets answered, two more pop up. Secret organizations and plot twists are exciting and my jaw definitely dropped multiple times while read this. I can’t wait to read GhosTV!


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