Steve Williams is a talented FBI agents with a gift for the paranormal. When the FBI sends him to help Carolyn Hastings, he realizes immediately that something isn’t right. Carolyn is seeing through the eyes of the killer, and all the victims resemble her physically. She is the Assistant D.A. and believes in following her hunches…which are telling her the man she loves could very well be responsible for the crime spree cutting its way through the city. She and Steve have to follow the darkness, delve deeper into the killer’s head and try to rise up and stop the killer before Carolyn becomes the next victim in truth.
The fifth book in the Steve Williams series, Crystal Illusions, was intense and is the best written yet. I read Dark Reckonings when it first came out and realized that it was a bit too graphic for me. I loved the paranormal element, I loved the beginnings of the characters, but the gang rape scene was a bit much. I was curious though as to the rest of the series (since Steve was such a first hand victim in Dark Reckonings) and was interested when I heard about Crystal Illusions. I prepared myself for terror, agony and horror.
Crystal Illusions has shown how far J. E. Taylor and her characters have come. Steve Williams is so real, so human he seems to step out of the book. It’s hard not to sympathize with him. The author squeezes him dry then pushes him to keep going, allowing him to grow in ways that can only make him stronger. This installment continues to haunt me even days after having read it.
I noticed that Taylor has only grown stronger as an author, and her writing has continued to mature and develop. I can usually guess a book’s plot, but Taylor continued to surprise me and create more twists the farther along I read. If you love murder mysteries, if you love strong yet human characters, if you adore reading about the dark side of humanity then I highly recommend this book. If you are new to the genre and series, you’ll be able to pick up Crystal Illusions and enjoy it, even if you haven’t read the previous four books. I look forward to reading the next, and hope that one day Steve will be able to put all the nightmares out there to rest.