Note: The four star rating is not an average of the three stories' ratings, but my opinion based on the anthology as a whole.
I only started getting into anthologies ever since I read [b:Irregulars|12759444|Irregulars|Nicole Kimberling|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1317399347s/12759444.jpg|17901802], and thoroughly enjoyed the shared-world anthology. So it doesn't come to much of a surprise that I enjoyed Hell Cop, another shared-world anthology featuring three of the four authors that contributed to Irregulars.
Next of Kin is the lengthiest of the three stories (~40% of the story!) by taking the time to construct this paranormal universe where multiple worlds are connected by portals. The paranormal and mundane live in concert within Parmas City, where the hell cops are tasked with keeping order among the demons and sorcerers that run amok. Next of Kin had a nice balance between the romance and mystery. Featuring hell cop Jay Yervant and civilian Brian Day, Next of Kin is a nice introduction to the rest of the anthology. Rating: 4 stars.
Red Sands is my least favorite of the three stories, featuring anthropologist and half-demon Michael Gold with hell cop Argent. I couldn't feel very invested with Michael, since the story had a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. He also came off as selfish and the chemistry between him and Argent didn't make much sense to me. The mystery also fell flat as well. Overall, the story was alright, but nothing breathtaking. Rating: 3 stars
Touching Sparks is my favorite story. It is also the only story that features a "normal" human character, James Sparks. While the mystery in the story wasn't very interesting, the execution and thrill of action definitely made it a step above the other stories. It was also nice to see how a normal human can persevere and stay strong in the face of the paranormal, compared to the characters in the previous stories that had some kind of special skill to aid them. The end dragged a bit for me, since this was the "romantic" conclusion, but the overall story was still pretty good. Rating: 4 stars
It should also be noted that the stories should be read in order as well! Some characters reappear in the later stories, which was a nice. Anyways, I will have to check out the sequel with how well Hell Cop went for me!