Most of my good friends already know this but I am a huge fan of Kay Hooper's Bishop Crime Novels. I will eventually post my thoughts on the entire set of books, both individually and as a whole. As a little bit of background information Hooper's Bishop Crime Novels revolve around the cases of a specialized unit of the FBI called the Special Crimes Unit or SCU and their sister civilian organization Haven. The SCU and Haven use specialized Psychic abilities to solve the cases that they are sent on. What initially drew me to this series were the characters and the interwoven story lines of each book. Added to the fact that no matter how many times I can read a particular book in the series I can never seem to pin the suspect before they are revealed. This particular review however will focus on the latest installment of the series released in late November, The First Prophet.
To be completely honest I was a little disappointed with this novel. I have been waiting to read it since it was released but the plot was just so hard to follow that I often found myself confused. I find that this is a departure from Ms. Hooper's usual work, whether by design or something else I can't be sure. The characters of the novel are, as always superbly created and characterized. The lead, Sarah, is vulnerable and yet hardly as weak as other characters from the past that have faced her situation. The non-psychic Tucker Mckenzie has a believable determination and the instinctual need to protect the psychic lead character that drew me to the series in the first place. As stated before it is mostly the plot that drove me away from this book.
Unlike her other novels Hooper is particularly vague about who she is referring to and who is talking. This makes conversations particularly hard to follow and makes it harder than normal to tell when Hooper is referring to a antagonist or someone who is on Sarah's side. One disappointing feature of the novel is that none of the existing SCU or Haven operatives make an appearance in the plot line or comment on events, aside from a short interaction between Bishop and his wife Miranda at the end of the novel and a reference to the two of them being in the same hotel as the protagonists. This is something I've come to expect from Hooper and I found myself constantly trying to find the characters in the story.
In all I will try to read the novel again and see if it makes more sense the second time around but I don't have too high expectations for the book.