Title: Waking Hours
Author: Lis Wiehl w/ Pete Nelson
Genre: Religious Paranormal/Murder Mystery/Suspense
Release Date: 10/04/2011
Content Rated: R
Review By: Allorah
Synopsis: A gruesome murder occurs in the wealthy, and rather creepy, town of East Salem, NY. Former local homecoming king and queen, Danielle “Dani” Harris and Tommy Gunderson, turned forensic psychologist and retired NFL star, team up to solve the case and explain why the unexplained keeps happening in their town.
Blender Review: Waking Hours is the first in a new East Salem Trilogy series by best-selling author Lis Wiehl. The characters of the story are written and developed in a thorough and well-rounded context. Lis also does a great job of changing the narration point of view from Dani to Tommy and back again. This novel is interwoven with several plots that include a gruesome murder, paranormal activity with heavy religious references and even a little romance.
The author’s portrayal of how a murder case is solves between a group of individuals including lawyers, doctors and police gives the reader a lot of opportunity to let their mind wander on open-ended questions that sometimes get answered and are sometimes left for interpretation. Though there is a lot of religious content throughout the book it is also written equally as scientific, giving the reader things to ponder in the age-old debate: science, religion or both? This novel also has its share of good humor and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion.
I felt this was a great start to a trilogy but was not without its share of needed polishing. The plots are loosely interwoven and cause confusion throughout its reading. The book is set in Salem, NY but the paranormal plot lines give reference to the Salem witch trials. I understand that witches were persecuted in both Salem, NY and Salem, MA but if the setting is meant to enhance the paranormal aspect of the book then why not choose Salem, MA as it is more famous for paranormal activity than Salem, NY. I would have also like to see the paranormal events better explained all the way through the book and not just completely unraveled between a few chapters.
I also felt the author’s references to the Pagan religion and magic were not accurate.The book suggests that the Pagan religious God’s were turned away from by their followers’ because among their pantheon’s there were specific God’s who only brought evil upon the world. The book also suggests the practice of black magic. In my studies neither of these is accurate. In truth, Pagan’s believed that their God’s were both good and evil and that the devil, as a single evil entity, did not exist. The same is true concerning black magic. Those who are practitioners of magic will tell you that magic is neither black nor white and is both all in one. These religions believe more in the nature of duality rather than good vs. evil.
Waking Hours is a good start to the new series that will reveal more and get better with each edition.