Sunday, July 27

Hiding in the Shadows - Kay Hooper

Car accident patient Faith Parker has done the incredible - after six weeks in a profound coma she's woken up, astonishing her doctors. Unfortunately she's lost her memory - total amnesia of her whole life. She doesn't know why journalist Dinah Leighton, who she was on the way to visit, paid for her hospitalisation and aftercare, or why she's now missing. Dinah's partner Kane is sure that Faith holds the key to Dinah's disappearance, and he and Faith try to retrace her footsteps. Though Faith can't remember anything of her own life, she keeps having flashes of another life, one she realises is Dinah's, and as she begins assimilating Dinah's habits and mannerisms she also experiences flashes of being imprisoned, bound and tortured in a dark cell. Can she and Kane finds Dinah before it's too late?
I found the lengthy sections of description distracting and annoying -
"There was one bedroom; the queen-size brass bed had a floral, ruffled comforter set, with lots of pillows tossed against the shams. Curtains at the single window matched the comforter. There was a nightshade and a chair, both white wicker and a white laminated dresser with an oval wicker-framed mirror hanging above it. The color scheme was white and pink."
Then we move to the bathroom, then the kitchen, then the living room, with the same tedious detail and choppy sentence structure. And some of the other sentences are a little odd: "Eerie and ghostly, especially with the nearby machines audibly counting off the beats of her heart to insist, with a machine's irrefutable logic, that she was, in fact, a living creature" or "It was almost impossible to recognize that comatose patient in this woman, whose rioting emotions were the very definition of chaotic life."
The supernatural elements - Faith's connection with Dinah, Dinah's ESP, and the input of a friend of Kane's called Bishop - are not well introduced or explained, nor particularly well resolved at the end.
There were a number of promising elements present, but somehow I didn't feel any connection with the novel, which I finished more out of a nagging sense of duty than out of any interest in how it finished up. Hooper's a multi published author with a substantial following, based on the prominence of her titles, so maybe this isn't a good example of her work. But right now my life's too short to try out another of her works. - Alex

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