Review: Wait for Dark – Kay Hooper

Review: Wait for Dark – Kay HooperAuthor: Kay Hooper
Title: Wait for Dark
Series: Bishop/SCU #17
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Mystery & Thriller
An SCU team investigates a string of accidents, only to uncover a deadly and deliberate monster in the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper.

In Clarity, North Carolina, the residents have fallen victim to an unfortunate series of events. Seemingly random accidents have taken the lives of several citizens in the small mountain town. But these deadly coincidences are anything but. Something is on the hunt in Clarity, and the only clue as to what is a cryptic note given to the victims 24 hours before they meet their ends: “Wait for dark.”

Sheriff Mal Gordon knows how to handle his town, but he has no idea how to handle this. Hollis Templeton and her team from the Special Crimes Unit, including her partner and lover, telepath Reese DeMarco, are called in to investigate.

But while the SCU has prepared them for the unknown, the incredible evil stalking Clarity shakes the team to their core when one of their own is targeted. Now Hollis, the “cat with nine lives” finds herself facing death again.

And this time, not even her partner can protect her...
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four-stars

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

WAIT FOR DARK is the most recent book (#17) in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series by Kay Hooper.

I read this book about a month ago, but never got a chance to sit down and write my review. Something always got in the way of getting it done. I wish I could have had the review done sooner, because I did enjoy reading Wait for Dark.

If you have never read any books in this series, you can jump in here without a problem. Kay Hooper gives plenty of backstory for readers to understand how the unit operates and who the characters are. She even includes character profiles and a glossary in the back of the book.

About the Series

The series is sometimes called the Bishop series, and sometimes called the Special Crimes Unit series. This is probably because Bishop is the main character, even though he isn’t in every book. Bishop is the head of the Special Crimes Unit of the FBI, which consists of agents who were recruited because of their psychic abilities.

In each book, the characters must solve an unusual case, usually gruesome and/or mind-boggling to the local police.

About Wait for Dark

In Wait for Dark, Bishop sends four agents to investigate a series of accidents that seem unlikely to be coincidental. Hollis is made lead on the case, but she doesn’t feel ready for the position. Her partner, Reese, tries to help her through her issues. He also wants to make her see how well they fit together, not just as partners but as a couple. Cullen and Kirby are the other half of the team, but the reader doesn’t see as much of them.

Once the team arrives in Clarity, the killer changes his M.O. and kills in a more obvious way. The team feels the pressure to solve the case quickly before the killer strikes again. Mal, the local sheriff, is at a loss of how to do this, and needs the help of the SCU.

Pacing

Wait for Dark starts out with a bang. I normally don’t like prologues, but the one in this book grabbed my attention and made me turn the pages as fast as possible to see what was going to happen. After that, everything slowed down. The story dragged in places because of long chunks of dialogue. There is more talking going on than anything else for a long time. Toward the climax, the story picks up speed again.

Point of View

The book includes the point of view of the killer. Sometimes this works in books, but I didn’t feel it this time. The killer’s internal monologue didn’t seem to fit with what was going on, particularly after the reader learns his identity and motive. I was like, “What was the point of all that?”

For most of the book, the story is written in third-person, limited point-of-view. However, there are scenes when the author strays and does some head hopping.

Characterization

The story focuses on Hollis, and the reader learns a lot about her. This is beneficial, except when it slows the pace of the story to a crawl. I think her backstory and conversations about her problems could have been spaced out more with more action between.

I thought Mal, Reese, Cullen, and Kirby were sufficiently developed. More information about them wasn’t necessary, considering they weren’t the focus of the book.

Hollis has ever-evolving abilities. At times this seems contrived. She gets a new ability right before she needs it. Its too coincidental and difficult to believe.

My main complaint is about the killer. I didn’t understand his motive or why he bothered to change his M.O. after the first few murders. Also, he came out of left field; he hadn’t even been a suspect or a character who had been given any page time.

During the investigation, I had a hard time following some of the logic regarding who could or could not be a suspect. For example, they said that a mechanic couldn’t be a suspect because an elevator or pulley system is electronic. I didn’t follow this line of thought because cars have many electronic components. Plus, a pulley system is not electronic in its most basic form.

Also related to the killer, the explanation for why and how he did things was overly simplistic for the complicated methods. Again, it was like, “What was all that for?” I didn’t feel the author gave it a sufficiently thorough explanation for the degree of complexity of the crimes.

The Writing

Kay Hooper excels at writing gruesome descriptions and people’s reactions to them. The scenes I enjoyed the most were the ones that described the crime scenes. Some readers might not like the gory details, but I did. In general, the author does a great job of making scenes easy to visualize and setting the atmosphere for each scene.

The writing wasn’t perfect, though. Sometimes, I would be temporarily confused until I got a piece of info I needed. For example, a character would refer to “her,” but I wouldn’t know until a few pages later which female they were talking about.

Also, there were times when the dialogue seemed solely for the sake of the reader. The characters discussed things they already knew; in real life they wouldn’t have had those conversations.

A minor complaint I have is about the use of the word pentagram as an assumed symbol of Satanism. Many non-Satanic religions use pentagrams. Also, a pentagram and a pentacle are not the same thing. If the pentagram were inverted, I would be more likely to agree with the idea that it is a symbol of Satanism.

Another complaint I have is that the author withholds the killer’s identity after Hollis figures it out. She doesn’t even tell Reese, which seems really strange. She tells the others that she knows who it is and that he grew up in Clarity. But, she still doesn’t name him. It wasn’t suspenseful; it was just aggravating.

Conclusion/Quick Review

Wait for Dark is an enjoyable read for people who like books about seemingly unrelated accidents that are actually murders committed by one individual, especially if the reader likes characters who have special abilities like clairvoyance, seeing spirits, or healing. I was glued to the pages, even though the pace was slowed by long chunks of dialogue. My complaints about Wait for Dark are primarily about the killer’s methods and motive, which don’t always make sense, and the fact killer’s lack of presence in the story (not counting his monologues). My favorite aspect of Wait for Dark was the easy-to-visualize descriptions.

 

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