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Book Critique: The Betrayed (Krewe of Hunters # 14)

For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: Yes, pick it up for a mystery involving paranormal elements, historical flair and the romantic side of the plot.

The Betrayed is the fourteenth book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham and published in September of 2014.  The plot is centered around Aiden Mahoney - the new recruit to the Krewe of Hunters - and Maureen "Mo" Deauville - search and rescuer who searches for people with help of her dog, Rollo. The plot is set in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown cities in New York.

This forms the third and final book in the second trilogy within the series. The first book being The Cursed (Review here) and the second being The Hexed.

The first trilogy is a set of three books with"The Night is...." in their title: the ninth book The Night is Watching; the tenth book The Night is Alive; the eleventh book The Night is Forever.

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, this elite unit is called on to solve cases linked to historical mystery involving legendary crime and serial killings, war events and hauntings. The Krewe are divided into three distinct groups. The first group is led by Jackson Crow, who is also the Assistant Director of the Krewe, and called as the original Krewe of Hunters; the second group is led by Texas Ranger Logan Raintree and called as the Texas Krewe; the third group is Yankee Krewe, based in NYC and is yet to be determined who will lead it.

New York FBI agent Aiden Mahoney is the newest recruit into the Krewe of Hunters. His first case assigned to him was a missing persons case - Richard Highsmith, a noted politician goes missing. However, by the time he reaches the town of Sleepy Hollow, he comes across instead the body of Richard Highsmith which was found by Maureen "Mo" Deauville, a search and rescuer who works with her dog, Rollo - a sight hound, to find missing persons.

Now, he has to work to find out who wanted to kill Richard and who is trying to create the legends that were told as tales of Halloween into obscene jokes. And Mo stays smack in his path whichever way he took. And so also in the cross-hairs of the killer. Yet they have an attraction to each other that they cannot deny which they could perhaps venture on, if they live to see the end of the killer. 

As always there is historical and paranormal references from past are given to the reader, more specifically an architectural and historical tour of a town filled with Halloween themed artifacts, events and places. 

As much as Mo embraced her gift and used it as a weapon when needed in her search and rescue, while Aiden ran away from it as far as he can even though he was working with a team who had similar abilities. Two contrasting souls thrown together between murder and mayhem, find love even if it was not wanted by both of them. Heather performed her magic to bring them together in the end, but as a reader I wanted to just scream and pull them together whenever they were fighting their attraction. 

In the previous book The Hexed, Heather Graham hints of a Yankee Krewe being formed the way the numbers were increasing. Lo and behold, we have a new Krewe of Hunters, Yankee Krewe, based in NYC. Although who heads it is yet to be determined.

This also clears my confusion of a third Krewe that I thought was created in The Night is Alive plot when Malachi Gordon was recruited and offered to head a team. Either Heather forgot that or she simply decided to have Malachi Gordon be part of Team Two, Texas Krewe, and leave it at that. Either way there were only two Krewe units until this book. It only took four books for me to realize that. Duh!

As always Heather has other Krewe members join the case and aid the lead Krewe investigator. This time around we have Jane Everett and her boyfriend Sloan Trent (from Team Two: Texas Krewe; their story was told in the ninth book, The Night is Watching), Logan Raintree (head of Team Two: Texas Krewe; his story is told in the fifth book, The Unseen) and Will Chan (from Team One: Krewe of Hunters; his story is told in the seventh book,  The Unspoken).

I see a pattern to Heather Graham's stories in the Adam Harrison and Krewe of Hunters series, apart from the presence of ghosts and spirits. Usually the stories revolve around historical inferences, somehow connecting the past to the present either by way of characters or incidents and they involve hidden tunnels be it in cemetery or old houses or mortuaries. I wonder if Heather will add a third twist to the plot. 

Though the theme might be similar in her books, one this is for sure, it rarely is easy to guess who the actual killer or killers are. Only a couple of books I could figure that out but most part the killers just sprung up on the reader in the last chapter.

On a side note, in the copy of the book that I have, there are hard card inserts that gives reader an opportunity to either join a book club and win books, or buy a book and get a few free. Why am I surprised because off-late such inserts are no longer seen. Some of the latest books don’t have these card inserts but I have been seeing them on and off even in this internet-purchasing era. Very comforting to see something from the pre-internet era.

A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; Halloween myths and legends; and above all romance and love. Although I am surprised at the number of grammatical and sometimes character errors I see in the books as the series progresses. Clearly who ever edits for Heather Graham isn't doing a good job.

Another successful thriller in the series of books under Krewe of Hunters by Heather Graham that is an easy ready and still enjoyable. A tale that captures one easily till the end.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Jane Everett and Sloan Trent were part of Team Two: Texas Krewe. But in this book, Heather mentions that they were going to be permanent members of the Yankee Krewe. Have to read the rest of the books to know if that is where she sends them. 

2. Sub Plots:

a. In eleventh book, The Night Is Forever, Dustin Blake was part of an FBI team consisting of Grant Shelby, Cindy Greenstreet and Jerry Gunter. I am wondering why Heather Graham had mentioned their complete names as well as a brief intro, albeit as part of the conversation. Will they resurface in future plots is something we have to wait and see.

b. Dustin Blake has a sister Rayna Blake who is a Nashville sensation - a country music singer. I wonder if Heather Graham will use her as a lead character in a future book.

c. Katie O'Hara and David Beckett are two characters in The Cursed plot. And a history into their background paused me to think they might be characters from another of Heather Graham book. I was pretty sure they weren't from Krewe of Hunters or Harrison Investigation series. A little dig on google pointed me to Ghost Shadow, the first book in Bone Island Series by Heather Graham published in 2010. Having not yet read that series, I am curious if Hannah O'Brien or Liam Beckett, David's brother, appear in that book as well. 

3. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. On Pg.145, Line 17 and 18, I believe the characters should be transposed in this scene - Aiden is actually talking to the manager while Sloan is taking statement from the officers. 

b. On Pg. 151, Line 5, it should be "…shook her head,…"

c. On Pg. 210, Line 3, it should be "…that sickly sweet…"

d. On Pg. 258, Line 6, it should be "…toiletries Debbie…."

e. On Pg. 266, Line 9 from bottom, it should be "….Gina said…"

f. Everywhere in the plot the text written behind the photograph, or on the match box or on a notepad at the victim's room, it was "Lizzie grave". But on Pg. 275, Aidan mentions that he saw "Lizzie's grave" written behind the photograph. And again on Pg. 349, Heather had it mentioned as "Lizzie's grave". Clearly an error in representation of the text perhaps.

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