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  • Stealing Shadows
  • Written by Kay Hooper
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  • Written by Kay Hooper
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A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel

Written by Kay HooperAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Kay Hooper

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List Price: $7.99

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On Sale: September 15, 2010
Pages: 384 | ISBN: 978-0-307-57522-7
Published by : Bantam Bantam Dell
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mystery (29) fiction (27) suspense (18) paranormal (17) romance (13) thriller (13) psychic (11) romantic suspense (11) fbi (9) supernatural (4) bishop (4) psychics (4)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

What if you can enter a madman's cruel mind as he plans his vicious crimes? What if you can see the terrified face of his prey as he moves in for the kill—but you can't stop his frenzy once he strikes?

Psychic Cassie Neill helps the L.A. police catch killers—until she makes a terrible mistake and an innocent child dies. Cassie flees to a small North Carolina town, hoping that a quiet life will silence the voices that invade her unwilling mind. But Cassie's abilities know few boundaries. And she's become certain—as no one else can be—that a murderer is stalking Ryan's Bluff.

It's his fury that Cassie senses first, then his foul thoughts and perverse excitement. Yet she doesn't know who he is or where he will strike. The sheriff won't even listen to her—until the first body is found exactly where and how she predicted. Now a suspect herself, she races desperately to unmask the killer in the only way she knows: by entering his twisted mind. Her every step is loaded with fear and uncertainty...because if he senses her within him, he'll trap her there, so deep she'll never find her way out.

In Stealing Shadows, Kay Hooper introduces FBI agent Noah Bishop, whose rare gift for seeing what others do not helps him solve the most puzzling cases. Now, Bishop's adventures continue in two new electrifying tales of psychic suspense.

Beware of what you see. It's dawn when the police arrive at the murder scene. The victim is propped against a tree, her eyes still open, her head tilted, her lips parted in a silent cry. Just as Cassie Neill predicted. Just as she saw while she was inside the killer's mind. The killer knew she was there. And next time he won't let her get away.

Excerpt

"Do you believe in the paranormal?"

That was unexpected and threw him for a moment. "The paranormal? You mean ghosts? UFOs? ESP?"

"Specifically extrasensory perception. Telepathy. Precognition." Her voice remained calm but she was sitting just a bit too stiffly and her clasped fingers moved nervously. She darted another glance at him, so fleeting that all he caught was a flash of those pale eyes.

Ben shrugged. "In theory I always thought it was just garbage. In fact, I've never encountered anything to make me change my mind." It was the fairly cynical mind common to many law enforcement officials, but he didn't add that.

She didn't look discouraged. "Are you willing to admit the possibility? To keep your mind open?"

"I hope I'm always willing to do that." Ben could have told her that he himself was give to hunches, to intuitions he found difficult to explain rationally, but he said nothing since it was a characterisitc that he hardly trusted. By training and inclination he was a man of reason.

Still utterly matter-of-fact, Cassie said, "There's going to be a murder."

She had surprised him again, unpleasantly this time. "I see. And you know that because you're psychic?"

She grimaced, registering the disbelief—and the suspicion of a prosecutor—in his voice. "Yes."

"You can see the future?"

"No. But I ... tapped into the mind of the man who intends to commit a murder."

"Even assuming that, intentions don't always translate into actions."

"This time they will. He will kill."

Ben rubbed the back of his neck as he stared at her. Maybe she was a kook. Or maybe not. "Okay. Who's going to be murdered?"

"I don't know. I saw her face when he watched her, but I don't know who she is."

Ben frowned. "When he watched her?"


She hesitated, her thin face tightening. Then she said, "I was .. in his mind for only a few seconds. Seeing with his eyes, listening to his thoughts. He's been watching her and he's decided to kill her. Soon."

"Who is he?"

"I don't know."

"Wait a minute, you claim you were inside the guy's head, but you don't know who he is?"

"No." She answered patiently, as though to an oft-repeated question. "Identity isn't a conscious thought most of the time. He knows who he is, so it wasn't something he was thinking about. And I didn't see any part of him, not his hands, or his clothing—or his reflection in a mirror. I don't know who he is. I don't knwo what he looks like."

"But you know he's going to kill someone. A woman."

"Yes."

Ben drew a breath. "Why didn't you go to the sheriff?"

"I did, last week. He didn't believe me."

"Which is why you came to me."

"Yes."

Ben picked up a pen and turned it in his fingers. "What do you expect me to do about it?"

"Believe me," she answered simply. For the first time she looked squarely at him.

Ben felt as if she had reached across the desk and placed her hand on him. It was a warm hand.

He drew a breath, holding her gaze with his own. "And assuming I can bring myself to do that? Is there anything you can tell me that might stop this murder from taking place?"

"No. Not ... yet." She shook her head, unblinking."I may see more. I may not. The fact that I connected to him without holding something that he touched, without knowing him, is unusual. It must have been the ... intensity of his thoughts and plans, his eagerness that reached out to me. Maybe I did touch something he had touched without knowing it. Or maybe he was pysically nearby, and that's why I was able to steal the shadows—" She broke off abruptly and looked down once more.

He missed that warm hand. It was another surprise.

"Steal the shadows?"

Reluctantly Cassie said,"It's what I call it when I am able to slip into a killer's mind and pick up bits and pieces of what he's thinking, planning. Their minds tend to be dark .. filled with shadows." Her fingers were really working now, their nervous energy in stark contrast to her calm face and voice

"You've done this before?"

She nodded.
Kay Hooper|Author Q&A

About Kay Hooper

Kay Hooper - Stealing Shadows

Photo © Sigrid Estrada

Kay Hooper, who has more than thirteen million copies of her books in print worldwide, has won numerous awards and high praise for her novels. She lives in North Carolina, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Author Q&A

Essays by Kay Hooper, Author of the Shadows Thrillogy

On Stealing Shadows

Stealing Shadows was born, I think, out of what has been a lifelong interest in two areas: mysteries and the paranormal.

I always did love mysteries and suspense, reading the classics like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers when I was younger and virtually everything I could get my hands on in the years since. I love them all, from the gentle, virtually bloodless "cozies" to the really dark and edgy suspense/thrillers dominating today's bestseller lists.

As for the paranormal, I vividly remember rushing home from school in order to watch eerie episodes of the groundbreaking daytime soap Dark Shadows. I remember reading book after book on subjects such as reincarnation, telepathy, psychic healing, telekinesis, and precognition.

As with my other reading in those years, I had nothing in mind beyond exploring my varied interests. It never occurred to me then that one day I would actually use the bits and pieces of information, fact and speculation, stored deep in my brain.

But that absorbed knowledge, like so much else of my teenage years, floated to the surface eventually. And found its way into my writing, at first in small characteristics and elements and later in much more important ones. A heroine hiding from the world because of her gift; a "haunted" Southern mansion; a couple whose romance was merely the latest chapter in an eternal love story.

It was fun to use those paranormal elements within the framework of a romance. But, gradually, as my work progressed into single-title, I discovered that the ideas simmering in the back of my mind were taking on a darker, edgier form.

Ever one to follow my nose, I paid attention to those ideas—and Cassie Neill immediately stepped center-stage. A gifted, wounded psychic, bound by her abilities and her conscience to help others even at the risk of her own life—and sanity. With Cassie came the title Stealing Shadows, and I knew I had the beginning of something that would require more than one novel.

Because there were other characters also demanding their own stories, some misty and vague because it wasn't quite their time to take center-stage; others fully-formed and rather arrogantly insistent that they wanted in now. Characters like Noah Bishop, FBI profiler and so much more, whose story I saw and understood almost instantly and with startling clarity; Bishop ended up anchoring my trilogy, appearing in all three novels and taking center stage for his own story only in Book 3.

What I had, I realized, was fodder for more than one story—perhaps much more. So I decided to begin with three stories, a trilogy that would be connected only by the paranormal elements—and Bishop. Each book could and would stand alone, but the complete trilogy would tell a bigger story and would, I hoped, lay the groundwork for future stories.

Plans don't always work out as we hope, as the poet said, but in this case the finished trilogy actually exceeded my hopes and expectations. I liked the characters, liked how the plots worked themselves out (I never know in advance how a story will develop, being a seat-of-the-pants writer who never outlines) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of turning these ideas into novels.

Even more, this trilogy did indeed lay the groundwork for future stories. And all that information I stored in my brain years ago, facts and speculations about the paranormal, is combining itself beautifully with my love of mystery and suspense—and the always fascinating dynamics of the relationships between men and women.

I never knew, watching Dark Shadows as an enthralled kid, that one day I'd create my own "mythology," my own world of the paranormal.

And I never would have guessed how much fun I'd have doing it.

 

On Hiding in the Shadows
Hiding in the Shadows, unlike most of my other novels, was born, literally, in a single moment of inspiration, with a "what if" idea that gave me the backbone of the entire story. It's more usual for me to have several "moments," several different ideas, in character and plot, which jell eventually into a story.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times in my twenty-year career when I saw the central premise of a story in a single blinding moment before I ever wrote a word of it. It's such a rare occurrence, one of the magical "possibilities" that keep me writing because, when it happens, it makes working a pure joy—at least for that wonderful moment.

In Hiding in the Shadows I had that moment, and the idea fit in well with the paranormal theme behind my "Thrillogy." It would be different from Stealing Shadows in several ways: it would take place in the large city of Atlanta rather than a small town; the paranormal elements would be less obvious; and the developing relationship between hero and heroine would be much more . . . conflicted.

Bishop, of course, had to take part, and I found out quickly that he was the hero's best friend, and that his FBI expertise would be necessary to the story. We find out a few more things about Bishop, including the fact that he's putting together a new unit within the FBI, leading a team of agents whose abilities are very, very specialized.

An early review of Hiding in the Shadows made a comment about "smoke and mirrors," and I think that reviewer was right on. Nothing in the story is quite what you think it is—-including several of the characters.

In the course of writing the story I was able to build a bit more of my psychic mythology, and that was not only fun but proved to me that I had at least a few more stories to tell that fit well within that world. Other characters began to take shape in my mind, their lives and conflicts coming into focus.

If the theme of Stealing Shadows was fighting monsters, especially those inside our own minds, the theme of Hiding in the Shadows is probably a much simpler one. Connections. We are so connected to the other people in our lives, to our past—and to our future. We exist within a complex pattern of threads, wrapped safely and securely in a fabric woven of our experiences and our interactions with those around us.

So what if you woke up one day to find that the fabric had torn almost beyond repair while you slept? That all those connections making up your life and experiences had been severed, the memories stolen from you? What if even your name and the face you saw in the mirror were unfamiliar to you? What would you do?

For Faith Parker, the answer is a single certainty in the darkness surrounding her, a lone memory of a face. A man. But is it her memory she experiences with such vivid, emotional certainty? And is Kane MacGregor a man she once loved, a man she can trust?

Or was even more than her very identity stolen from Faith while she slept?

Smoke and mirrors. Look at your reflection carefully.

Who do you see—really?

Praise

Praise

"Kay Hooper keeps me guessing until the very end."—Linda Howard

  • Stealing Shadows by Kay Hooper
  • August 29, 2000
  • Fiction - Suspense
  • Bantam
  • $7.99
  • 9780553575538

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