Cons: It helps to read The Missing first, but it isn’t necessary
Rating: 5 out of 5
Desiree (“Dez”) Lincoln is a psychic who works for the FBI. Her ability? She talks to dead people, and they don’t let her rest until she helps them rest. Taylor Jones is Dez’s boss, a man whose talent lies in finding psychics and helping them to focus their talent. His driving goal above all others is to save lives—because he couldn’t save his little sister when she disappeared at age six.
Dez and Taylor feel the mutual heat of attraction between them, but Taylor is too cut off, too controlled, and too much Dez’s boss to allow a relationship—and in pushing Dez away after seeing her critically wounded, he pushes her too far. She leaves the FBI entirely and strikes out on her own.
Months later, a strong-willed spirit calls to Dez from Taylor’s old hometown; it needs her help to save a girl’s life. Dez and Taylor are thrown together again to resolve a situation that keeps escalating, and Dez may be able to help Taylor find out what happened to his sister all those years ago. Hopefully the craziness will bring Dez and Taylor finally together, rather than tearing them apart even further…
Shiloh Walker’s The Departed, like so many of her books, caught hold of me and wouldn’t let go until I’d finished reading it. Her characters have high-running passions, even when those passions are hidden under stony exteriors, and Shiloh has no difficulty allowing those passions out onto the page to play. Dez is an emotional character without being overwrought, and Taylor’s reasons for shutting down the sudden heat between them are believable. In many romance plots it’s hard to truly believe that the characters would clash and tear apart the way they do, but it works in The Departed.
The suspense plots in Shiloh’s novels never get short shrift, and I appreciate that. When I read a romantic suspense novel, I want the suspense to be suspenseful, rather than an afterthought used only to add tension to the romance. She isn’t afraid to delve into a bit of dark material in her suspense plots, although it’s never prurient; I’m just warning you in case you prefer to avoid such books.
There are plenty of fascinating side characters in this book, and while I might have enjoyed knowing a little more about a couple of them, truth be told that would have distracted from the plot.
If you enjoy passion and clashing wills, tension and suspense, a touch of psychic powers and a dash of horror, The Departed will keep you glued to your seat. While it’s nice to have read The Missing (one of the main characters from that book gets mentioned a couple of times in this one), it isn’t necessary—all you’ll miss is a little background that ultimately doesn’t detract from this plot at all. Of course, I absolutely loved that book, so I have to recommend it regardless!