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Saturday, December 5, 2015

5/5 Review: Fear the Dark: A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel (A Bishop/SCU Novel) by Kay Hooper




Something strange is happening in the small mountain town of Serenity, Tennessee. People going on routine errands never reach their destination. It’s as if they simply disappear. Over the past few weeks, it’s happened to five men and women—and now a child.

The local police chief calls the FBI, and a team from the Special Crimes Unit is immediately sent in. Agents Lucas and Samantha Jordan, partners in work and in life, have very different abilities. Samantha is clairvoyant and Lucas possesses a unique ability to find the lost or abducted. With them are new partners Dante Swann, a medium, and Robbie Hodge, a telepath.

The town is already on the edge of panic, but the mysterious events take a sinister turn when a body unrelated to the missing persons case surfaces and one of the SCU agents vanishes. Now, the team’s hunt for the lost has turned into something very personal…and very dangerous.

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In a very small town in Tennessee, people are disappearing. Not only going missing, but seemingly disappearing into thin air. First it's two teenagers, eloping. Then a judge.
That's when the local sheriff calls in this very special branch of the FBI, whose agents all have one gift or another. The agents cannot figure out what's  going on,then a housewife goes missing. A 10-year-old child disappears in the middle of the night .. under the sight of a camera. When the investigation leads them to the conclusion that the person responsible for the crimes has powerful psychic powers, the investigators may also be in danger.

It's impossible to pass up a new Bishop/Special Crimes Unit novel from Kay Hooper.The premise behind the series is that the FBI has a Special Crimes Unit (SCU) headed by an enigmatic chief named Noah Bishop, who has at his disposal a hand-picked group of agents with unique abilities. Bishop matches an agent's ability to a case and dispatches them forthwith; the result is a comfortable general familiarity tying each of the novels, and trilogies, together while making each one different and unique.

This is a chilling story as you anticipate not only who the killer is but who will be the next victim. Hooper does an admirable job of drawing you into minor characters and having you invest in their outcome. I found myself dreading who the next victim might be as I was unwilling to give up on any of those I'd come to know in the story. The plot was complex while seemingly simple. There were enough clues for me to have a shot at solving the mystery and I came pretty close. The end of the story had an extremely interesting twist that could have been deduced. In the end its the entire Special Crimes Unit paranormal abilities are at the heart of this story and their skills are made believable by the author.

A great strength of Hooper's work is that the overlying premise of her Bishop mythos permits her to take players on --- and off --- the board at any time, providing an edginess to each storyline that might otherwise not be present. FEAR THE DARK is an excellent place to jump onto a series that, nine+ books into its inception, may only be getting warmed up.