|Danger Signals is the first book in Kathleen Creighton’s four book series spinoff of Secret Agent Sam. This series, “The Taken,” is the story of Cory Pearson’s search for his four younger brothers and sisters from whom he was separated as a child.
Danger Signals is a story that is much weakened by trying to do too many things in a short time frame.
Homicide Detective Wade Callahan recalls only that his life began at age six when he was adopted, although he is being haunted by memories of "a protector" before that time. His brother Matt shares these memories, but has drifted out of Wade's life because of his withdrawal after becoming a paraplegic.
A serial killer is terrorizing Portland, Oregon, by torturing victims before killing them. The department is pulling out all stops and one of them is the use of Tierney Doyle, an empath. Wade is definitely not a believer and has no trouble resisting the concept; however, resisting Tierney as a lovely woman poses more of a problem.
Tierney reacts dramatically to the rage she feels at the scenes, reacts to Wade's disapproval and is further haunted by the fact that her only known relative, her grandmother, is slipping inexorably away as a result of the terrifying disease of Alzheimers.
Additionally, Tierney is troubled by the fact that she feels someone watching Wade. The reader knows it is Wade's older brother Cory who has been searching for his missing family for a long time. Cory follows Wade around and talks with his wife on the East Coast, giving the author an opportunity to fill the reader on the back story of how Cory and his wife met.
Bottom line, too much is happening and what suffers most is the investigation. In addition, the quickness that Wade is able to overcame his aversion to Tierney borders on the incredible given the circumstances of his original antipathy. The scenes which involve Tierney and her grandmother are poignant, but the issue would be better served if made part of a single or dual focus in another novel.
Wade and Tierney as characters are developed seemingly with one thought in mind, to showcase their less than ideal childhoods with the angst that evolves from that. Also, Tierney's "gift" as an empath has apparently deprived her of the ability to have normal relationships with others, but that is fixed all too quickly in this story.
With so many things happening there is simply not enough time for the author to have things evolve naturally which unfortunately creates the illusion that resolutions are either contrived or accidental. My suggestion: new readers to Kathleen Creighton should start with one of her earlier novels.