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Book Critique: Wicked Deeds (Krewe of Hunters # 23)

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. 

Wicked Deeds is the twenty third book in the longest series, Krewe of Hunters, by Heather Graham and published in September of 2017. The plot again 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; but with a new case again set in Baltimore, MD

This book forms the third and final book in the fifth trilogy within the series, the first being the previous book Dying Breath followed by Dark Rites. 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 is made of the ninth book The Night is Watching; the tenth book The Night is Alive; the 11th book The Night is Forever. Second trilogy is made of the 12th book The Cursed, 13th book the Hexed and 14th book The Betrayed. Third Trilogy has the 15th book The Silenced, 16th book The Forgotten and the 17th book The Hidden. Fourth Trilogy has 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.

At the end of the previous book, Dark Rites, FBI Special Agent Griffin Pryce and Victoria "Vicki" Preston, a social worker, finally head to Virginia, where the Krewe of Hunters base was, the team that Griffin worked with. And for Vicki to go through academy and become a full Krewe agent. This plot begins at this point.

On their way to Virginia, Griffin and Vicki take a break at Baltimore, MD only to be pulled into the murder of the famous author, Franklin Verne. Vicki has dreams of Edgar Allan Poe; both Vicki and Griffin see his ghost; all the more making them part of the investigation, despite their reluctance to give up their vacation time.

I remember Heather Graham had a plot theme based on Edgar Allan Poe, his works and Poe societies. It was the seventh book in her Harrison Investigations series, The Death Dealer. She uses a similar plot in this book, more around the mystery behind the death of Poe as the plot progresses. 

Being the last book in the trilogy, naturally you expect some of the characters to flow through - Vicki's resident ghosts, Dylan Ballantine and Darlene Dutton, whom we had met in the first book in this trilogy Dying Breath.

The Krewe of Hunters Baltimore PD who work with Griffin in this case are - Adam Harrison, leader of the Krewe of Hunters and his resident ghost Josh Harrison, his long-dead son; Jackson Crow, Assistant Director of Krewe and his wife Angela Hawkins, a Krewe member herself. Every Krewe member has special abilities. With Vicki apart from seeing the ghosts and talking to them, she can also go into past or closer to present through dreams, a little different than others.

Although, Heather Graham again has the list of cast and characters of her plot in the beginning of the book, which has been doing from past few books. The characters are as usual fun and loving even though there is terror on every corner of the page. Heather redeemed by making Vicki Preston a better character, instead of a whiny one that she was in the previous book. 

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 writers and long-dead authors.

Readers will again find  pages at the end of the book 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 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. But 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. So far Clara Avery, whom we met in Deadly Fate and fiancée to Thor Erikson, is assigned as the artistic director of that theater. And joining her are Charlene "Charlie" Moreau fiancée to Ethan Delaney, whom we met in Darkest Journey; and Alexi Cromwell, whom we met in Haunted Destiny and Jude McCoy's fiancée.

I wish Heather gets it clear on what positions Jackson Crow and Adam Harrison hold in the Krewe of Hunters. In the beginning Adam Harrison was the Director and Jackson Crow the Assistant Director. Then Adam Harrison became Assistant Director and Jackson Crow became Field Agent in Charge. Lately she is having Adam Harrison as the Senior Advisor and the head of all the Krewe teams and Jackson Crow as Field Director. What are their correct roles?

A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; authors and writers; 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.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Sub Plots:

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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. 

d. 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. 

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

f. In the 18th book, 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.

g. In the 20th book, Darkest Journey, Heather introduced a photographer, Chance Morgan, who could see ghosts as well. A future plot perhaps.

2. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. On Pg. 37, last line, it should be "…don't know why he…"

b. On Pg. 70, Line 4, it should be "…long gone from the…"

c. On Pg. 189, Line 15, the entire line seems to grammatically incorrect.

d. On Pg. 340, line 3, Heather mentions the noises heard by Adam and Monica Verne as "screeching". But on Pg. 350, Heather changes that to screaming noises.

e. On Pg. 342, Line 8, it should be "I don’t know…"

f. On Pg. 346, Line 12, it should be "…gave herself a shake…"

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