Sunday, September 4, 2016

Series Review: Bishop/SCU -- Shadows Trilogy

Bishop/Special Crimes Unit | Shadows Trilogy
by Kay Hooper
Book #1: Stealing Shadows | Goodreads | Rating:  3.5 Stars
Book #2: Hiding in the Shadows | Goodreads | Rating:  3.5 Stars
Book #3: Out of the Shadows | Goodreads | Rating:  4.0 Stars

Average Rating:  3.67 Stars
-- Personal Rating:  3.5 Stars

I never wrote any reviews for these first three Kay Hooper, Bishop/Special Crimes Unit books when I read them a couple years past.  I didn't really have anything to say, though I DID have some thoughts of the "I liked these books" variety.  And that's probably why I didn't really write a review, because what good does saying the same phrase over and over again, "I liked this book.  It was enjoyable." manage to help convey.

And it would take up my time from reading more books, right?  But whatever, I'm a tad bit anal about my reviews and decided that I might as well create a somewhat of a review for these three books.

But it's been long enough that I don't remember details.  And so I present to the blogging audience a simple set of summary blurbs and a short sentence or two of what I remember, or just some random sentiment.

Stealing Shadows

What if you can enter a madman's cruel mind as he plans his vicious crimes?  What if you can see the terrified face of his prey as he moves in for the kill—but you can't stop his frenzy once he strikes?

Psychic Cassie Neill helps the L.A. police catch killers—until she makes a terrible mistake and an innocent child dies.  Cassie flees to a small North Carolina town, hoping that a quiet life will silence the voices that invade her unwilling mind.  But Cassie's abilities know few boundaries.  And she's become certain—as no one else can be—that a murderer is stalking Ryan's Bluff.

It's his fury that Cassie senses first, then his foul thoughts and perverse excitement.  Yet she doesn't know who he is or where he will strike. The sheriff won't even listen to her—until the first body is found exactly where and how she predicted.  Now a suspect herself, she races desperately to unmask the killer in the only way she knows: by entering his twisted mind.  Her every step is loaded with fear and uncertainty... because if he senses her within him, he'll trap her there, so deep she'll never find her way out.

In Stealing Shadows, Kay Hooper introduces FBI agent Noah Bishop, whose rare gift for seeing what others do not helps him solve the most puzzling cases.  Now, Bishop's adventures continue in two new electrifying tales of psychic suspense.

Beware of what you see.  It's dawn when the police arrive at the murder scene. The victim is propped against a tree, her eyes still open, her head tilted, her lips parted in a silent cry.  Just as Cassie Neill predicted.  Just as she saw while she was inside the killer's mind.  The killer knew she was there.  And next time he won't let her get away.

I recall Stealing Shadows being enjoyable enough for me to continue on with Kay Hooper's Bishop/SCU series, if only because it is written well with very well-liked characters.  The mystery was intriguing, and I believe the romance between Cassie and the local prosecutor, Ben Ryan, was sweet, but also a little unnaturally abrupt and insta.

That being said, this was not my first taste of a Kay Hooper paranormal mystery and romance, but I was still a little thrown by the alternating POVs, granted, they were all third person.  There were just so many of them.

Noah Bishop makes a brief cameo appearance in this first book, but his significance is unknown.  He comes off as a jerk at first, but you can kind of see a lot of complicated layering to his personality.

Hidden in the Shadows

Accident victim Faith Parker has done what her doctors feared she never would: awakened from the coma that held her prisoner for weeks.  But she has no memory of the crash that nearly killed her—or the life that led up to it.  Nor does she remember journalist Dinah Leighton, the steadfast friend who visited her in the hospital... until she disappeared without a trace.  Now as Faith begins to regain her strength, she's shocked by intimate dreams of a man she doesn't recognize and tortured by visions of violence that feel painfully real.  Something inexplicable ties her lost memories to Dinah's chilling fate.  But even as Faith tries to understand the connection and reach out to save Dinah, death is stalking both women.  And one of them will not escape its lethal grasp.

FBI agent Noah Bishop has a rare gift for seeing what others do not, a gift that helps him solve the most puzzling cases.  Now, read more of his electrifying adventures in two stand-alone tales of psychic suspense.

This book was equal parts paranormal, mysterious, and strange.  Very strange.  I remember that it DID indeed keep my on my toes, and the surprising ending was actually quite pleasantly startling.  But it still didn't help that the presentation of the book was a bit... well, I'm going to stick with the word 'strange.'

Again, this was a well written, well plotted, very well outlined story.  And while I had a little bit of trouble relating with the characters, as they seemed too detached, I still really like how the mystery progressed.  Now, the ultimate reveal could use some work.

Again, we get to see Noah Bishop, though he has a heftier presence that previously.  Though ultimately, he takes off for other, more personal reasons to be seen in the next book of this series.

Out of the Shadows


A picture-perfect Tennessee town has just become a monster's hunting ground.  Two bodies are found tortured to death.  A third person goes missing.  What little evidence is left behind defies all explanation.  Is the terror just beginning?  Or have the good citizens of Gladstone harboured a dark secret for a long time?

Sheriff Miranda Knight is determined to make her small town safe once more.  And she does what she swore she would never do: involve FBI profiler Noah Bishop.  He's the one man who knows about her unique abilities, and that knowledge almost destroyed her and her sister years ago.  Now, as Bishop arrives with his team of agents, Miranda must learn to trust him and use her abilities once more.  For they're about to go on the hunt for a killer whose madness has no bounds, a killer who knows exactly how to destroy Miranda: by preying on her sister.

This is admittedly my favorite of the entire series.  It is also, in my opinion, the strongest installment in the entire, ongoing Bishop/SCU series.

I say this remembering how much I loved seeing the angst and the reconciling relationship between Miranda and Bishop.  I say this remembering how much I loved the little group of investigators, sitting around and lobbing ideas at each other, having good-natured conversations with slips of gallows humor interlaced.  I say this remembering how much I loved the strong pairing between Bishop and Miranda, and how both individuals are also unique, intriguing, and strong on their own.

And I also recall how much I liked all the side characters, from Miranda's teenaged sister, Bonnie, to the rest of the police deputies who work for Miranda.  Even some of the small town residents were interesting.

And to be honest, I don't recall much about the crime aspect or the mystery.  I remember it trying to be a little too meaningful in it's emphasis of worldly evils and the "meant to be's" of life.

But mostly, I remember that this was, and still is, my favorite of the entire, ongoing Bishop/SCU series.

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