THE NEW BISHOP/SCU NOVEL
After years away, Jessie Rayburn has finally returned home—unwelcomed—to a town of menacing whispers: Baron Hollow, North Carolina. It’s as though she never left. That’s why she’s so afraid.
She left behind her estranged sister, Emma, who has her own secrets to protect. But Emma is afraid to reveal what’s really troubling her and keeping her awake—strange dreams of women being murdered, brutally, viciously. Now, in this conspiracy of silence, Emma’s bad dreams are becoming more real than ever.
Even with the help of Noah Bishop, cofounder of Haven, the group of psychic investigators that Jessie works for, Jessie and Emma fear they won’t be able to outrun the secrets buried in Baron Hollow—or the evil targeting them one last time.
Jessie Rayburn returns to her hometown of Baron Hollow, N.C., to excise the personal ghosts of her adolescence in Hooper's 13th Special Crimes Unit paranormal investigation (after Blood Ties). She's a psychic investigator with a "singular lack of imagination," so she's not particularly surprised to find some real ghosts. What does come as a surprise is that her sister, Emma, is developing her own latent psychic powers, and the locals are being stalked by a serial killer. Jessie's fellow Haven employee, Nathan Navarro, is on the killer's trail, as are a journalist and a group of ghost hunters, but they all act in isolation, increasing their risk and lessening their chances of success. The juxtaposition of the idyllic town and the sadistic sociopath makes the horrors of the crimes stand out, but the basic investigative errors made by just about all of the characters seem to come straight from a schlock horror film with the audience yelling, "Don't go in there!"