Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: Deadly Dreams by Kylie Brant

Title: Deadly Dreams
Series: Mindhunters
Author: Kylie Brant
Read copy: eBook
Published: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 1101481811
ISBN-13: 9781101481813

Risa Chandler's prescient dreams of death and murder haunted her nights. They also proved invaluable for Adam Raiker's brilliant team of forensic criminologists, the Mindhunters—until a tragic end to one case shattered Risa's confidence, and drove her into seclusion. But for Risa, there's no hiding from death—or from her dreams.

Though skeptical, Philadelphia homicide detective Nate McGuire enlists Risa's help in finding a serial killer who has claimed three victims. Reluctantly, she agrees. Because she's been dreaming again—rituals by fire, charred horrors, tortured screams. But Risa's feeling something else: the heat of a stranger who's watching her just as closely, a madman with dreams of his own—to make Risa his ultimate fiery sacrifice.

My rating:

A couple of months ago, her prescient dreams proved not to be infallible, and Marisa Chandler decided to resign from Raiker’s Forensics to lick her wounds and her confidence. Fortunately for her, and for the detectives targeted by a crazy firebug, Adam Raiker refused to accept Risa’s resignation, and instead got her instated into the task force assembled to catch the so-called Cop Killer.

Partnered with tall, dark, and handsome homicide detective Nate McGuire, Risa has no choice but dream again...And heed those dark dreams of fire, screams, and death, since her life just might depend on her dreams...And her intuition.

After the crash and burn of its predecessor, the Mindhunters is back with a bang in this gem of a story and restored my faith in this second “trilogy” ending with Adam Raiker’s book (coming next).

For those of you, unfamiliar with this series, it’s about employees of a private investigative agency, often on loan to the government or police forces around USA offering their special services in difficult, tricky cases. These employees use a set of skills, a strong mix of intuition, instinct, observation, and sometimes slight psychic abilities (in this book the heroine uses her nightmares to guide her in the investigation of a serial killer torching cops) in order to excellently perform on their jobs. They’re usually paired with police officers/government agents, sometimes together...And the romance blossoms.

Speaking of romance...The entire series is more along the line of a suspense/thriller with a romance as a side story. Mostly successful, sometimes not so much, with usually one or two sex scenes, some heated looks, even more heated kisses (usually after a life-and-death situation), and some intense inner doubts about the blossoming relationship (mostly on the heroine side, the heroes are all for HEA and a long life together). Mostly the romance runs in the background, more like an undercurrent, while most of the book is straight suspense.
This one was the lighter in romance of the bunch to date, literally blink and you miss it, all crammed up in the last third of the book, but somehow it worked much better than the prolonged tension and hesitation so much present in the previous one. It was this “understated-ness” of the romance angle that brought it so much more to the surface, adding a certain emphasis on it, making things cleared in hindsight, and provided, if you will, a good respite from the other aspects of the book (not just the suspense and the villain). You might say it was rushed, but, as both Risa and Nate admitted, there is something about those life-and-death situations, that brings a much sharper focus on things. Even things you might not want to admit.

For the rest, in order maybe not to say too much, I’ll keep it simple...The characters were great (as always), multidimensional, layered, flawed, and with problems of their own outside of the investigation, the characterization, the motivation, the reasoning was spot-on, the pacing just right, the plot tight and intriguing, the suspense amazingly intense (especially that last scene when time was running out), and it kept me guessing who the villain was until Ms Brant chose to reveal his identity (didn’t see that one coming).

Loved it from beginning to end, there wasn’t a dull moment in the book, everything flowed together seamlessly, and the appetizers for Raiker’s book made me want to read the next one immediately.



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