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Book Critique - A Dangerous Game (New York Confidential # 3)

For review of other books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Cop Drama Series mixed with Psychology, Romance, Irish History, Family Matters and of course the crazy killers - all elements perfect for a Heather Graham mystery with the infamous law & order type theme; but for one frustrating element. 

A Dangerous Game is the third book in the New York Confidential series by Heather Graham published in March of 2018. The series revolves around the Finnegan family, specially Kieran Finnegan, a psychologist working with law enforcement as needed, and her boyfriend FBI Special Agent Craig Frasier who work together to solve some gruesome crimes. This plot is set approximtely a year after the previous book, A Perfect Obsession.

In this installment of the series, Heather sets a plot that practically lands into the hands of Kieran Finnegan, literally and figuratively. A woman thrusts a baby into Kieran's hands and rushes off only to be stabbed to death on the streets in broad daylight, soon after. Now Kieran is obsessed with the baby and the murder of that woman. FBI Special Agent Craig Frasier has no other choice but to be part of the investigation lest Kieran takes upon herself to pursue on. But little do either know that the case takes on a sinister turn, stops being just a murder and becomes a giant beast that keeps growing and the terrors mounting.

A book in a series usually has characters and story-lines floating, so naturally we do see the same happening here - references to crimes and scenes from past two books, supporting characters from those books as well the primary characters. That is good for readers, but sometimes that causes repeat para-phrasing as over and over scenes and situations are mentioned.

A seriously sinister case, that is plaguing the world currently involving human crimes and dark underbelly of the world that these crimes are committed. It is deplorable how one human being can treat another in such a way. However, Heather managed to make it less gorier and grittier, keeping those elements just on the tip of the iceberg for the readers. A commendable approach.

However, I am a bit frustrated by our heroine, Kieran, this time. Granted that she works with the law enforcement as part of her job and that her boyfriend is an FBI Special Agent and that she has a knack to find details that most cops or agents fail to get from victims, suspects or witnesses.

However, the first thing that kind of irritated me was about the element of trust that I expect to be shown in a relationship. As much as she expects Craig to tell her every move he is taking on the case, no matter how much she may not be entitled to be known being a civilian, doesn’t that apply the same. She keeps things from Craig, doesn’t tell him where she goes off on herself and only reveals stuff when pressed. Isn’t that double standards of our heroine?

Another that that made me frustrated with Kieran I felt was that no matter how much Craig Frasier tries to convince her that he is on top of the case, he will find the truth and bring justice; Kieran seems to go off on her own several times. She is not a cop, doesn’t have a gun and yet she rams into situations that could potentially turn danger. It’s as if she is this obsessed, crazy person, which did not bode well with me. 

I was getting to like her mid-way through the book and then again she goes off on her own into danger without informing Craig or any other agents. Although she has her brother Danny tagging her once in a while. Uff…so frustrating. And yet, Craig loves her so much. Doesn’t make sense to me at all. When will Heather's heroines learn to trust and depend on their partners too from the get-go. They don’t have do everything by themselves, it shows the character's ego rather than ability.

I don’t remember if I felt the same about Kieran from the first two books, but this book, she was under my skin through the entire plot. I couldn’t wait to complete it and put it aside. Phew! Oh and the errors, though minimal, does need a good editing for her books.

Apart from those frustrating bits of things about our heroine, the rest of the plot is really well executed by Heather Graham. She does touch upon one of the ever-growing crimes with regards to atrocities done to fellow humans. They make one chill to bone. Yet at the same time with its soft undertones of romance and family affairs keeps the chillness to a notch slightly lower. 

A successful murder mystery with weird psychology of the crazy killers that springs surprise after surprise at every turn keeping the readers glued to the book, but for the frustrating part about the heroine. So I am very biased and confused as to what rating to give this book. Rarely I get stumped. Oh, well! You might find it a better read.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a.  I had wondered in past two books, if the Finnegans or the FBI agents ever sing at the Karoake bar below Kieran's apartment. We get to see that happening with Kieran in this episode. I want to see Craig do the same too.

b. At the end of this plot, Kieran and Craig decide to get married.

2. Sub-Plots:

a. Finnegan's Irish Pub is co-owned by four siblings - Declan, Kevin, Kieran and Daniel "Danny".  However, Declan kind of runs the show. Kevin and Kieran are twins, while Danny is the youngest of them.

b. Declan Finnegan is engaged to be married to Mary Kathleen O'Shaunnessy.

c. Finnegan siblings long time childhood friend, Julie Benton, is now divorced from her ex-husband Gary Benton. And the youngest of the Finnegans, Danny, is in love with her. Will be curious to see how Heather Graham will play this angle in her future books in the series. 

d. Mike Dalton is Craig Frasier's partner. Richard Eagan is their assistant director. Marty Kim is their go to tech guy at the bureau. 

e. Dr. Allison Miro and Dr. Bentley Fuller are the two psychiatrists, in whose office Kieran Finnegan, also works as a psychologist. Together they aid NYPD and FBI in profiling the criminals.

f. Kieran Finnegan's apartment is above a Japanese restaurant and karaoke bar. Every time Heather spins a scene around the Karoake Bar, we get to hear patrons singing on to some pretty good hit songs. 

i. Picture by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. One of my favorite songs. 

ii. Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer

3. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. On Pg. 32, Line 7, it perhaps should be "…up with one another with…"

b. On Pg. 46, Line 14, it should be "…All of them had come…"

c. Heather introduces a 6' 2" bald man with dark-hair on Pg. 56, about whom Kieran feels suspicious. Yet, Heather doesn’t connect that character anywhere later in the book. 

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