Corwin Menivie and Nika Santivan are decorated veterans of the Imperial Enforcement Coalition, and are perfectly capable of solving cases the old-fashioned way. When they’re paired with Westley Tavera and Gavin Hale, the most powerful Reader/Ground team to emerge from the Psionics Academy, it could either be the best thing that’s ever happened to crime fighting, or the makings of a quadruple homicide.
During a routine investigation, West’s talent puts them on the trail of a brutal serial killer who traps his prey in a deadly mental playground. Then the killer starts baiting the team, laying psychic landmines at crime scenes and exposing IEC secrets. The strain of the case binds the agents closer together—so close that Nika and Gavin start sharing a room, and even the curmudgeonly Corwin finds himself as occupied with West as he is with the murders.
But as West’s visions of death grow more violent, the only way out for all of them may be straight through the mind of a monster. If they’re not careful, they may forget which side of the hunt they’re on.
Word count: 117,200; page count: 414
So okay I felt that editing wise this book was much better than another recent fantasy offering I read from Riptide. This is not a fantasy actually - this is scifi mystery and romance, but you get what I mean. This is both m/m and m/f romance with m/m romance given more attention, but the first book in this series "Slipstream con" which I have read years ago was m/f/m ménage which I almost never care for and I loved it, so m/m and m/f (which I do read even if much less than mm) was no problem.
You may have noticed that one team of those cosmic inspectors consists of Reader (psychic pretty much) and Ground who helps him to get out of his visions - my first thought was definitely about Vic and Jacob from "Psycop" series. I honestly do not think that besides general idea about what they do (and Wes does not exactly meet ghosts - the best I can describe it is that he reads memories of the past events, psychic residue) there was much in common with the characters.
I loved their interactions - Nica and Corwin did not really work much with psychic teams before because Corwin does not like it and there are rumors that he hates Psy (he does not), but this time they do not have much choice. Wes and Corwin start with mild animosity, but they are adults and need to do their job is something they seem to be able to put first eventually (most of the times anyway). I really loved Nica, she just seemed very competent and likeable. Attraction between her and Gawin is fast, but it made sense to me given that the authors concentrate more on the development of m/m storyline. I thought she and Gawin were good for each other. But even m/m storyline at least shares equal page space with mystery/horror plot. I doubt I will ever reread this book but mostly because Wes' visions get intense .
Resolution of the mystery storyline was weird - it had a very nice twist though.
The world-building is spread out through the books, but otherwise characters are completely different in all the books.