BLOOD TIES by Kay Hooper

Book Quote:

“I profoundly mistrust the very concept of psychic abilities, much less psychic abilities used as investigative tools. But Bishop has indisputably made it work; his success rate is in the ninetieth percentile. And his unit functions as a team better than any other unit in the Bureau.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky (JAN 26, 2010)

Blood Ties, by Kay Hooper, is set in the small town of Serenade, Tennessee, where a runner stumbles over the body of a man who has been tortured and murdered. The local sheriff, Des Duncan, who is not equipped to deal with such matters, calls in the FBI to assist. The agents who show up are members of the highly trained Special Crimes Unit, all of whom have one or more psychic abilities that they use in their work. When more bodies turn up, the SCU suspects that a vicious and demented serial killer is on the loose.

In the absence of Noah Bishop, chief of the SCU, Special Agent Miranda Bishop heads up the team. Special Agent Quentin Hayes, Hollis Templeton, Diana Brisco, and Reese DeMarco all figure prominently in this case. As the days wear on, a highly skilled sniper starts taking potshots at members of the SCU as well as at “noncombatants.” In spite of their impressive intellect, training, and manpower, Miranda and her colleagues begin to feel like sitting ducks. Furthermore, they have no idea who the mastermind is behind all the carnage. Fortunately, Diana’s psychic abilities provide a valuable clue; she learns that past events are somehow connected to the crimes they are now investigating.

Hooper has concocted a complicated plot featuring a diabolical conspiracy that will test the courage and stamina of the SCU. Diana is particularly vulnerable, since she has the ability to walk with spirits in “an eerie corridor between life and death.” The danger is that one day she may not be able to come back out. Hollis Templeton, an agent in training, is also at risk. Her psychic abilities have evolved so rapidly that she sometimes overreaches. There is also a subplot about the ever deepening relationship between Quentin and Diana as well as Reese and Hollis. Most of the novel, however, consists of repetitious scenes in which various people suggest theories, track down leads, and dodge bullets. To her credit, the author audaciously kills off some innocent characters and, of course, throws in the obligatory surprise ending, in which a nefarious and shocking plan is revealed.

If you are new to the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series, you might want to consider reading the earlier installments first. Jumping in at this point may prove to be bewildering. You would also do well to refer to Kay Hooper’s helpful mini-biographies of her characters as well as a brief glossary explaining the meaning of various psychic abilities (located at the back of the book). Since Blood Ties has dozens of characters and alludes to earlier novels in the series, readers will need all the help they can get in making sense of what is going on. If you have no patience with auras, the spirit world, clairvoyants, seers, and telepaths, you may want to skip this one. Even if you do find psychic phenomena intriguing, especially when coupled with violence and a touch of romance, Blood Ties is a bit too rambling and melodramatic to earn more than a marginal recommendation.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-3-0from 49 readers
PUBLISHER: Bantam (January 26, 2010)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
EXTRAS: Excerpt
MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Other psychic/paranormal fiction:

Uncertain Currency by Clyde Sawyer & Frances Witlin

Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey

Partial Bibliography:

Bishop/Special Crimes Unit
Shadows Trilogy:

Evil Trilogy:

  • Touching Evil (2001)
  • Whisper of Evil (2002)
  • Sense of Evil (2003)
  • Fear Trilogy

    Bishop/Special Crimes Unit:


    January 26, 2010 В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
    Posted in: Sleuths Series, Speculative (Beyond Reality), US South

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