Thursday, April 29, 2010

Touching Evil - Kay Hooper

This is the story of Seattle police artist Maggie Barnes, whose remarkable artistic talents are the focus of an even more extraordinary psychic gift that she is determined to keep secret: a gift that has allowed her to work with crime victims, to feel what they feel, to create perfect portraits of their attackers. When the police are stymied by an elusive predator who blinds his victims to prevent them from identifying him, Maggie must be willing to risk much more than just her secret to draw the image of a killer no one has ever seen, and bring the brutal madman to justice. If you love books that blend passion, suspense, and the unexpected, you'll love this one.

After reading the Shadows trilogy and really enjoying reading about Noah Bishop I decided to start the Evil trilogy and so continue with the Bishop / BAU series.

In Touching Evil there's a rapist on the loose that is targeting women and besides raping and beating them he blinds them so they can't identify him. Maggie Barnes is the artist who has been working with the women to try to come up with a face that the police can identify. The truth is that Maggie is an empath, she feels what the victim's felt and that's why she is so good at her job. John Garret is the brother of one of the victim. His sister survived the attack only to commit suicide later. Now, he is trying to know more about the case because he still can't believe that Christina killed herself. Since the police and Maggie seem to be unable to come up with something he decides to call his friend Quentin from the BAU Unit.

As usual Hooper has a powerful writing that can be a bit graphic in its details of murder and torture. I do like it and especially the use she does of the paranormal elements to find out more about the crimes. I thought they had a really interesting case when the detectives discovered the link with the past victims. Although Quentin also helps, Maggie is the one who bears the pain and fear of the victims. In truth it almost seemed like Quentin was there mostly to explain to John what it was to be different and live like Maggie does.

With such an interesting set up - an evil murderer who lives through time and targets victims who are lookalikes of his original murder victims - I was hoping for a great climax at the end but the truth is that I felt a bit of a letdown with the murderer they find and with the lack of explanation regarding the first murders who seemed to have triggered the subsequent ones. Readers looking for a love story also won't be satisfied as the main thing here is not John and Maggie, although they do fall in love, but the hunt for the murderer. Still... I do like Hooper's stories and I definitely plan to continue this series.

Grade: 3.5/5

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