Book Critique – #355: The Unholy (Krewe of Hunters #6)

For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: Yes, pick it up for a mystery involving paranormal activities mixing with film noir. 

The Unholy is the sixth book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham and published in June of 2012. This plot revolves around Sean Cameron - the second member from the second group of elite paranormal investigators of The Krewe - and Madison Darvil - Special Effects Artist. 

Krewe are a secret FBI unit with each member of the unit honing a particular psychic talent of their own making them the paranormal investigating team. This unit was created to deal with murders having supernatural undertones and paranormal activities. Headed by paranormal investigator Adam Harrison, the elite unit of paranormal investigators is called on to solve cases linked to historical mystery involving legendary crime and serial killings, war events and hauntings. The stories in the book series are located mostly in Virginia and New Orleans, with some well-known legends used as themes.  The Krewe are divided in three distinct groups. The first group is led by Jackson Crow based, the second group is led by Texas Ranger Logan Raintree and the third group is a unit of its own. 

Alistair Archer is charged with murder of his girlfriend Jenny Henderson. Being a Hollywood movie mogul, his father Eddie Archer brings in FBI's Krewe - a paranormal FBI Team. Sean Cameron - expert in movies and special effects and Eddie's protégé before Sean joined FBI - joins hands with Madison Darvil - special effects artist under Eddie's wing - in investigating the truth behind Jenny's murder, for Alistair claims that the mannequin of the Egyptian priest - Amun Mopat - kills Jenny.

Eddie Archer owns The Black Box Cinemas that immortalizes Hollywood's Golden Age giving tribute to the film noirs. His next feather was the movie titled The Unholy which was a remake of 1940s Sam Stone and The Curious Case of Egyptian Museum but casting them in contemporary light. Ironically the heroine of the film plot gets killed by the same Amun Mopat that kills Jenny Henderson. The Krewe consisting of Logan Raintree - their team leader - Kelsey O'Brien, Dr. Katya "Kat" Sokolov, Tyler Montague and Jane Everett work with local law enforcement headed by Detective Benny Knox to dig deeper into the mystery.

Who had killed Jenny for real? What was the motive for it? As Sean and his team along with Madison delve deeper they find connections not only to the present but the distant past and beyond putting them both directly in the line of the killer. How they will unravel the mystery is what the rest of the plot is about.

My love for film noir would naturally love this plot that Heather has spun with a background in those movies from Golden Age. Immensely enjoyed reading this book although there are places that I felt it dragged on. Heather had however mixed the film noir with contemporary adding a background filled with past evil surfacing in the present. How a human being's mind can be twisted within reason sometimes and without reason sometimes is well played. Again the identity of the killer was well kept till the end although I kind of guessed one of the accomplice early on. It was a bit surprising as to whom Heather had chosen her killer to be and paled a bit. But nonetheless a well-plotted suspense thriller.

On a minor note, Heather didn’t have her traditional recipes from the area the plot is set in at the end of the book. 

Another intense plot by Heather that certainly rises your hair leaving goose bumps as it continues.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. Heather mentions about a movie "Apocalypse from beneath the sea", but I couldn’t find any movie of that name exactly. But I found a 1955 film titled "It Came from Beneath the Sea". Perhaps that was the movie she meant. Or it could have been something made for the plot by Heather.

b. Same goes with movies she mentioned titled Planet Mondo and Hugoman. Although there has been a movie titled Hugo released in 2011 which had a similar story line-up as Heather mentioned for Hugoman.

c. On Pg. 62, Heather's character Madison mentions that Disturbing Behavior was a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. But in reality the 2007 film Disturbia was a remake of Rear Window. And the 1998 film Disturbing Behavior was infact closer to the 1975 thriller The Stepford Wives. I wonder if Heather made a mistake in connecting the titles.

d. On Pg. 341, it should be "As the day wore on…" instead it is typed as "As they day wore on…"

2) There is again reference to Adam Harrison - who supervises the paranormal investigations for FBI - and how he came upon with these teams. I have the Harrison Investigation Series by Heather Graham that definitely are prequels to this series in my list yet to read. Perhaps after I finish this series.

3) Heather Graham brings to light some film noir movies that I love to watch. But I could not find any movie with the title Sam Stone and The Curious Case of Egyptian Museum. In  any case the other movies that she brings to light through The Black Box Cinemas are:

a. 1941 The Maltese Falcon - a movie that has been in my list for so long to watch.

b. 1941 Citizen Kane - the first time I heard about this movie was in an episode of Columbo titled How to Dial a Murder and had been wanting to watch it ever since.

c. 1942 The Glass Key - Never heard of this movie before but very interesting plot. Definite watch on my list.

d. 1944 Laura - I watched it recently and posted my review here

        e. 1942 Casablanca - I watched this movie innumerable times and once on the big screen too. Here was my review after I watched it on the big screen.

4) Interesting Hollywood facts:

a. Very interesting to read that Alfred Hitchcock had used chocolate to simulate blood in his scene in Psycho. Now chocolate takes on a new meaning for me, with a shiver of course.

b. Humphrey Bogart was buried with a whistle.

5) Plot Reveals:

a. To add to the film noir in the plot, Heather brings in Humphrey Bogart himself as the dead person that Madison sees. Although Madison is confused between him being her imagination vs a real ghost, it is fun to read the conversations between Bogart and Madison.

6) Again in this book I have, came with two inserts about free books - you know where the books used to have a hard letter kind of page that you could tear it, fill in some information and mail it with free postage; You would get the free books as promised along with free gifts sometimes. Remember those card inserts? Well, I found them in this book. Why am I surprised? Because off-late such inserts are no longer seen. I remember seeing them in older books, more like pre-2005 era when internet, online shopping etc wasn’t that hep. But surprised to see it in a book published in 2012. Wonder if the author was trying to revive the good old paper-system of writing letters.

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