Book Critique: Dying Breath (Krewe of Hunters # 21)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

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

Dying Breath is the twenty first book in the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham and published in May of 2017. The plot centers around Victoria "Vicki" Preston - working with a private charity called Grown Ups helping kids in foster care system - and Griffin Pryce - FBI Special Agent from The Krewe of Hunters. The plot is set in Boston, MA.

This book forms the first book in the fifth trilogy within the series. In the beginning Heather had plots for each of the Krewe of Hunters as team members were introduced. But from the 9th book onwards, she has made those plots into trilogies within the series, that either revolve around the same set of characters or characters flowing from one book to next in the trilogy with new lead characters added. 

Her 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. Fourth Trilogy consisted of three books set on Celtic American Cruise-Line ships - 18th book Haunted Destiny on Destiny, 19th book Deadly Fate on Fate and 20th book Darkest Journey on Journey.

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.

Griffin Pryce along with Jackson Crow, the field director for the Krewe of Hunters, are hot on the trail of a serial killer who likes to bury his victims alive and leave cryptic clues. One of the clue takes them to Victoria "Vicki" Preston who could help them in solving the riddle and save the latest victim. 

And now Vicki might just be the next target. Despite their shared history, Griffin hadn't seen Vickie in a while. Now he is determined to keep her safe, catch a killer and at the same time get his girl this time. 

The Krewe of Hunters team who aid Griffin Pryce are Jackson Crow and his wife and a Krewe agent, Angela Hawkins. Although, Heather Graham again has the list of cast and characters of her plot in the beginning of the book. From past three books she has been doing this, perhaps will be making it an ongoing occurrence with her plots.

The characters are as usual fun and loving even though there is terror on every corner of the page. I marvel at how Heather brings the history and paranormal elements together with a seamless string that makes it a phenomenal plot. She gives the readers a view into the past through artifacts, tours, researches and just plain history. In this plot, they revolve around Boston, Puritans and Witch Trials.

Heather leaves the plot open ended giving the reader a confirmation that this is indeed the first book in another of her trilogies within the series. 

There is again a page at the end where it gives readers an opportunity to either join a book club and win books, or buy a book and get a few free. Again there are a few grammatical or character or location errors in this book. Definitely a strong editing needed.

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. And could she please have her heroines be more smarter than just running to the bad guys alone, when she has so much of help around from FBI and her friends.

However since Deadly Fate, she has added another element to her plots. Adam Harrison buys an old theater in Alexandria, VA. And slowly he has been adding talented partners of his Krewe of Hunters into that theater work. He started with Clara Avery, whom we met in Deadly Fate and fiancée to Thor Erikson, to be the artistic director of that theater. And in Darkets Journey, we had seen that Charlene "Charlie" Moreau fiancée to Ethan Delaney and Alexi Cromwell, whom we met in Haunted Destiny and Jude McCoy's fiancée, join Clara in the theater.

A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; Puritans and Witch Trials; and above all romance and love. Although for most part a successful thriller in the series of books under Krewe of Hunters by Heather Graham that is an easy ready and still enjoyable; I still would have liked more at the end.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Alex Maple - introduced as a history major at Harvard, a good friend of Vicki Preston, but is attacked and left for dead at the end of the plot.

b. Griffin and Vicki decide to move to Virginia where Griffin's team is based and Vicki could work with Grown Ups in Virginia. But at the end of the plot, due to the case related to attach on Alex Maple, they decide to stay and help Detective David Barnes from Boston PD in solving the crime. 

2. Sub Plots:

a. In Darkest Journey, Heather introduced a photographer, Chance Morgan, who could see ghosts as well. A future plot perhaps.

b. 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.

c. In the 16th book The Forgotten, Dr. Phil Kinny seemed have paranormal abilities. Will he be a main character in another book?

d. 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.

e. 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.

f. 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. 

g. 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. In several cases Heather refers to Adam Harrison as the head of the Krewe of Hunters and Jackson Crow as the Assistant Director. However in Darkest Journey, she refers Adam as the Special Assistant Director and Jackson as Special Agent In Charge. And now on this book, she refers Jackson Crow as Field Director. What are their roles exactly? Pretty confusing when Heather keeps going back and forth.

b. In the book when Heather introduces Griffin Pryce, she spells his last name as "Pryce", however, in the synopsis on the back of the book, it is spelled as "Price".

c. On Pg. 184, Line 5, it should be "…Barbara said"

d. On Pg. 215, Line 1, it should be "…Hawkins in charge…"

e. Heather has a mis-quote on the name of one of the antagonist from past. On Pg. 246, she calls him Jonah Aldridge, when she introduces him, and subsequent pages where this person is referenced. However, on Pg. 353, she calls him Sam Aldridge instead.

f. On Pg. 261, Heather suddenly includes Jackson in the scene without having him arrived in the prior pages.


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