It seems everyone has always loved a good crime and/or mystery novel, right? The current reading trend has paranormal romance and supernatural horror also flying off the shelves. This new novel I’m reviewing, Waking Hours: An East Salem Novel by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson, couples both genres together into a fiction novel of suspense that will leave you hanging at the very end and wanting more.
Former NFL player Tommy Gunderson, turned Private Investigator-in-Training, and Dani Harris, psychologist working for the District Attorney’s office, take on a shocking murder case of a teenage girl. With the murder stemming from a local high school party, it seems odd that none of the other party attendees seem to be able to remember what happened that night.
Tommy and Dani were once Homecoming King and Queen, but things were left unspoken and they haven’t seen each other since. When they meet again on this case, both are unsure of each other’s feelings. As this case draws them closer, they both discover supernatural elements occurring all around them. For instance, why does Dani awake every night at 2:13 a.m.? Why are her dreams so apocalyptic? And why does Tommy feel like he is being watched at certain times? What incomprehensible forces are at work in this town?
The novel does a great job intertwining crime with a mystic story line. The paranormal element will leave you spooked and wanting to know more. It was an easy read, yet I found myself not really getting interested until about Chapter 19, almost halfway through the book. At that point the crime, and the paranormal elements, got much more interesting. Though the author took time to introduce the characters, I felt it wasn’t fast paced enough for me, or maybe in relation to other books I’ve read recently. However, many people might love the book the way it is and I try to realize that sometimes authors take it slow to build up suspense. The later half of the book was pretty decent and a quick read. The ending saved the book for me, as I finally started to get spooked, began to wonder about the supernatural occurences, and saw the proverbial fight against good and evil come in to play. The theme of the heavenly versus the demonic always interests me and it’s why I love some of these Christian books that Thomas Nelson publishes. I am extremely intrigued now to read the second novel, as this book totally left a huge cliffhanger regarding the events happening in the town of East Salem. I’ll want to read the second novel due to this. It would be an easy entertaining read for you to settle in with and might spook you a little if you aren’t used to reading horror or paranormal already.
I am not a huge fan of Fox News, who Lis Wiehl works for, and do not endorse her or the show or their statements, but the book was purely an entertaining read and she seems to have been able to use some of her former prosecutor skills to pen the crime scenes. Wiehl has another crime fiction series published with another supporting author as well, but I haven’t read any of those to compare this too.
Here is the Book Jacket Synopsis of Waking Hours: An East Salem Novel~
All towns have secrets. Some have demons. Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened. A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death confounds the town and intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, who is determined to unravel the mystery. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl–yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot–something tied to an ancient evil?
But it’s not just her waking hours that challenge Dani. Each night, her eyes open at 2:13 due to troubling dreams. Dreams filled with blood, water, and destruction. Is it a clue–or a supernatural sign?
Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his state-of-the-art security system has been breached by an elderly woman. Mumbling threats in Latin, she attacks him with an uncanny, preternatural strength. Before he has time to process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the girl’s murder at the park. He agrees to help–and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charms years ago when they were in high school.
A heavy darkness is spreading. Yet a heavenly force is also at work. It will take astute analysis and forensic skills to solve the crime. But Dani and Tommy suspect there’s more the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance… and more to the evil they’re facing than a mere human killer.
Waking Hours is available as of Oct. 3, 2011.
You can learn more about Lis Wiehl at www.liswiehlbooks.com. Pete Nelson is an established and acclaimed author. He lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York.
I was sent this book from Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their BookSneeze Book for Bloggers program. The statements are totally my own opinions and they only asked that I give an honest review in return for the book.