Friday, April 30, 2010

Whisper of Evil - Kay Hooper

Someone is stalking the little town of Silence. Three victims have fallen to a killer's savage vengeance. Each of the dead men was a successful and respected member of the community--yet each also harbored a dark secret discovered only after his murder. Were their deaths the ultimate punishment for those secrets? Or something even more sinister? Nell Gallagher has come home to Silence more than a decade after leaving one dark night with her own painful secrets. Forced now by family duty to return, she has also come home to settle with the past. But past and present tangle in a murderer's vicious attacks, and to find the answers she needs, Nell must call on the psychic skills that drove her away years before. She must risk her own life and sanity, and regain the trust of the man she left behind so long ago. For the killer she seeks is seeking her, watching her every move, preying upon her every vulnerability--and already so close she'll never see death coming . .

Continuing with Hooper and my current mood for thrillers I decided to pick Whisper of Evil next. We get to know a new FBI agent, Nell Gallagher, who returns to her hometown of Silence after 10 years away. She left one day, without explanations to friends or boyfriend which means that on her return he feels he is entitled to some explanations. Officially she is back to settle her late father's estate, unofficially she is there as an FBI agent to look into some murders of well know citizens who are discovered to have some dark secrets.

Nell is a part of Bishop's team, she has what people in Silence called The Gallagher Curse, she can see events and sometimes she can't tell if they happened or are going to happen. After she has one of those visions she usually blacks out for a time. The reason why Nell ran away from home is not obvious in the beginning but something that we discover at the same time that her boyfriend, Max Turner, does. Max is the main suspect for the crimes but all due to circumstantial evidence. When he finds out that Nell returned he can't resist expressing his anger but at the same time he can't stay away from her.

This is a story that has many twists and that is probably its main problem. There's the mystery of who the murderer is, of why Nell ran away, of who is her undercover partner and who is the mysterious person who can tap into her life and control her. All this is successfully handled for a while but when they start connecting the dots I found that it didn't deliver as strong a climax as I was waiting for. Still Hooper manages to keep us guessing at the murderer identity till the end, not to mention that she kept me guessing about some other people too. The problem is that in between the twists the book drags a bit. If the previous book was more about the murders, I think we can safely say this one is more about the relationship even if I felt it took too long for Nell to convince Max that it wasn't his fault that she had ran away.

Grade: 4/5

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