I just realized this is the second time I’ve started a Shiloh Walker series with the second book. I read Broken and loved it so I went back to read Fragile. This time I jumped into the FBI Psychics series with book two, with The Departed, and I’m feeling like I need to go back and read The Missing. Not because I was lost in the series, but because I really enjoyed The Departed and I feel like I need a little more time in this world. I did notice there is an FBI Psychics novella, The Unwilling, in the anthology Hot In Handcuffs. I might need to check that out.
The hero is FBI Special Agent Taylor Jones. I thought he came off as kind of an ass in the beginning. He’s cold, aloof and is wholly focused on his career. He’s not likely to be warming up anytime soon, not even for the woman he secretly pines for. Just once he allowed a crack in the armor and spent a passionate night with Desiree “Dez” Lincoln after she was wounded in the line of duty. Feeling responsible for what happened, he quickly shut down his feelings after their brief affair, erecting his walls along with his cool exterior.
Dez Lincoln is a special agent—subordinate to Agent Jones—who can communicate with the spirits of the dead. She uses her gift to track dangerous criminals. Deeply disappointed and hurt when Taylor turned his back on her after their intimate time together she realizes she can no longer work with him and decides to strike out on her own. She’ll continue her work, only not as part of the FBI, leaving Taylor behind.
Fourteen months later through twist of fate, Dez and Taylor find themselves working together in an unofficial capacity in Taylor’s hometown. They must track down a killer before he strikes again. But there is another mystery in Taylor’s past and Dez may be the key to helping him find closure and healing old wounds. As they work together, their feelings for each other become undeniable.
The Departed is a dark romantic suspense with a paranormal twist. I really liked the paranormal aspect. The plot is…I want to say intricate but I don’t know if that is the right word. There is a lot going on and at times I got a little lost, but all the pieces gradually fell into place. I’m not sure at what point I settled in and got comfortable, it just happened and before I knew it I was rolling right along. I did experience a bit of discomfort as the murder mysteries involve children and I’ve been known to quit a book quick if I feel a story will cross my personal line in the sand. Obviously I didn’t quit this book but I edged close to my discomfort zone a time or two.
Since I wasn’t overly fond of Taylor in the beginning I worried that the romance would suffer in the story. I love a good mystery as much as anyone but I am a romance lover so I wasn’t willing to forsake the romance in favor of the mystery. But what I ultimately ended up loving about this book is how Taylor’s icy layers slowly melted away as the mysteries of the story unfolded and secrets were revealed. Yes, Taylor had a hot passionate streak but he also held back and was always guarded and so the overall romance was gradual and built at a nice pace.
The Departed is a nice blend of paranormal romance and suspense. As the mysteries unraveled, the romance slowly came together packing a solid emotional punch while keeping the story edgy and intriguing.