Friday, January 8, 2010

Touching Evil

Touching Evil by Kay Hooper

Some cops think police sketch artist Maggie Barnes is telepathic. That she can actually enter the victims minds. Only Maggie knows the truth behind her rare talent. And she isn’t telling.
--Touching Evil by Kay Hooper, Published 2001 by Bantam Books. Audio book produced by Recorded Books.

Maggie Barnes is a Seattle police sketch artist. She is working with the victims of “the Blindfold Rapist,” trying to piece together their memories to come up with a sketch of the rapist. John Garret, the brother of one of the victims, involves himself in the police investigation. Frustrated by the police's lack of progress, John brings in a friend and his partner who happen to be agents with a special unit of the FBI. As the case progresses, Maggie’s empathic abilities, which aid her in creating her sketches, grow stronger and a mysterious connection to a series of murders in the past is uncovered. Can the police put the pieces together before the killer claims his next victim?

First, a confession. I read this book, and the others in its series, when they were published, but it’s been so long that reading them now is like reading them for the first time. I will be listening to audio book versions of these stories.

Touching Evil follows a rather predictable pattern that can be seen all too often in trade detective stories. The pretty, female detective—or police employed civilian in this case—hunts the killer and becomes a potential victim. In this case, the killer is caught before he goes after Maggie, but it’s obvious she was next on his list. She falls in love with the rich-guy hero who elbows his way into the investigation where he doesn’t belong and because he’s rich and connected, no one has the guts to tell him to butt out. And, of course, he falls in love with her. However, if you can get beyond these predictable elements, there is an interesting story about an empath, a serial killer, and the detective work that goes into solving the mystery.

When I checked for their editorial review, I discovered that the “Evil” trilogy is actually the second trilogy in the “Bishop” series. I should have started with the “Shadow” trilogy. However, since I don’t yet own the “Shadow” trilogy but I do own the “Evil” trilogy, I will continue with that set, then review the “Shadow” trilogy once I have those (which will be by the first part of February). These stories are part of a series, but they can be read as individual stories, so this flip-flopping won’t bother me, although it may be irritating to others. So if you’d like to read the “Bishop” series, start with Stealing Shadows.

I remember enjoying this story when it was first published and probably would have given it four stars back then. Now I feel I can only give it three.

No comments: