Hidden Salem by Kay Hooper @KayHooper ‏@BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPub

Posted April 5, 2020 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 10 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hidden Salem by Kay Hooper @KayHooper ‏@BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPubHIdden Salem by Kay Hooper
Series: Bishop Special Crime Unit #19
Published by Berkley on April 7, 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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A town shrouded in the occult. An evil that lurks in the dark. The SCU returns in a hair-raising novel from New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper.

Nellie Cavendish has very good reasons to seek out her roots, and not only because she has no memory of her mother and hardly knew the father who left her upbringing to paid caregivers. In the eight years since her twenty-first birthday, very odd things have begun to happen. Crows gather near her wherever she goes, electronics short out when she touches them, and when she’s upset, really upset, it storms. At first, she chalked up the unusual happenings to coincidence, but that explanation doesn't begin to cover the vivid nightmares that torment her. She can no longer pretend to ignore them. She has to find out the truth. And the only starting point she has is a mysterious letter from her father delivered ten years after his death, insisting she go to a town called Salem and risk her life to stop some unnamed evil. Before her thirtieth birthday.

As a longtime member of the FBI's Special Crimes Unit, Grayson Sheridan has learned not to be surprised by the unusual and the macabre--but Salem is different. Evidence of Satanic activities and the disappearance of three strangers to the town are what brought Salem to the attention of the SCU, and when Gray arrives to find his undercover partner vanished, he knows that whatever’s hiding in the seemingly peaceful little town is deadly. But what actually hides in the shadows and secrets of Salem is unlike anything the agents have ever encountered.

I have enjoyed this Bishop Special Crime Unit series for a long time.  Sometimes the stories feature long known members of the team and some are completely new characters.  With well known characters, there is the advantage of already knowing them and having better developed characters who then further progress.  With new ones, it makes it easier for new readers to jump into the story.

Hidden Salem is a story with new characters.  So even though this is book 19, it could be read out of order or possibly even standalone.  I would read a few of the earlier books to understand the leadership and forming of the team, especially Bishop and Miranda, and also to know the inside terms and jokes.

I see this series as romantic suspense but there was no romance here.  It followed a similar path to other books in the series.  There’s a big bad and the team has to figure out who it is and take them down if necessary.  I liked Geneva and Grayson but they were not particularly well developed. This was also true of Nellie and Finn.  Leo is my favorite character.  Hidden Salem would have benefited from more emotional development of these characters perhaps with a romance or more of a “team” feeling with a few more characters from the series or updates on their current situations.

The investigation was suspenseful.  Determining who were good guys vs. bad guys was tricky. I also kept wondering if there was going to be a romance.  When things came to a showdown, it was over in a flash.

You will want to read the character bios, psychic terms and abilities, and author’s note whether you are an old or new reader.  These are at the end but I would read them first.  Since all the key players in this book are new to the series, I would say the characters should have been developed here so they wouldn’t need bios. But with this many books, I do appreciate the info verifying this is their first appearance in the series.

I love this series, along with Hidden Salem, as this is my favorite kind of paranormal, a specific kind of magic.  The series is uneven with some books more romance, others more mystery. There are characters like Hollis, who is not in Hidden Salem, who is key in many other books. Bishop, and less so his wife, Miranda, are in nearly every book with varying degrees of involvement.

About Kay Hooper

ay Hooper was born in California, in an air force base hospital since her father was stationed there at the time. The family moved back to North Carolina shortly afterward, so she was raised and went to school there.

The oldest of three children, Kay has a brother two years younger and a sister seven years younger. Her father and brother are builders who own a highly respected construction company, and her mother worked for many years in personnel management before becoming Kay’s personal assistant, a position she held until her untimely death in March 2002. Kay’s sister Linda works as her Business Manager, Events Coordinator, and is playing a major role in the creation and operation of The Kay Hooper Foundation.

Kay graduated from East Rutherford High School and attended Isothermal Community College — where she quickly discovered that business classes did not in any way enthrall her. Switching to more involving courses such as history and literature, she also began to concentrate on writing, which had been a longtime interest. Very quickly hooked, she asked for a Christmas typewriter and began seriously working on her first novel. That book, a Regency romance titled Lady Thief, sold to Dell Publishing in 1980. She has since published more than 60 novels and four novellas.

Kay is single and lives in a very small town in North Carolina, not far from her father and siblings. Deigning to live with her are a flock of cats — Bonnie, Ginger, Oscar, Tuffy, Felix, Renny, and Isabel — of various personalities who all like sleeping on manuscripts and whatever research happens to be spread across Kay’s desk. And living amongst the many felines are two cheerfully tolerant dogs, a shelter rescue, Bandit, who looks rather like a small sheepdog, and a Sheltie named Lizzie.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted April 5, 2020 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 10 Comments

10 responses to “Hidden Salem by Kay Hooper

  1. I read one from this series and enjoyed it. I think it was more “like” than “love” though, and I think it was because character development was a bit lacking. Glad to hear you’ve had fun with other books in the series and this one, too. Fab review, Anne! 🙂

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  2. I got around to everyone’s blog late today, as I was driving lyft earlier today. Hope you’re doing well. I’ll have to check out this Bishop special crime series:)