Monday, December 7, 2009

WAKING EVIL *The Mindhunters Book 2* by Kylie Brant

Publisher: Berkley Sensation Books
Date published: October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-425-23071-8
Romantic Suspense
Mass Market Paperback
Obtained via: author
Reviewed by Tammy

WAKING EVIL, the second book in Kylie Brant’s Mindhunter series, is a police procedural mystery with a hint of paranormal and romance thrown in to keep the suspense and tension running high.

Forensic investigator Ramsey Clark has come to the small town of Buffalo Springs, Tennessee to help solve a murder. As part of the “mindhunters” group, Ramsey is sent in when time is of the essence and clues are few. The locals claim the murder is the return of a legend involving a mysterious red mist that accompanies three murders each time it shows up. Though Ramsey has no interest in the paranormal aspects of the case, when she has trouble getting the locals to open up to her, she reluctantly accepts the help of writer and parapsychologist Devlin Stryker, who is in town doing research on the red mist.

This reader positively loved the first book in this series, Waking Nightmare, so expectations were high for the second book. The heroine in WAKING EVIL, Ramsey Clark, like Abbie Philips in Waking Nightmare, has dealt with a childhood trauma that has left her emotionally scarred. Our hero, Devlin Stryker, is just what Ramsey needs, even if she doesn’t know it at first. He is a lighthearted, fun and strong presence that thoroughly intrigues Ramsey’s all-work, all-the-time character.

The legend and its origins are fascinating and as the story unfolds and the legend keeps popping up in the investigation, character after character begin to take on a sinister air as the cloud of suspicion hovers over each one in turn.

On the negative side, it takes quite a while for the pace of the story to pick up. Ramsey’s childhood trauma is mentioned but not really necessary to the story except to show that she is not close to her mother, something she has in common with Devlin, and that she has problems forming relationships, which makes her growing attraction to Devlin all the more interesting. The other big problem this reader had was that when the murderer is revealed, he had played such a small part in the story that this reader had to really think back to remember who exactly he was. That took some of the “aha” out of the moment.

Though WAKING EVIL is not as tightly woven a story book as the first book in the Mindhunters series, Waking Nightmare, the paranormal elements and the race to find the murderer before the next victim appears are sufficient to interest romantic suspense fans and police procedural fans alike.


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