Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Spotlight Review...Sleeping With Fear

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SLEEPING WITH FEAR – Kay Hooper
A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel, Book 9
Fear Series, Book 3
Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0-553-58600-8
June 2007
Suspense/Thriller

Opal Island, Hazard County, South Carolina – Present Day

Riley Crane is an agent with the FBI’s special crimes unit. The unit is made up of people with an edge -- extra senses. Riley’s specialty is clairvoyance, and a strong “spider” sense, or the ability to be hyper-aware of any situation.

Waking up mid-day with a pounding headache is unusual enough for Riley. She does not take naps and is usually an early riser. It takes her a moment to get her bearings and to realize that the strong scent of blood is not left over from nightmares, but is real. Riley is covered in blood, fully dressed in her bed in the cottage she has rented for vacation. All that is bad enough, but worse...Riley has no memory of the last three weeks. She barely remembers arriving on Opal Island.

Riley’s specialty in the SCU is the occult, and she was sent to Opal Island to unofficially investigate strange activity in the area. But Riley cannot remember what she was investigating or with whom she was working, nor whom she can trust. As Riley tries to put together the pieces of her life for the previous three weeks, she learns one startling fact after another. The most shocking of all is that she was apparently intimately involved with the Hazard County District Attorney, Ash Prescott. Riley also learns that a man was murdered and beheaded in an apparent satanic ritual -- the night before Riley woke up covered in blood. The more Riley searches for answers, the more she suffers from weakness and memory loss. What happened to Riley? Why was she covered in blood, and why are her psychic abilities gone? Could the blood, the memory loss and psychic burnout be linked to the murder?

SLEEPING WITH FEAR is the third novel in Kay Hooper’s Fear trilogy and the ninth book in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series. As with each book, SLEEPING WITH FEAR is a masterpiece of criminal investigation and psychic abilities; however, with Riley’s psychic ability on the fritz, the focus is more on regular criminal investigation, and Riley does that well. Her lack of memory puts her at a distinct disadvantage, and places her in danger. Told from Riley’s perspective, except when Bishop and other FBI agents are featured off scene, the reader is forced to learn who can be trusted and who can’t right along with Riley. This makes for a very immediate an intense read.

Secondary characters play key roles in the unfolding mystery and investigation and include: Sheriff Jake Ballard, a man who is too charming to trust completely; Gordon Skinner, Riley’s former military buddy who asked Riley to investigate the strange occurrences; his live in girl friend, Deputy Leah Wells; and the sexy, enigmatic District Attorney, Ash Prescott. From the opening pages to the spine-tingling conclusion, SLEEPING WITH FEAR offers up a thrilling mystery with unusual paranormal elements, and a knockout twist at the end. Suspense just doesn’t get better than Kay Hooper’s novels. I highly recommend SLEEPING WITH FEAR; it’s a one-sitting read that will hold you in its grip from beginning to end.

Terrie Figueroa

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