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Titles by Kay Hooper

Bishop / Special Crimes Unit novels

HAVEN

HOSTAGE

HAUNTED

FEAR THE DARK

The Bishop Files novels

THE FIRST PROPHET

A DEADLY WEB

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

This book is an original publication of Penguin Random House LLC.

Copyright © 2015 by Kay Hooper.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices,

promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized

edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or

distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY® and the “B” design are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information, visit penguin.com.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-19193-8

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hooper, Kay.

Fear the dark / Kay Hooper. — First edition.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-0-425-28072-0

1. Paranormal fiction. I. Title.

PS3558.O587F43 2015

813'.54—dc23

2015026605

FIRST EDITION: October 2015

Cover photo © Paul Knight / Trevillion Images.

Cover design by Rita Frangie.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of

the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons,

living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

Contents

TITLES BY KAY HOOPER

TITLE PAGE

COPYRIGHT

AUTHOR’S NOTE

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

EPILOGUE

SPECIAL CRIMES UNIT AGENT BIOS

PSYCHIC TERMS AND ABILITIES

BISHOP/SCU STORY TIMELINE

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Once again, and at the request of many readers, I have chosen to place this note at the beginning of the book rather than after the story, so as to better inform you of the additional material I am providing for both new readers and those who have been with the series from the beginning. You’ll find some brief character bios, as well as standard SCU definitions of various psychic abilities, at the end of the book, plus a Special Crimes Unit “timeline,” information that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment of this story and of the series. I hope you enjoy Fear the Dark.

PROLOGUE

Serenity, Tennessee

May 5

Amy Grimes was bored with her life. She was bored with school, bored with her parents, bored with most of her friends, and had been well on the way to being bored with her boyfriend, Simon Church (of all things!), until he suggested that they just pack up and leave this very boring little town.

Amy was sensible enough even at seventeen to know that the suggestion had been prompted more by his failing grades in school and the six-pack of beer he’d polished off that night than any seriously deep feelings for her, but she discovered that she didn’t really care what had prompted the suggestion.

It suited her just fine.

Simon had worked construction since his midteens, and Amy was only one credit away from earning her certificate as a beautician at the nearby community college, so she was confident they could support themselves. She had her college savings (fairly pitiful, which was why beauty school) and Simon had two weeks’ pay in his pocket, and they decided that was enough to get started on.

Even after he’d sobered up, Simon was ready to leave Serenity and take Amy with him, even to the point of being willing to go along with her plans for a mysteriously secret buildup to their departure. She didn’t confide even in her girlfriends, because she knew all too well that one of them was bound to blab to her older brother or one of theirs, and before you could say scat everybody in town would know.

Since Simon was eighteen and had a decent car in his name—courtesy of his parents—all paid off and insured and everything, they decided to take that. And for nearly a week, they had a lot of fun in gradually sneaking into his car those items they felt unable to leave without. There was a brief argument about Simon’s flat-screen, but in the end he managed to make room and Amy agreed that they’d certainly need a TV wherever they landed.

Because that was the fun part, as far as she was concerned. No real plans. They’d just leave, and drive, and decide somewhere along the way where to settle—at least for a time.

“We’ll stop in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg,” she’d suggested to Simon, “and both write postcards to our families.”

“Then just keep going,” he said with some relish.

Amy nodded. “Then just keep going. We could head west, or north—wherever.”

“And our parents probably won’t even know we’re gone until they get the postcards,” Simon said.

Amy wasn’t so sure about that, given her father’s watchful eye, but she was still certain she could sneak out once her parents were in bed, and by morning she and Simon would be out of the reach of both sets of parents.

She was certain of that.

She just loved the idea that people would wake to find the two of them mysteriously vanished. She did spare a pang for the worry that would undoubtedly seize her parents but was certain a reassuring postcard in a couple of days would be enough to allay worry.

The plan was perfect. And over the course of just three days, they were somehow able to sneak their things from their respective houses and get everything in Simon’s car without anyone the wiser. Three days, and they were ready to leave, Simon telling his parents casually that he was spending that Friday night with a friend because they’d planned a very early fishing trip in the morning, and Amy all set to just wait until her parents were in bed to sneak out and join her boyfriend at the appointed meeting place just down the block.

It wasn’t until then that it crossed her mind that Simon hadn’t said anything at all about getting married, but she shrugged that thought off with careless ease.

It would all work out just fine, she was sure of that. And their departure would certainly give everyone something to talk about for quite a while. A mystery to brighten their dull lives.

     

 

2011 - 2015

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