Haven: Kay Hooper
Can you dream in vivid color and actually experience someone running for his or her life and seeing him or her die? Nightmares, visions, colors within the darkness can plague your inner most thoughts like a mirage on an oasis as you hope to see the water in the hot desert as a young girl envisions a woman’s life hanging in the balance. But, was it real? Did she really see her running for her life? What does this all mean?
Emma Rayburn’s dreams are filled with death, dying and are so graphic she becomes enveloped in the events that she sees and literally experiences them. Hers are so real, so vivid that she often awakes in a cold sweat with an elevated heartbeat and a fear of doom knowing that someone is dead. Night terrors or reality? Catherine Tolbert was 21 years old. Is she dead or did Emma just imagine it? Emma witnessed the outcome and heard the screams. Was it a dream? Each time she witnesses these events she records them in a journal. Someone unknown to her has died. In the time span of about two years a violent hand has struck down a dozen girls and none reported. Did this really happen? Emma had an accident causing her to have these dreams. Riding on a guided horse trail on horseback something or someone spooked her horse and she was thrown. But, what most think would have been the end result did not occur. The only side effects of this fall are the dreams.
Jessie Rayburn is haunted by nightmares that she has been dealing and is staying with a group of psychics run by an organization called Haven. John and Maggie Garrett with the help of Special Agent Noah Bishop created this organization to train assist and help psychics, who have had difficult experiences, need more training or have to recoup from a job. John and Maggie created this privately owned organization to train operatives to do investigative work. The fact that they have specific psychic powers makes Haven unique. Maggie’s powers are geared to healing emotional and physical traumas (empathy). Jessie Rayburn is about to return to her hometown and leave the confines and safety of Haven to face her demons and her past. Special Agent Noah Bishop is the Unit Chief and the third member of this group working with Haven and as Special Crimes Unit of the FBI. They created the group. Noah has special psychic powers called precognition and he knew that Jessie was returning home. Baron Hollow is her home filled with ghost story tours, paranormal research and strange things happening. Emma and Jessie are about to reconnect after a long time. There is a voice we now meet that seems bothered by Jessie and knows why she is there and what she is hiding.
A voice is heard and the torment within the character real as Jessie sees a spirit before her. Only viewed by her this spirit appears transparent in body yet wearing outdated winter apparel. Jessie receives a disturbing message from this spirit and if she does not find out whom the killer is that has lived in Baron Hollow for years more will die and disappear. So, why haven’t the police looked into these murders? Why don’t they know about them? Reporting to Maggie as requested her findings and what happened she will no longer be operating alone in order to find out why she left or ran away from this place, her inner memories and what about the dreams? Nathan Navarro will descend on Baron Hollow, unknown to her, and hopefully uncover more of the mystery. Skilled in finding the remains of the deceased, drawn or pulled to them will he succeed where others might fail? Who is behind the other murders and threats related to Haven as Noah Bishop and Tony Harte, two special agents try and find out more about why Miranda’s task force if being targeted.
Let’s listen to the voice of the killer as this person watches Jessie, tries to find another prey within this small town of unsuspecting residents and tourists to fill his need to kill but why? Secrets that he harbors, lies that he wants to reveal, truths about so many he wants to tell and yet he bides his time. Just what will Jessie remember about one party that caused her to leave? What happens when Emma and Jessie attend church? Why did she want to attract the attention of everyone? Why stir the pot?
A vivid revelation gives her a clue to the killer’s appearance. The events so graphically described you feel as if you, the reader are experiencing each nightmare along with Jessie and each vision too. The author continues with the killer’s thoughts, tracking his new prey and his creating a whole persona or name for this as he states “worthy prey.”
The author explains many of the characteristics of different types of psychic abilities and how each of the investigators uses their powers to help solve a case. But, sometimes they call “wall up,” or block others from knowing what they see, hear and find. Jessie blocked her thoughts form others and when she finally decides to take on a killer the end result will leave many wondering just where she is and why she went alone. As the puzzle pieces seem to fit together Emma and Navarro learn more about her past, piecing more together as the town’s festival draws Jessie’s attention and the paranormal researchers sense danger but where. As Jessie makes her way to a cabin that is owned by her cousin Victor what she uncovers would change things radically and what she finds there will give up more than just chills. As Navarro reveals to Emma what he senses, seeing the spirit of a woman warning him to find the killer and protect Emma, Nellie’s blood stained note will this person win in the end or will they finally stop him?
Hearing his voice loud and clear we learn that each body becomes a plant in his garden or Roses or death you might say. Justifying in his own mind for the killings and wanting to eliminate all loose ends leaving no one there to remember what happened 15 years ago when Jessie left town and Emma’s traumatic past. Nellie decides to investigate and learn more about Jessie from a reporter’s viewpoint; the town becomes involved when Jessie goes missing. Victor comes clean but is it too late.
Storms that affect the powers and mental acuity of both Navarro and Emma whose powers seem to falter when the weather is harsh. A town filled with secrets, lies, betrayals and deceit and many who would rather leave the past buried in the same garden with the bodies. One man who is bent of making the past and Jessie disappear forever. One spirit who will not rest until the killer is found and stopped. Rayburn House: Just what really lies behind the closed doors? What secrets are tormenting Emma that she has blocked them out forever? Why does Jessie feel responsible? What is the final fate of Baron Hollow? Why do paranormal researchers and ghost hunters flock there?
Author Kay Hooper keeps the reader glued to the printed page and hoping to join in the investigation as she brilliantly allows the reader to experience the dreams, the nightmares, the killer’s thoughts and the hunt for one man who has decided to create not a haven for people to live in but a nightmare for those living. What finally happens and who survives? What is Bishop’s role in this and what does Navarro learn about Jessie, Emma and will they be in time to save her? Unless you have your own psychic powers the only way to find out the answers to these questions is to read Haven. Let’s see what the author has in store next for our team of psychics. The author includes a glossary of psychic terms and abilities at the end plus other abilities that are unnamed too. She also includes a list of the characters and their bios for those who have not read her series before to learn more about these outstanding and interesting characters. Can you see someone dying in your dreams? Can your nightmares come true? Read Haven and then decide!
Fran Lewis: reviewer