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Skin After Skin

PsyCop, Book 8
Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
Series: PsyCop, Book 8
Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Summary

Fierce. Audacious. Independent. Curtis Ash can't be bothered to settle down. He's too busy enjoying his cushy job as a high-paid stylist, caught in a whirlwind of hookups, parties, and obscenely priced cocktails.

The only snarl in an otherwise charmed life is the salon's hotshot colorist, Red Turner. Not only does Red put the whammy on customers and rake in all the big tips, he's oblivious to Crash's flirtation. But there will be plenty of time to win him over - or so Crash thinks.

Thanks to his refusal to trust his gut, Crash not only tanks his career - he allows the one man who truly holds his interest to slip away. While he insists he doesn't need a relationship to complete him, would sharing his life with someone really be so bad?

Skin After Skin is a sweeping saga that begins two years before Among the Living and ends just after Spook Squad. Experience PsyCop like you've never seen it before, through Crash's eyes. Discover new facets of characters and events from the span of the entire series and beyond, all from the viewpoint of an extroverted empath.

Content advisory: one scene includes potential dubious consent.

The PsyCop Series:

Among the Living - PsyCop 1

"Thaw" - PsyCop Short

Criss Cross - PsyCop 2

"Many Happy Returns" - PsyCop Short

"Striking Sparks" - PsyCop Short

Body & Soul - PsyCop 3

Secrets - PsyCop 4

Camp Hell - PsyCop 5

GhosTV - PsyCop 6

Spook Squad - PsyCop 7

Skin After Skin - PsyCop 8

PsyCop Briefs - Collection

©2017 Jordan Castillo Price (P)2017 Jordan Castillo Price

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly not a hit

I generally eat up every single audio book Jordan Castillo Price releases, especially when partnered with Gomez Pugh, but god, this was one hell of a struggle.

I'm not a fan of Crash as a character, I can take or leave him, but I thought that maybe I could get some insights and get my fix of Vic and Jacob in this story somewhere, but what I found didn't satisfy me at all.

The first 35k - that's nearly 4 hrs of audio- could have been cut. I had ZERO interest in the comings and goings at the salon Crash worked at. It all seemed completely irrelevant and pointless.

And where was the plot?

What we have here are some of the events we have covered in the Psycop books, yet from Crash's perspective. It just did not work for me and I actually got really bored, even though Gomez Pugh's narration was solid, the content became interminable at times.

This 'Red' character that Crash was so nuts about was like a cardboard cut out with no personality. I was not convinced at all.

Sadly, I just didn't feel any feels with this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jordan and Gomez-a winning combination as always!

What did you like most about Skin After Skin?

I loved how we got to see all the familiar characters we know and love, as well as important moments in the PsyCop series, seen from a new perspective.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that we got to see more about Crash: his past, his family, his views and feelings on life and his personal journey of love, loss and growth as an individual. He's always been one of my favourite supporting characters and I'm glad that in this story, he gets his time to step out from the background and shine.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There are too many to pick just one. Some I loved because they made me laugh out loud (in public) and others for the way they tugged at my heartstrings.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Most definitely. In fact, I lost a much needed night of sleep just so I could hear the end of the story. I couldn't wait until the next morning ;-)!

Any additional comments?

From the first chapter, I was able to easily fall back into the PsyCop world with Jordan's descriptive worldbuilding and unique humour. Also, Gomez's narration brings the story to life in a way that pulls you into the drama and emotion just as good as, if not further than, your imagination can take you. Every character has a distinct voice so that you never get confused about who's talking and even though every chapter wasn't action packed, I always wanted to know what happened next.
I regularly listen to the PsyCop stories back to back and I'm so glad I get to add this one to the line-up.
I'm eagerly and impatiently looking forward to more!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I can’t decide...

I do like Crash as a character and I find his banter funny, but as far as what this story adds to the overall arch of the series, I can’t decide. I’ve been so invested in Jacob and Vic, to listen to virtually a whole book about how Crash and Jacob felt about each other, even if it was going back in time felt jarring. It felt like Jacob was being unfaithful and it made me think his love for Vic in the other books wasn’t as real as I’d believed it to be. He was desperate for Crash to move in with him, but only
Moved in with Vic because of the incubus, and a fair few times it felt like Jacob was still pining for Crash. I put off reading/listening to this book for ages and I still can’t decide whether I did the right thing by listening to it - Gomez Pugh was absolutely amazing though, he is one of my favourite narrators

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Absolutely marvellous story and narration

I absolutely loved Crash's story. Brilliantly interwoven with the other PsyCop books it gives a whole new perspective on events. Crash is a great character so complex and quite a challenging life.
I can't praise Gomez Pugh's narration high enough. The voice he uses for Red is dreamy, I could listen to it for ages.

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  • Shan
  • 10-09-17

I never liked Crash but this book changed that

Would you consider the audio edition of Skin After Skin to be better than the print version?

Yes. Gomez Pugh is just an amazing narrator.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was really a character exploration of Crash. I loved that the story didn't revolve around his romances, but an exploration of who he was as a person.

Which character – as performed by Gomez Pugh – was your favorite?

Victor will always be my favorite in every book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and cried at some parts. The book definitely hit me on a deep, emotional level.

Any additional comments?

Crash was always my least favorite character, so I was hesitant to purchase this book. But let me tell you, this book changed the way I saw him and a few of the other characters. I almost wish that I had read this book before the others so that I had a better understanding of Crash's personality and why he acted the way that he did.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan D. Osborn
  • 23-01-18

Interesting idea, poorly executed

The idea of retelling the Psycop stories from Crash’s perspective is an interesting conceit. The theme of Crash’s spiritual growth is laudable. That said, the writing seems stilted and I rudimentary. I only saw flashes of the acerbic quality that made Crash interesting in the others books. I’m not sure that my recollection of the other books in the series as better written is mere nostalgia or real, but this feels a bit half-assed

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 05-09-17

This series is in my top 10!!

I've enjoyed the Psycop series, and this book in particular. So much that I had to relisten to all 8+ over again. It's always so sad when it comes to an end. I can't wait for book 9!!

This book covers before, during & after the other books in the Psycop series. It answers many questions & ties things together nicely. It's awesome how tightly this book fits into the series. So many details expanded on. How JCP put it all together is beyond me!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Morgan A Skye
  • 18-09-17

So sad to see the series ending...

Well you had to know Crash’s story wasn’t gonna be easy. Crash is definitely a character with hidden depths and it’s wonderful to finally get to see below the surface.

I found it fascinating to see all those events we’ve seen him involved in, through his eyes this time. I admit I waited til this was out in audio before exploring it because I knew Gomez would do such an amazing job with it and he did. He has such a wide range of characters and he puts them all to use in the many and varied people in Crash’s life.
Things that surprised me: the evolution of Crash’s talent, his relationship with Jacob as well as his crush on Vic. I was also surprised by his knowledge of other characters that will remain unspoiled!
I was super psyched, however, the most, to see Crash’s happy ending. If ever anyone deserved it – he sure earned it!

This is a great addition to the series, masterfully narrated by the amazing Gomez Pugh and though melancholic because it symbolizes another ending, joyful as well. Highly Recommended! (Not a standalone!)
5 of 5 stars

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nolagal
  • 09-09-17

Great addition to the series.

Excellent performance. I love the narrator and he did a great job with crash's story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charley
  • 29-08-17

Awesome addition to one of my favorite series!

This is the first audio book I've ever finished. Loved the story and the narration, and will probably be listening to more.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue C
  • 29-04-20

interesting

Would I listen to it again: yes
Did the story keep me engaged: yes
Was I invested in the characters: yes

Story comment: good pace, interesting characters and a fascinating journey. There is so much more to Crash that i ever gave him credit. This book makes me want to go back to the start of the series and listen to them all again. 😁

Narrator Comment: Gomez Pugh does a great on Skin after Skin. I had no problem distinguishing characters and the rhythm, inflections and intonations all worked to bring the book and characters to life.

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  • Cranky Reader
  • 12-12-19

Made me like Crash

I was not a fan of Crash going in to this book. I made it about an hour into this book & bailed for more Victor books before circling back. It held my interest more as it went on. If you are a Crash fan, you’ll likely love it. If not a Crash fan going in, I’d say it’s worth burning the audible credit, but not fully necessary. I don’t regret it & now like Crash, but it doesn’t explain backstory issues in a way I found satisfying. There was a lot of depth on new details and it got thin where I wanted depth. But it was still an ok yarn.

While this book explains Crash more, it shows him as both more and less capable than we see from other books. For instance, Vic thinks Crash is s wiz with all things computers; Crash thinks he’s barely adequate. The truth is somewhere between. This sort if situation repeats when we see scenes from his POV. There was some further understanding but not as much as I’d hoped for. And it was kind of irritating to see Crash’s strengths turned to nebulous weaknesses. But the story still holds together with that, for all it wasn’t quite what I’d expected.

What knocked it another star for me is all the (mostly material) loss Crash suffers. It was overblown & I didn’t like it. I guess I get that he needed to lose some entitlement but at any point, he can go live with his mom in a comfy suburban home. I do understand that that might be his worst nightmare but that’s kind of the point. He still has a safety net that allows him to say inversely-entitled crap like “It’s only stuff”. People need food, shelter, & air, but also love and *comfort*. This is trying to show Crash getting inured to a low level of comfort, before getting love but come on. He and his eventual flame become monastic in their material needs, maybe, but remember monks live off the largess of the community. (Spoilerish: And in the next book, Crash & beau go on to sell still more *things* which seems odd for antimaterialists.). All in all, the “the universe is just energy & we can live on love” notion strikes me as both sophomoric & more extreme than necessary for character growth. There’s a chapter toward the end that went full “I read a lot of self help books for research, dangnabit, and I’m putting that philosophy in my story” and it was fine I guess but overdone for my tastes.

Steam: med/med low. The book is more an exploration of Crash than a romance. There’s some sketchy not-quite consensual (boss/ employee) M/M sex early on that explores some power play kink. Overall, there’s not much sex on page (so med-low). Much of the sex is Crash feeling “vibes” including some distinct fetishes (med). Turns out he didn’t actually cheat on Jacob, they just broke up over low chemistry, and I still don’t see why Victor would feel attracted to him. There’s very little sex involving his actual beau since they spend most of the book apart & pining. I’d knock it another star if it were a standalone romance, just for that. But since it’s mostly a series detour to get another POV on ongoing issues, it’s ok.

Narration. Still think Pugh might be what pulls me through the less compelling series installments. I like listening to him & it’s always clear who is talking. (On rare occasions it can be hard to distinguish thoughts from dialogue but that’s mostly an audiobook constant.)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clau
  • 10-10-19

Learning to love Crash...

Full disclosure: I began this one with a lot of doubts about listening to a whole novel about Crash. Mostly because even when I liked him well enough, I wasn't really sure about a whole book about him.

To say I was wrong it would be the understatement of the year. I love it.

Watching Crash growing and maturing, learning to trust himself, it was a thing of beauty. And viewing the facts from his POV, that helped a lot to my fondness.

Strangely, it was Jacob who comes out of this somehow... diminished? Not as good as he seemed from Vic's POV, at least.

And... I'm not convinced that Red is the best man for Crash. I don't like him very much, TBH. He ran away and let Crash alone to deal with the mess.

But, it's Crash's choice, and he is the best judge on his life.

In short: yes, I really, really like this one too.

And I'm still loving Gomez Pugh narration, of course :P

  • Overall
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  • Alex
  • 21-05-19

Loved this book

I have been thoroughly enjoying tis series (been listening to it nonstop for days now) and I like all the characters but Crash's character growth here was such a great story and his perspective on Vic and Jacob was interesting. I expected to get bored when I realized it covered a lot of the same ground as prior books, but that never happened, it just added depth to the narrative and I loved it.