Tuesday 3 October 2017

Book ~ "Hello Again" (2017) Brenda Novak

Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world's worst serial killers. But she’s about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered - or he is wrongly convicted. 

When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends - and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again.

Hanover House, a maximum-security prison in Alaska, opened last year and Evelyn is a psychiatrist there.  Lyman Bishop is an inmate ... he had been convicted of killing a woman named Jan, whose body hasn't been found.  Evelyn is convinced he is guilty and is looking forward to finding out what makes him tick.

In the meantime, Evelyn is still being tormented by Jasper, her high school boyfriend.  He had murdered three of her friends and raped and tortured Evelyn when she was 16 and then disappeared.  When Evelyn hears about the deaths of women in the States, she knows it's Jasper who is doing it and is afraid that he will eventually come for her (as he apparently has in the past).

Evelyn is living with Amarok, a state trooper.  He would like to get married but Evelyn is hesitant because she's not sure if she wants to remain in Alaska for the rest of her life.  But she's also afraid that if Jasper is going to come after her, will he also kill everyone she cares about (so she's protecting Amarok)?

Though this is the second in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles series, it works as a stand alone as there is enough information provided about the first one (I haven't read the first one).  This book has a cliffhanger of sorts at the end which I'm assuming will lead to a third book in the series.  It is written in third person perspective with the focus alternating between the various characters including Evelyn, Amarok and Jasper.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

I thought the story was interesting and there were some elements of suspense.  I found Evelyn a bit annoying at times, though, when she would dwell on her relationship with Amarok.  I could understand her concern about putting him in danger because Jasper is still on the loose and killing.  But she focused a lot on their age difference ... she was seven years older than him, which I don't think was that big of a deal.  Also, when Amarok's ex-girlfriend moves back to town, it seems like Evelyn was trying to convince him that the ex was better wife material even though he constantly kept asking Evelyn to marry him.  As the story progressed, Evelyn seemed to become more confident in his feelings for her.

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