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Book Critique: Haunted Destiny (Krewe of Hunters # 18)

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.

Haunted Destiny is the eighteenth book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham and published in May of 2016. The plot centers around Jude McCoy - FBI Special Agent of the local FBI field office in New Orleans, Louisiana - and Alexi Cromwell - piano bar singer and entertainer aboard the cruise ship Destiny.

This book also forms the first book in the next trilogy within the series, with each book in the trilogy set on a cruise ship belonging to Celtic American Cruise-Line company. This one is set on the cruise ship called, Destiny.  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. Third Trilogy consisted of the 15th book The Silenced, 16th book The Forgotten and the 17th book The Hidden.

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 and paranormal 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.

Jackson Crowe, Assistant Director of the Krewe of Hunters, partnering with FBI Special Agent Jude McCoy from the local field office, pursues the serial killer who had killed eleven people so far. That pursuit leads him to the cruise ship Destiny, that is already famed to be haunted.

Alexi Cromwell works aboard the cruise ship as an entertainer and singer at the Piano Bar. She gets drawn in to the investigation when one of the victim's ghost seeks her out for help. Now she teams with Jude McCoy to uncover the killer as well as the reasoning behind is kills, hoping to save future victims.

When Heather introduces Alexi Cromwell, she shows her as a person still mourning over the loss of her fiancée. But the minute Alexi meets Jude, sparks fly everywhere. It's like she goes from ice to fire in an instant. Normally Heather's heroines are not like that. Alexi is definitely a different kind.

For the first time, Heather Graham lists out the characters that appear in her plot ahead of time. So it was easy to anticipate them. However, I did feel that some parts of the plot dragged on a bit. Could have made it without those parts as well.

I believe this is the first book that is entirely set on a cruise ship in this Krewe of Hunters Series. In the 7th book Unspoken, she did show about treasure hunters in the sea, but the plot isn't completely set on a boat.

As always other Krewe agents who aid the investigators in this case are - Angela Hawkins from the original Krewe and wife of Jackson Crow.

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. Surprisingly there are no grammatical or character or location errors in this book. For once her books seem to have been edited well.

A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; history and analysis; 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.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Alexi Cromwell has a large family - her parents, a brother who is an artist, a sister Sienna who is a doctor. Curiously enough only Sienna's name is mentioned in the plot and none of the other family members.  May be we will see Sienna again, hence her mentioned explicitly.

b. Clara Avery, the soprano in the ship, Destiny's, presentation of Les Miserables also can see ghosts. Will Heather have a story for her?

c. Jude McCoy becomes officially part of Krewe of Hunters at the end of the plot.

d. One of the songs that Alexi Cromwell sings along with other entertainers in the plot is Picture, a duet by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. This was the first song that I had heard on radio the first month I landed in US in 2001. I hadnt been able to listen to any music or watch any TV until then as things were still being settling for me in that life. But I can never forget the day I heard these tunes coming across the radio waves. 

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. 

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