SOULLESS by Toni Hofman

SOULLESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A detective’s relationship with a man with supernatural abilities puts them both at risk in Hofman’s debut paranormal thriller.

David Jason Sawyer uses his powers on his true love, police detective Alex Rodriguez, to wipe all memory of their romance from her mind and keep her safe. But he can’t stay away from her, much to the chagrin of “his kind”—people with heightened abilities who feed on bioelectric energy and wish to keep their existence a secret from the general public. David tries to reconnect with Alex by hanging out at crime scenes until she notices him. Meanwhile, she investigates a series of murders that she believes may have been committed by this strangely familiar man. This solidly paced novel presents the main characters’ relationship in snippets—enough to satiate romance fans without boring readers inclined to skim such parts. Even the flashbacks feel action-packed: David shares his childhood with Alex via a psychic link, and she witnesses fleeting images from different points in his life. The murder-mystery device is surprisingly effective; readers are clued in that David is responsible for at least one murder, but the remaining murders provide an engrossing whodunit. Hofman continually adds other credible characters to the story, including David’s power-hungry adoptive father, Colin; Alex’s partner, Mike; and David’s friend, a former priest named Joe. The author also often turns clichés on their heads; in many other thrillers, the FBI will butt into a serial-killer case, but in this story, Alex has trouble convincing the feds, including her ex-boyfriend, Agent Frank Talbert, that the murders are linked. David and Alex’s relationship, however, is predicated on a brief, undeveloped prologue of the couple amorously entwined, and readers must simply accept the love between the two as fact. A largely unidentified group called the Renegades appears near the end, apparently intended for elucidation in a sequel. Hofman’s novel also shows that paranormal romance doesn’t necessarily mean YA; although it’s never explicit, it’s still adult in tone.

An often engaging thriller with strong leads and a blisteringly paced plot.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1492111849
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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