A Novella of the FBI Psychics
Can be read as a stand alone.
Destin Mortin’s psychic gift comes with an ugly twist—she excels at tracking down violent rapists. But it’s rough on relationships. Once, her partner Caleb was her everything: filter, shield, rescuer, lover. The only man who didn’t think her a freak. Then he walked away.
Destin turned her back on the FBI to work for a private agency, but now a particularly horrendous case has come up, and her boss wants her paired with only the best.
For Caleb Durand, leaving Destin was an act of self-preservation. Every time she flung herself headlong into dangerous situations, every time he nursed her through soul-crushing visions, he’d died a little more inside.
Now they are forced to work together one last time. Tragedy has changed them both, but Caleb knows if he lowers his shields for an instant, he won’t have an icicle’s chance in hell of resisting the temptation to lose himself in her wild power.
But to catch the rapist, it’s exactly what he’ll have to do.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I have read several of Walker’s FBI Psychics novels and enjoyed how she delved into both the cost and benefit of having a psychic ability to an individual. She also explored the hope, anger, frustration, grief, determination, and mingled pride/regret of the law enforcement individuals who go after people who commit a particular type of crime. In each she included a romance built on that quagmire of emotion and danger – grounding her characters in the here and now as they dealt with the fact that they were only human. So when I saw that she had a novella coming out from Samhain, set in the same world I had to try it. I enjoyed reading The Unwanted but I felt like there was a little something missing.
Caleb and Destin had a history, a very involved history that didn’t have a messy drawn out ending but a rather abrupt one. The past relationship and the method of its ending, five years before this story started, still reverberated inside both of them. When they were thrown together unexpectedly on a case tracking down a serial rapist in a small college town each had to face not only their open emotional wounds but the realization that the other person wasn’t as unaffected as they portrayed. While that did mean each had deep feelings for the other so the relationship wasn’t one sided, Walker used that to further explain why the earlier version of Caleb and Destin were unhealthy for each other which I thought was a very interesting take. Their emotional angst and journey provided a good way for me to avoid focusing too much of my attention on the victims. I was glad because the blurb did not exaggerate when it mentioned exactly what type of criminal Destin tracked.
This particular story did not have as much physical danger to the investigators, Caleb or Destin, as other books have with their respective investigators. The majority of the investigation involved Destin’s ability to see, much les detective work. As a result, I felt as if the investigation was a little offset from the story with the focus on the characters’ emotional journey instead of an even balance. I did not feel that that aspect detracted from the story at all because as I mentioned above I needed some distance from the crimes themselves. I thought it was very fascinating that in this particular story both the hero and heroine suffered from side effects of their psychic abilities because it balanced the scales of power between them. To me that was another indication that they completed or fit each other but both had to become mature enough to maintain their own separate identities and not merge into a blurred mess unable to function without the other.
I enjoyed seeing Caleb and Destin grow and heal over the course of the story, but I felt as if some things were left out or ignored. The first piece that I thought was missing started in the initial conversation Destin had with her boss when she mentioned suffering from extreme nosebleeds due to her visions yet I didn’t notice mention of one occurring during the story itself. I also thought the reason why Caleb and Destin were assigned this particular case but did not receive all of the information was a bit too much of a set-up. I thought there were other reasons to not get all the information in the beginning unless it is intended for some other event Walker has in mind for the FBI Psychics world. The last thing that bothered me about this story I will freely admit is probably a personal issue. The huge elephant under the carpet between Caleb and Destin was discussed and left with the acknowledgment that it would be dealt with when they were both ready. I really wanted step one of “ready” to occur in this story completely understanding that the cure would take years. I needed some movement forward because I felt like they were at step zero-point-five but on the other hand I was very glad to see the elephant at least addressed.
Overall I enjoyed reading The Unwanted, this novella provided a different take on the FBI Physics, their interaction, and the personal cost of their jobs. I felt the shorter length meant Walker had to choose between focusing on the characters or the suspense/mystery aspect of it and as a result this installment was much more character driven. I also found a few things that bothered me but they did not keep me from enjoying the story. I am curious to see where Walker goes with this novella format and if future stories will have the same character focus.
I give The Unwanted a B