Book Critique: Echoes of Evil (Krewe of Hunters # 26)
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.
Echoes of Evil is the twenty sixth book in the longest series, Krewe of Hunters, by Heather Graham and published in September of 2018. The primary plot is centered around Brodie McFadden - the third and last of the McFadden brothers, an ex-military turned PI - and Dakota "Kody" McCoy - owner of a museum, Haunts and History Museum, related to history of Key West. The plot is set in Key West, FL, right after the events in Pale as Death.
This book forms the third and final book in the next trilogy by Heather Graham, which she has set around the McFadden Brothers, who are ex-military turned private investigators; first book being Fade to Black; second being Echoes of Evil. 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. Fifth Trilogy was formed of 21st book Dying Breath, 22nd book Dark Rites and 23rd book Wicked Deeds.
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.
We have met Brodie McFadden first in Fade to Black and with a sort of secondary prominent role in the sequel Pale as Death. After helping out his brother Bruce McFadden in catching the criminal who was recreating an old unsolved murder, The Black Dahlia, Brodie takes some time-off; mainly to ponder if he wants to follow his brothers to Krewe of Hunters. His vacation takes him to Key West, where on a dive with his Navy SEAL friend, he comes across a recently dead man, inside a very old ship wreck.
And then there is our heroine - Dakota "Kody" McCoy. On the last day of the History, Mystery, Art and Music Fest, that she had co-chaired, at a song performance, her co-singer and friend, drops dead on the stage. And Kpdy strongly believes that he was murdered. Obviously our hero, Brodie, takes it upon himself to ensure that Kody is not in danger, protect her, and at the same time work with the local cops to investigate both deaths.
Heather has some of the main characters working for a place called Sea Life, so similarly named to the Sea Life Center that Lara Mayhew was working at in the 16th book The Forgotten. Although that was located in Miami, FL and deals with dolphins; while this is located in Key West, FL and deals with salvaging shipwrecks. Also being set in FL, we find similar ghost stories and historical references as those that we already read in the book 12th book The Cursed and the 16th book The Forgotten.
Is Kody McCoy related to Jude McCoy whom we had met in 18th book Haunted Destiny, a question as a reader I was hoping Heather would connect it. However, she left it to reader's imagination there.
Brodie and Kody get help from the local police and the Krewe of Hunters - Detective Liam Beckett (whom we had already met in the 12th book The Cursed); Jackson Crow, the Krewe field director and Angela Hawkins, Jackson's wife and a Krewe member; and finally his brothers Bryan and Bruce McFadden, albeit only proxy.
We meet Kelsey Beckett too, Liam's wife and get introduced into their past a little again. We had also met Liam Beckett's brother David Beckett and his wife Katie O'Hara also in the book The Cursed. I had learned then that these characters are part of Bone Island Series, another series by Heather Graham. Now my mind has piqued interest in that series as well after seeing some of those characters in this series. I wonder if Krewe of Hunters characters are seen in that series too.
Kody mentions about a friend that she used to have, who was now married to an FBI agent and moved to Virginia, but who used to run a B&B before getting tangled in a murder that occurred behind her B&B. This is the plot of the 12th book The Cursed, so I was guessing we would perhaps meet with Hannah O'Brien and Dallas Samson - now married together. But we didn’t. So it was just a passing mention then.
Considering this plot is the final book of the trilogy, I expected more characters from the previous two books to flow through. Also since the plot was set in Key West, FL, I had expected atleast some of the past Krewe members or Harrison Investigation members who had their cases in Miami and Key West area to pop up. Instead we have a few characters from several books ago show up, but pretty much Brodie and Kody are left for their own.
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.
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. This time she again take us around she takes the readers around Key West, FL with amazing ghost stories, history and past.
For the first time though, I could not connect any dots till the last scene where Heather reveals it to the readers in her own way. I did see a bit of repeat paraphrasing, but the mystery thoroughly intrigued me.
Readers are provided with pages 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 fewer grammatical or character or location errors in this book. However, a thorough editing is definitely 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.
Since Deadly Fate, she has added another element to her plots. Adam Harrison buys an old theater in Alexandria, VA. 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; Alexi Cromwell, whom we met in Haunted Destiny and Jude McCoy's fiancée; Madison Darvil, wife of Sean Cameron, whom we met in The Unholy; and Marnie Davante fiancee to Bryan McFadde is assigned to Children's theater part of this theater, whom we met in Fade to Black.
A very good mingle of murder and mystery; past and present; old wars and new demons; 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.
1. Plot Reveals:
a. In this plot, Heather Graham's heroine Kody McCoy muses that she might be in love with a ghost, particularly the ghost who was residing in her home, that is why she is unable to find a partner who is living. I remember Heather explored a similar situation in the 6th book, The Dead Room, from her Harrison Investigation Series, where her heroine Leslie MacIntyre has erotic dreams about her dead husband, Matt Connolly. I wondered then, and wonder now too, if it was possible to fall in love with a ghost.
b. Colleen Bellamy, Kody's assistant at the museum, is having dreams similar to what other Heather Graham's characters have - ghost dreams and dreams that they live in past or present that aid them in a case - another one of their paranormal ability. Will Colleen become a main character in a future book?
c. At the end of the book Brodie McFadden also decides to join the Krewe of Hunters and convinces Kody McCoy to have two bases, one in Virginia with him and one in Key West, FL to visit as needed and take care of her museum.
2. 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. Jane Everett and Sloan Trent were part of Team Two: Texas Krewe. But in the 14th book, 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.
d. In the 16th book The Forgotten, Dr. Phil Kinny seemed have paranormal abilities. Will he be a main character in another book?
e. 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.
f. In the 20th book, Darkest Journey, Heather introduced a photographer, Chance Morgan, who could see ghosts as well. A future plot perhaps.
g. McFadden Brothers - Bryan, Bruce and Brodie: All three of them had served in a branch of service: Bryan in the navy, Bruce in the marines and Brodie in the army. They were looking to form an investigation company together, but all three brothers gradually join the Krewe of Hunters.
i. Parents of McFadden brothers - Hamish and Maeve McFadden - are the resident ghosts of the brothers, who had died together while doing a performance. They are close friends to Adam Harrison.
ii. Bryan's story is told on Fade to Black and is now engaged to be married to Marnie Davante, the lead heroine of that plot. Bruce's story is told in Pale as Death.
h. In the 24th book, Fade to Black, we also meet Bridget Davante, Marnie's cousin and a writer for many a hit TV shows, living in one half of the duplex owned by Marnie. Curious if she will have a story of her own.
3. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 38, Line 22, Heather mistakenly prints Kody's last name as McFadden instead of McCoy.
b. On Pg. 158, Line 10 from bottom, it should be "…you seen the.."
c. On Pg. 196, Line 8, it should be "Rosy Martin" instead of "Rose Martin" as the author got it printed.
d. On Pg. 210, Line 3, it should be "…looked at Kody and…"