Sense Of Evil
by Kay Hooper, contemporary (2004)
Bantam, $7.50, ISBN 0-553-58347-6

Sense Of Evil is the weakest entry in the author's Evil trilogy, I find, because of its reliance on the psychic abilities of its main characters to solve a crime. There's a line between a paranormal romantic suspense and a lazy story that uses "psychic abilities" as a deus ex machina and this book has crossed that line.

Isabel Adams, a member of Noah Bishop's paranormal FBI investigation team, has her story when she is sent to aid police chief Rafe Sullivan in his quest to apprehend - what else? - one more serial killer on the loose, this time in Hastings, South Carolina. Isabel and Rafe fall in love too, thanks to their psychic connection.

"Psychic connection" is very important in this story because it can be used to explain everything and anything. In the meantime, the characters never come alive, as they come off like watered down versions of the author's previous characters, spending more time exchanging exhausting chatter about psychic bonds than on the case itself. And for a long time, this story is all chatter and no action. If "suspense" is now the same as "plenty of gory scenes", then this book has done its job well. Otherwise, oh boy.

Dull, dry, and devoid of any actual suspense, Sense Of Evil is more mechanical than chilling. The next book is going to be a prologue to Noah Bishop's forming of his team over a now derivative serial killer case, which marks the author's full-blown departure from "romantic suspense" to "fiction". I won't be following her there as her brand of paranormal romantic suspense is becoming too dry for me. I just wish she's performed a better swan song for me.

Rating: 60

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