Friday, July 12, 2013

Chill of Fear - Kay Hooper (2013 Rom Sus Challenge)

Chill of Fear (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit, #8)
FBI agent Quentin Hayes always knew he had an unusual talent, even before he was recruited by Noah Bishop for the controversial Special Crimes Unit. But, as gifted as he is, for twenty years he’s been haunted by a heartbreaking unsolved murder that took place at The Lodge, a secluded Victorian-era resort in Tennessee. Now he’s returned one final time, determined to put the mystery to rest.
Diana Brisco has come there hoping to unlock the mystery of her troubled past. Instead, she is assailed by nightmares and the vision of a child who vanished from The Lodge years ago. And an FBI agent is trying to convince her that she isn’t crazy but that she has a rare gift, a gift that could catch a killer.
Quentin knows that this is his last chance to solve a case that has become a dangerous obsession. But can he persuade Diana to help him, knowing what it could cost her? For something cold and dark and pure evil is stalking the grounds of The Lodge. Something Diana may not survive. Something Quentin never felt before: the chill of fear.

Some of Kay Hooper's stories rely more on the paranormal aspect than others and I have to start by saying that I prefer  it when we have a flesh and blood antagonist. But this is a story that it is heavy in the paranormal aspect. 

Over a years, a number of crimes were commeited at The Lodge, a vacation resort.  Quenting Hayes, one of Bishop's agent was involved in one succh cases when he was a child and and is very much commited to finding out the culprit. Diana Brisco, is a young woman who is attending an therapeutic art workshop. She believes herself to be mentally ill but while at The Lodge, and meeting Quentin, she realises that she is a mudium and she sees dead people. 

It is Diana who actually channels the ghosts who can bring some light to what has been going on. A procedure that it is not without risk for her but that she can't help even if she wanted to. And when she finds a connection between herself and the case Quentin was involved in she is determined to discover the truth. 

My main problem with this story was that it felt that the ghosts did most of the work and Diana just channeled it so we could know what was going on. I felt I didn't know enough about Diana and her past and even about Quentin and his past (seeing as how the past was important for this story). I also would have liked to see Diana's story better explored through a final talk with her father, for instance. So I wasn't happy with the execution of this one, either as a ghost story or a suspense story.

Also this book could easily have been classified as straight suspense instead of romantic suspense. Quentin and Diana might have a psychic connection going on but till the very end nothing more than that is implied. I never felt that they were attracted to each other. The fact that they assume that at the end came a bit out of the blue, except for the fact that that is common in these stories.

Grade: 3/5

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