Jane Stewart's Reviews > Waking Evil

Waking Evil by Kylie Brant
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's review
Sep 25, 2010

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bookshelves: mystery-with-some-romantic-suspense
Read in October, 2009

Investigator slowly unravels a mystery. Some motivations and details were not explained. A lot of mean people in this story.

A woman is sexually tortured, murdered and thrown into Ashton Pond. The TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) investigates and brings in outside forensic consultant, Ramsey. She works for Raiker Forensics, a consulting firm also known as The Mindhunters due to their brilliance and track record in solving tough crimes. The victim’s stomach contents reveal that the murderer forced her to eat a type of plant shortly before she died.

There is a local legend that every 20 or 30 years a red mist appears in the woods near Ashton Pond. When the red mist appears, three deaths will occur. Dev grew up in the area but since left. He now investigates paranormal and psychic phenomenon and writes books about it. He is using equipment to investigate the red mist. Some locals won’t talk to outsiders like Ramsey, but they like Dev. So Dev helps Ramsey by accompanying her on visits to question various people.

The book cover labels this as romantic suspense, but I see it as mostly a mystery with some romance and some suspense. Most of the story has the reader following along with Ramsey during her impressive and detailed investigation to solve the murder. She gathers a variety of information from a variety of places. She has the right kind of intuition and judgment that others don’t. By the end, the murder is solved. Aside from the murder, there are a lot of mean people getting away with doing mean things – not only currently but also during Ramsey’s and Dev’s past. It’s depressing to think about what they went through when they were younger, due to their own family members as well as outsiders.

As a mystery it was good. Dev’s personality and dialogue were charming. The last fifth of the book had me eager to keep reading to find out what happened. However, I prefer reading more about other things, than slowly solving a mystery which was the majority of time in this book. I was disappointed that several things were not explained, see Spoilers below. Caution, there are some brutal sexual torture scenes.

Page 36 of the book tells us Ramsey is thinking the sexual “trauma suggested possible multiple partners.” Therefore, I think I can talk about the following spoiler without giving away the store. I was disappointed that the author did not provide details about how and why a group got together to rape and kill the girl. How frequently did they do this? I can’t imagine what kind of conversations those people had with each other when they planned, did this, or talked to each other later about it. How many were in the group? How did they justify it? I wanted to know more. The red mist happens every 30 years or so. I got the feeling that this type of murder would happen more frequently than every 30 years. If that was true, then the red mist was occurring with some but not all of the murders. The number of murders by members of the current and past groups was not explained.

There was a roadside scene about men with clubs. I wanted to see some justice. The author didn’t continue with what would happen next. I had questions about Ezra. Was he shot and wounded? When and why did he move the chemicals? I also wanted to know what happened to Ramsey at age 15 in the woods. The author says a group of guys planned to rape her, but we aren’t told or shown what happened. I assume they raped her, but I wasn’t sure.

Story length: 359 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 4. Total number of sex scene pages: 12. Setting: current day Tennessee. Copyright: 2009. Genre: mystery with some romantic suspense.
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