Book Critique: The Hidden (Krewe of Hunters # 17)
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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 Hidden is the seventeenth book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham and published in September of 2015. The plot centers around FBI Special Agent Diego McCullough - newly recruited agent to the Krewe of Hunters - and Scarlet Barlow - a historian working at Estes Park, Colorado. The plot is set in Colorado and occurs right after the events in The Forgotten.
This forms the third book in the third trilogy within the series - first book being the 15th book The Silenced and 16th book The Forgotten. Although not mentioned exclusively, I consider them as a trilogy as the characters kind of flow from one book to the next keeping the continuity. First trilogy consisted of the ninth book The Night is Watching; the tenth book The Night is Alive; the eleventh book The Night is Forever. Second trilogy consisted of the 12th book The Cursed, 13th book the Hexed and 14th book The Betrayed.
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, overseen by Jackson Crow. A possibility of a fourth group in Miami, FL is touched upon in the 17th book The Hidden.
We met FBI Special Agent Diego McCullough in the previous book The Hidden as an able and competent partner to FBI Special Agent Brett Cody. We had seen his character evolve through the plot and a bit of his past shown. Now we get to see his story in this book.
Scarlet Barlow comes to Estes Park, Colorado to work as the researcher and curator for The Conway Ranch, more specifically the museum on the ranch. However, 2 months into her stay she becomes a suspect in a murder of a couple - a murder that looks eerily similar to what happened to the couple who owned the ranch first time way back approx 150 years ago. And the only person she thinks of calling to help her is her ex-husband FBI Special Agent Diego McCullough.
After Brett Cody, Diego's partner, accepting his position at The Krewe in VA, Diego is given an offer. Right before he considers accepting it, Scarlet reaches out to him for help. Putting all hands on deck, Diego along with the Krewe agents Brett Cody, Meg Murray and Matt Bosworth reach Estes Park, Colorado to aid him. However, the case takes a much more sinister path that has connection to the murders of the first owners of the Ranch that occurred a good 150 years ago and much more needing every talent of the agents to be put to use - including their extra sensory perception and paranormal abilities.
Heather touches a bit more about relationship problems and how to deal with while spinning the tale around Scarlet and Diego - two people who had been very much in love with each other but separate when they are unable to do the basic thing; communicate effectively. Although rarely we see couples who have split come together again, it was really nice to see how Scarlet and Diego reconcile. However, Heather doesn’t show a lot of discussion between them on the events from past, but there is a light conversation on it.
Heather Graham describes FBI Agent Diego McCullough as looking like Mandy Patinkin in the 1987 American romantic fantasy comedy film, The Princess Bride in the previous book when he was introduced. But nowhere here she alludes to that description in this book.
As expected we see the agents from the previous two books traverse into this plot as well along with Lara Mayhew who is now engaged to Brett Cody; Jane Everett - the forensic artist with Texas Krewe. This time Adam Harrison also joins the investigation.
I see a pattern to Heather Graham's stories in the Harrison Investigations 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. Always has one new pair of Krewe of Hunters or Harrison Investigations investigators. I wonder if Heather will add a third twist to the plot.
As always there is historical and paranormal references from past are given to the reader with artifacts, events and places. This time there is a page at the end where it gives reader an opportunity to either join a book club and win books, or buy a book and get a few free. Yet again there are so many grammatical and character errors seen in this edition. I wonder if whoever edits or proof-reads her books, is efficient enough.
A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; old and new west; betrayal and treasure hunting; and above all romance and love. 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.
1. Plot Reveals:
a. The plot is set very close to The Stanley Hotel, which is the setting for the famous Stephen King novel The Shining, and he had been staying there when inspired to write the novel. Although the movie was pictured at Oregon's Timberline Lodge.
b. Brett Cody after accepting the offer at The Krewe thinks of talking to Adam Harrison and Jackson Crow to see if a small Krewe office can be opened at Miami too. Guess the future plots will have a fourth Krewe office in Miami, FL.
c. They have a Testicle Festival in Estes Park. It is basically an event where the primary food is testicles of various animals. That is so gross! Eew!
2. Sub Plots:
a. In the 16th book The Forgotten, Dr. Phil Kinny seemed have paranormal abilities. Will he be a main character in another book?
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. 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.
e. Jane Everett and Sloan Trent were part of Team Two: Texas Krewe. But in The Betrayed, 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.
3. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 98, Line 9, it should be "…when he was out…"
b. Around Chapter 5, we still see only two sets of murder victims - one pair a fresh kill that Scarlet is suspected of committing and the second pair are human remains / bones found recently prior to the fresh kill. Yet on Pg. 112, Heather mentions that her character Meg calls the Krewe office to find more about this third set of remains. When did it become a third set? Or is Heather considering Nathan and Jillian Kendal's murder as the first one?
c. On Pg. 257, Line 10 from bottom, it should be "…knew she was naked…"
d. On Pg. 313, Line 6 from bottom, it should be "Did you move the…"