Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice | Book Review

Erik Mitchell traveled the world uncovering art fraud and relic theft, which pitted him against spoiled billionaires, unscrupulous collectors, mobsters, and cartels. He worked with law enforcement across the U.S. and Europe, but then a sting goes wrong, Erik ends up injured and returns to find his partner cheating. He decides to stop globetrotting and buy an antique shop in scenic Cape May, NJ, rebuild his life, and nurse his broken heart.

Undercover Newark cop Ben Nolan went down in a hail of bullets when a bust went sideways, after a tip-off from a traitor inside the department. When he recovers, he spends a couple of years as a private investigator, only to tire of seeing the worst of human nature. So when his aunt offers him the chance to take over her rental real estate business in Cape May, it seems too good to be true. Now if he could just believe he could ever be lucky again in love.

Sparks fly when Erik and Ben meet. But when a cursed hotel’s long-ago scandals resurface, the two men are pulled into a web of lies, danger, and deception that will test their bond—and might make them Cape May’s newest ghosts!

How was it?

When I first so this book I immediately knew that I’d read it but it was receiving the novella Light My Way Home (Treasure Trail #1.5) that promoted me to read this first entry in the series.

Being in the same universe as the Badlands series and Witchbane series I think I understand where this book falls. The author does, a up to a point, a good job of differentiating this series from the others. Witchbane is your Supernatural (2005-2020), if Dean and Sam weren’t brothers and if the writers of that show weren’t into queerbaiting. It’s your duo of guys on a personal mission working around the law and actively going after the rogues. Badlands is your cop show a la Medium (2005-2011) or any other show with Cop working with a person who sees and communicates with the dead. So it kind of makes Treasure trail a mix of the two, with law-adjacent protagonists with medium-like abilities and a dash of Indiana Jones because of the object/artifact aspects of it.

However, Treasure Trail, which started at a leasurely pace with its own identity, slowly started to look like Badlands but in Cape May, NJ. Even the supporting characters that are being set up here are very similar, plus having Simon Kincaide a phone call away does not help. It got to a point where I wondered if it would’ve been better to have Erik and Ben as strong supporting characters in Badlands.

It’s not that their story isn’t interesting, it is, they have interesting backgrounds and abilities. Though they fall quickly for each other the “obstacles” in the way of their relationship make their interactions sweet and a tad simmering. They also have the making of a great team for future ghostly adventures when they’ll try to unravel a mystery but again it’s a little too close to Badlands.

Treasure trails has a good premise but it needs to be more of its own thing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Treasure Trail is available on The Book Depository and other book retailers near you.

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