Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review ~ Haven by Kay Hooper

Goodreads Synopsis:

Another nightmare, in the woods this time. Different: She was running. Trying to escape.

But the same ending. Always the same ending. Another dead girl…

Emma Rayburn was born and raised in Baron Hollow, North Carolina, and it was a quiet life. Then came the accident…and the nightmares—each filled with unshakable visions of darkness, blind panic, and desperate women chased toward inevitable death. With no reports of local women missing or found dead, Emma has written it off to troubled imaginings—night after dreaded night. Until her sister arrives.

Jessie Rayburn, psychic investigator for a firm called Haven, has been estranged from Emma for years. Unresolved issues from Jessie’s past have not only kept them apart but have been clouding Jessie’s unique abilities. A return to her hometown to face a dark and violent incident from years gone by is her chance to regain them. But reconciliation with the past comes with a price. Few people in Baron Hollow are welcoming Jessie back. No one dares to breathe a word. And in this conspiracy of silence, Emma’s nightmares are becoming more vivid than ever.

Even with the help of Noah Bishop, head of the FBI Special Crimes Unit and co-founder of Haven, Jessie and Emma soon find themselves outnumbered by the secrets buried in Baron Hollow—and outrunning an evil that has been festering for years, one that’s targeting Jessie and Emma one last time.

My Review:

Kay Hooper is the author that took my hand and let me into the paranormal.  I read crime and thrillers, then I came across some crime fighters with special abilities.  I did kind of take it to the extreme once I latched onto that whole special abilities thing, running all the way to vamps and weres, but I always stay true to Kay and read all of the Bishop / Special Crimes books.

Haven is not truly a Bishop book, but focuses on Haven, the organization of civilians with special crime-fighting abilities that Bishop helped create.  Jessie is a member of Haven but finds her abilities are being hindered by regressed memories.  Her task is to return to her childhood home and work through those memories so that she may better access her abilities.  Going back proves to be difficult and the memories she has suppressed become dangerous even after all this time.
Emma is Jessie's sister.  She doesn't know about all these special powers and thinks she is just having wicked nightmares.  It's not until Jessie returns, and these other strangers all whole up in her bed and breakfast, that her blinders are pulled off and she starts to see that there is more to her nightmares.

There is a killer in Baron Hollow, although no one is really aware of the fact since they have so many passing hikers and such that no one really misses them in the town.  This killer has it in for Jessie when he discovers her back in town. 

Jessie really ticked me off.  I wanted her to be there for her sister a lot more than she really was.  She seemed so determined to do things on her own and not use the tools available to her, like her fellow Haven operatives.

The killer is this book has a really strange disposal method, and I found that kind of weird.  Oh and one of the scenes in the book seemed to come straight out of a Criminal Minds episode.  If you know which one I mean, comment below.

The ending was sad.  I'm so used to my HEA's with all my paranormal romances, that coming across a book that is not a perfectly happy ending left me feeling shocked.  I kind of miss those surprises.  The crime and thriller books can certainly get you out of that predictability rut.

All in all, I would give Haven a 3.5 out of 5.  The story was good, I didn't guess the killer but I just didn't form an emotional attachment to the characters.  I think I was a little confused too on the past scenario that started the whole thing.  I still would recommend it.  It was good, just not as good as other Bishop novels I have read.

Much love!

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