Wait for Dark
In the early 2000s, I discovered the work of author Kay Hooper. I was especially drawn to her books featuring Special Agent Noah Bishop and his team of FBI agents with psychic abilities. Over the course of a few years, I read six or seven of those books and loved them all. Then, as so often happens, my reading went off in new directions and I sort of forgot about Ms. Hooper and the Special Crimes Unit. So, when I saw Wait for Dark, the latest book in the series up for review, I jumped at the chance to catch up with Bishop and the gang. Unfortunately, this seventeenth installment didn’t quite live up to my memories of the earlier books.
Agents Hollis Templeton and Reese DeMarco are sent to the small mountain town of Clarity, North Carolina to investigate what at first seems like a series of misfortunate accidents. Six residents have been killed in a relatively short period of time, and all of the deaths can be traced back to a piece of machinery or equipment that has failed to function as it should have. Sheriff Mal Gordon initially chalked the deaths up to bad luck or carelessness, but his investigation has finally yielded results that tell him someone is responsible for the ‘accidents’. Each victim received a text message on the afternoon before they died instructing them to Wait for Dark.
Mal doesn’t know much about Noah Bishop and his team of special agents, other than the fact that they look into strange deaths. Bishop doesn’t advertise his own psychic abilities or those of his team members, for fear of having their credibility called into question. Mal does know the Special Crimes Unit has a very high success rate, and is quite relieved when Bishop sends out a team to assist him.
Hollis is a character that showed up in several of the earlier novels. When we first met her, she had avoided death at the hands of a psychopathic killer and came through her ordeal possessed of a series of brand-new psychic abilities. Now, she’s one of Bishop’s top agents, and is eager to take the lead in the Clarity investigation.
Reese and Hollis have a complicated history. They’ve been partners and occasional lovers for several years at the time this story opens, and while Reese wants to take things to the next level, Hollis is reluctant. Initially, her reasons aren’t very clear, though I’m guessing I might have understood them a bit better had I not skipped several books in the series. Since Reese is a telepath, Hollis fears becoming completely involved with him and doesn’t want him to see the things in her past that make her feel vulnerable. In some ways, this is understandable, but, after a while, I found it a bit tedious.
Once they arrive in Clarity, Hollis, Reese, and their team hit the ground running. Another body is discovered on their first evening in town, and Hollis becomes aware of an evil presence she can’t quite pin down. She’s sure this evil is in some way responsible for what’s going on, but she’s unable to fully understand it and decides that someone with psychic talents of his or her own must be actively blocking her. This makes her all the more determined to get to the bottom of everything, even if it means putting her life on the line in the process.
Although I found the suspense plot compelling, it overshadows the romance. Reese and Hollis have a couple of intensely emotional conversations, but no real strides are made in their relationship. It’s obvious that Reese cares for Hollis, but her feelings aren’t so clear-cut. I wish Ms. Hooper had devoted a bit more page time to these two actually figuring out how to make things work, rather than making their relationship a sort of subplot.
It’s also important for readers to know that this story requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief. True, I don’t know a ton about psychics, but there are some things about the way Ms. Hooper uses the abilities of the agents that seems a bit sloppy and just too convenient to really ring true. Still, if you don’t think about the story too deeply, it’s possible you will enjoy it. However, to fully understand the many characters and their relationships to one another, you will be best served by going back to the beginning of the series and picking up Stealing Shadows.