Book Critique: Deadly Fate (Krewe of Hunters # 19)
For review of all books in this series: Go here.
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: Yes, pick up the series for a mystery involving paranormal elements, historical flair and the romantic side of the plot, sometimes giving shivers and sometimes just thrills.
Deadly Fate is the nineteenth book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham and published in July of 2016. The plot centers around Thor Erikson - soon to be new member of FBI's elite crew, Krewe of Hunters - and Clara Avery - an entertainer aboard Fate, an Alaskan Cruise Ship. The plot is set in Seward, Alaska to begin with and occurs a few months after the events of the previous book Haunted Destiny.
This book forms the second book in the fourth trilogy within the series - first book being the previous one, Haunted Destiny; 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, Fate. 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 crimes 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 Clara Avery in the previous book, Haunted Destiny, when she worked as a soprano in the ship, Destiny's, presentation of Les Miserables. Heather Graham had shown the readers that Clara could also see and talk to ghosts while working with Alexi Cromwell, another entertainer on Destiny. I had a feeling that Heather would have a story of her own for Clara. And here we are, the very next book centering around Clara, continuing from Haunted Destiny.
A decade ago, Thor Erikson, worked along-side Jackson Crow to bring-down a serial killer who called himself, "The Fairy Tale Killer". Now Thor worked with his current partner Mike Aklaq at FBI's Alaskan field office in Anchorage, Alaska when Jackson Crow arrives with the news of that serial killer escaping from his prison as well as a new murder that emulates something from the past.
Clara Avery along with her co-stars from the Celtic American Cruise-Line's Saturday night performance on Fate, the Alaskan Cruise Ship of the Cruise-Line goes to Bear Island for filming only to come across a gruesome blood bath. Before she could filter out what is reality and what is fiction, Thor Erikson reaches her. All the clues for Thor lead to the escaped Fairy Tale Killer and that Clara would be the next victim. He takes it upon himself to get this serial killer apprehended as well as keep Clara safe.
This being a sequel to Haunted Destiny, one would expect characters to follow too. And so we see here. The cast and crew of Les Miserables show on the Destiny Cruise ship - Ralph Martini, Simon Green and Larry Hepburn.
As always the Krewe of Hunters who aid in this case are Jackson Crow and Angela Hawkins. We see Adam Harrison towards the end of the plot. But Heather Graham again has the list of all her characters in the beginning of the book just like the previous one giving the reader a view into who they will encounter along the way.
Despite the brutality of the crime and the grim reality that Heather Graham puts in front of the reader, she does add a subtle humor element to the plot. With the feisty temper of Clara, her abrupt outbursts about the shows that she watches like Friends, Big Bang Theory; and her inward thoughts that FBI Agent Thor would be a good cast for The 13th Warrior and give Chris Hemsworth a run for his money for the role of Thor; quoting from The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde; bring out a chortle from the reader.
On that note, she also has quotes with romantic and sexual innuendos from the 1944 American thriller romance film To Have and Have Not; the 1950 American family drama film All About Eve and the 1951 American drama film A Streetcar Named Desire.
Again I could guess on who one of the killer was, but Heather made it a bit complicated for the reader to zero-in on until she wanted the killer to be revealed. Although the plot has paranormal factor, the historical part tied to the murderer's fantasy is less.
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 around Alaska specifically to Seward, Anchorage and the very fictional Black Bear Island along with history of the Celtic American Cruise-Line Fate.
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. Again there are quite few grammatical or character or location errors in this book, making me wonder who actually edited her books.
A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; fantasy and reality; 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. Mike Aklaq is Thor's partner. I am guessing we might see him again.
b. Thor and Mike's director at Alaskan base is Special Director Reginald Enfield.
c. Thor's parents are Heidi and Olaf Erikson. He has a sister named Astrid who is married to Colin. Astrid and Colin run the family business of horses and huskies.
d. Heather describes about the movie The 13th Warrior, which I havent watched. But something that I probably will be doing soon because of this book. :P
e. Thor joins the original Krewe team based in Virginia and Clara gets to be artistic director of Adam Harrison's new acquisition - a historical theater in Alexandria, VA; towards the end of the plot.
2. Sub Plots:
a. In Haunted Destiny, Heather Graham introduces us to the large family of Alexi Cromwell, albeit only as a conversation - 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. In the 16th book The Forgotten, Dr. Phil Kinny seemed have paranormal abilities. Will he be a main character in another book?
c. 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.
d. 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.
e. 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.
f. 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. 207, Line 19, I am confused at what Heather wants to tell here. Should it be "…the production manager or production assistant who…" or should it be simply "…the production assistant who…"
b. On Pg. 219, Line 9 from bottom, it should be "..He had been…"
c. On Pg. 219, Line 2 from bottom, it should be "…was there something…."
d. On Pg. 289, Line 11 from bottom, it should be "…want you to know that…"