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The First Prophet: A Bishop Files novel
by Kay Hooper
Jove Books; $9.99; 390pp
Release Date: November 27, 2012

This is the first in a series but is related to her previous book “Haven.” Even though it is a stand-alone novel; this is a situation when I should have read the first book.

This tale deals with Sarah Gallagher who six months before had a serious accident resulting in head trauma and when she recovered: it turned out she was psychic. And her abilities have grown in strength in the ensuing time.

An author named Tucker Mackenzie who has had an on-going interest in psychics seeks out antique dealer Sarah. For reasons of his own he wants to find a true psychic and not a carnival charlatan.

Tucker meets Sarah on the street as she stares at the smoking ruins of her home in Richmond , Virginia : a victim of arson.

With this as a beginning, the two of them tumble into a very shadowy world where paranoia rules: everyone IS out to get them. Well, Sarah, initially.

You’d think with all the chases and hairs-breadth escapes this novel contains it would rivet me to a chair until I had finished it.

Not the case here.

Those chasing Sarah and Tucker only go by one name. We have no idea who they represent and it took some time to differentiate between the good and the bad guys. This all sounds like the foundation of good suspense building: but here it was just amorphous.

This lack of clarity made it very easy for me to put the novel down and read something else.

Hooper’s story has compelling aspects but the nature of the threat is so vague. We know that the bad guys have been seeking out psychics for years. But we don’t know for what purpose. A lot of the psychics are kidnapped as children because there appears to be a point at which even though the person is psychic they are of no use to the bad guys. And the good guys, of course, want to keep the bad guys from kidnapping psychics. But what do the good guys want with them?

Sarah along with Tucker is a pivotal to some kind of plan.

I read plenty of novels where the “black ops” folks are buried layers-deep in some government or international agency or hidden by a great deal of money…but here, there are so few clues to clarify the nature or purpose of the hunters on either side, my curiosity wandered off.

So, I think in this case: read “Haven” first. It might help explain a lot in the pages of this novel. ~~ Sue Martin

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