Book Review: Hold Back the Dark by Kay Hooper

Kay Hooper Hold Back the DarkHold Back the Dark is the latest installment in the Kay Hooper Bishop/SCU paranormal thriller series.

I’ve been reading the books from the very first one and I got hooked right away. Now I’m always getting the latest sequel as soon as it’s out, literally within days.

Reading the Kay Hooper books in order is a real treat if you like anything paranormal in your mysteries and thrillers. The author has this genre down pat.

I think my ever first book was Once a Thief in the Quinn/Thief series, and soon after I discovered the Bishop series as well.

In Hold Back the Dark, the team is facing their probably biggest thread yet. The problem is, none of them quite know what that is. All they know is that some weird things are happening in a small town called Prosperity in North Carolina, and apart from members of the SCU team, other psychics have been summoned to that mountain village as well.

In a way, this book is a bit different from the previous ones. For one, it does move at a much slower pace than what I was used to from the earlier SCU novels. The true action only starts during the last quarter of the book. Until then, the newly formed team is busy with figuring things out and with preparations for what is to come.

And then it seems that the SCU team is about to get some much-needed fresh blood. Those external psychics who are summoned (by some good or evil meaning spirits) to Prosperity are forced to work with the SCU team and it seems that some of them might even stick around for the next installment of the series.

As usual, we have Hollis Templeton and her partner and lover Reece DeMarco guiding the new additions to the temporary team, people who before this summoning were spending their lives trying to hide their abilities and simply trying to blend in, living a very boring life.

The new members are interesting characters with a varied range of psychic skills which would come in handy in the upcoming battle against evil.

Of course, we also meet Bishop and Miranda, who, as usual, try to help from the sidelines without getting involved all too much with the actual case except for gently guiding where such is necessary.

If there is one negative about the book, it must be its rushed ending. I found a slight dissonance between all that preparing and introducing the characters and the last few chapters where the action went down. After all that work-up, it all happened too fast. By the time I started to get into the action, the book was over, and I was left reading about the powers of the new characters.

I don’t remember previous books to feel so rushed at the end, and I’m still trying to get to grips with all that. It’s like when you emotionally prepare during the whole day to the evening anniversary meal with hubby, only end up with a quick evening meal because hubby had to go back to work right after. Too much foreplanning for too little reward.

Also, the romance element seems to be missing from this book. Sure, we have Hollis and DeMarco and it’s so sweet how he takes care of her all the time, shields her, protects her and holds her hand to avoid psychic attacks. We can also see the beginning of something between some of the other new members of the team. Whether those things will bloom into new relationships, will be seen (hopefully) in the next book.


Hold Back the Dark
Series: Bishop / SCU #18
Published by Berkley
Published 2017
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Wait for Dark, Haunted, Hostage

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