Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brief Thoughts: Waking Nightmare

Waking Nightmare

by Kylie Brant
Book 1 of Mindhunters series

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

Side note:  My original rating for this book actually fell in a more mediocre area of 3.0 Stars.  But after some thinking back and after listening to the audio book version, I bumped the rating up because I found more things to enjoy about this book than I'd previously thought.


With a serial rapist loose on the streets of Savannah, hotshot detective Ryne Robel needs all the help he can get for his task force. And he needs it now, before another woman falls victim. But Abbie Phillips isn't what he bargained for. Sent from an exclusive group of the best criminologists in the country, she's smart, fierce...and distracting. She may be a brilliant forensic profiler, but Ryne needs answers, not psychobabble and head games.

However, Abbie convinces him that head games are exactly what this elusive suspect is all about. The seemingly random acts of torture are actually calculated to match each victim's darkest fears. And the stakes are rising. While they study the devious psychopath, he's watching them -- the next objects of his horrifying obsession.

In short, this book was less action-packed and less suspenseful than the previous entourage of Romantic Suspense novels I've been reading.  Waking Nightmare read more like a forensics crime scene investigation procedural without all the flashy lights.  Since the basis of the story surrounds the work of a criminal profiler and the tediousness of an ongoing criminal investigation, I can see why there'd be less suspense included.

Still, I'm appreciative of how much more realistic (as realistic as romantic suspenses and fictional crime thrillers can get) the investigative process attempted to be.  We get a glimpse at just how frustrating cold cases can become with little information and evidence to work off of outside of a handful of victims who are unable to identify a perpetrator due to uncontrollable circumstances.

Nothing was overly flash-bang with conveniently placed breaks falling out of the sky.

The story, however, came off rather flat, as did the characters (stock-standard romantic suspense characters with a stock-standard romantic suspense... romance).  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, because I still enjoyed the book very much.  I enjoyed a different view of the criminal investigation: tons of paperwork, lots of footwork, lots of phone calls and internet searches, interviews, regular task force meetings...

There wasn't a whole lot of threat to our main heroine's life because the culprit didn't even target her until a lot later when she became a threat to his continued monstrosity of activity.  So there wasn't too much of an opportunity for her to play the damsel-in-distress; not that she was anything of the type since it was pretty clear that she could handle herself quite well, being armed and able to defend herself with her expert Muay Thai boxing and all.

It helps that I kind of enjoyed all of the psychobabble of the criminal profiling aspect in the investigation.

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in May 2014.

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