Haunted is the 15th book in author Kay Hooper’s popular Bishop SCU mystery series. When I got hold of the first book in this phenomenal (almost paranormal) series years ago, I got hooked on it right away. Soon after I had to read all the Kay Hooper books in order because they were that addictive.
Granted, it was at a time when paranormal mysteries and romances were my favorite genres to read. Even though I sort of moved on from those book types, Kay Hooper’s novels are still being read as soon as they come out.
In Haunted we are taken to a small town called Sociable in Georgia. There are some strange things going on, with murder taking a front seat. That in itself wouldn’t be something unusual, but the way they died is out of the ordinary, especially for a small quiet town.
Melanie, who lives in the town and has just become the prime suspect in the killings (especially when the first victim is no other than Melanie’s ex), asks her brother Deacon James for help. He is an FBI agent, however, when he comes to Melaine’s aid, he is only in his brotherly capacity – at least initially.
Because unknown to Deacon, the Bishop team is also in the vicinity, although seemingly for an unrelated case that takes them hunting for a killer through the mountains. Of course there is a reason why these two cases are so close in geography, so it doesn’t come to us as a surprise when we learn that the two cases do intersect at some point.
I love the Bishop team – each of the members has a special ability – clairvoyant, clairsentient, ability to see the future, ability to feel what others feel, etc. When they are working a case, there are usually only some of the team members involved.
This time around there are 2 members sent to the tiny town of Sociable – Hollis, who is literally a loose cannon and develops abilities faster than anyone else around, all when she is in grave danger, and Reese DeMarco, her partner and a strong telepath, who is Hollis’ lifeline when she is too deep in.
Now Hollis, Reese, and Deacon have to work together to solve the strange cases that threaten to bring down the quiet and cozy small town.
What I found interesting is that in the book almost everyone has gifts of their own. Even the town sheriff, Trinity has her special powers which are helpful in helping solve the various cases. Melanie has her own powers as well, although she tries to hide them from everyone, including herself.
But what I loved most was the dog, Braden. He not only has his own ESP powers, but he is one of the most likable dogs I’ve read about in books. Always there when needed (and I mean that literally), he has this sense of knowing when bad things happen. He was the one who gently coaxed Trinity into getting to a place where they found the first body and more.
This dog is the star throughout and I’m hoping to read more about Braden in the next books to come.
Having read all the books in the series so far, I’d urge you to read them in order. There is not only character development and interactions that are worth following as they occur, but there are some stories that continue in newer books.
For example, Hollis and Melanie (unknown to each other) share a history that changed them both and made them who they are now. And that particular story is told in a previous book. You need to read that story to understand just how much Hollis has suffered (was beaten, raped, had her eyes torn out – yep, you heard that right, although now they are restored), and had almost died. And now she is stronger than ever, she has developed these scary and powerful psychic abilities which seem to become not only stronger but also more varied with each passing of the time.
I’ve noticed in various reviews on Goodreads that several people don’t like Hollis. Personally, I like this character quite a lot, and I was happy to see her feature so prominently in this book. She is a very quiet, but dramatic character that really grows on you.
To be honest, I kind of missed seeing some of the other members of the SCU unit, although I’ve been quite happy with the ones featuring in this book anyway. They are working really well together and I found it refreshing how they worked with Trinity, the town sheriff in a harmonious way, almost as if she were part of their own special team (no looking down on small-town sheriffs when it comes to Bishop’s team).
The writing is just as good as in all Kay Hooper’s previous novels, and I love that she keeps the theme of psychic abilities going through each of her books. And maybe that’s why I like Hollis so much because she is the unknown in all this. We all know what abilities the other members have, but Hollis is a question mark even to Miranda and Bishop himself – and let’s just say that there are not many things that are unknown to these two guys.
Overall Haunted by Kay Hooper was a very rewarding read. Predictable, but in a good way. I knew what to expect, and as it was the reason why I bought the book in the first place, my expectation was met, and some more. Keep writing Ms. Hooper!