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Book Critique: The Summoning (Krewe of Hunters #27)

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. 

The Summoning is the twenty seventh book in the longest series, Krewe of Hunters, by Heather Graham and published in May of 2019. The primary plot is centered around Kristi Stewart - owner of the McLane House Bed-and-Breakfast - and Dallas Wicker - one of the Krewe of Hunters, FBI, under Adam Harrison.

The plot is set in Savannah, Georgia and forms the first book in her next trilogy in the series. Starting from her 9th book, The Night is Watching, Heather has been releasing the Krewe of Hunters books in the form of trilogies with characters crossing over in those trilogies, while adding new characters to the series.

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 the plots 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 has the 21st book Dying Breath, 22nd book Dark Rites and 23rd book Wicked Deeds. Sixth trilogy has the 24th book Fade to Black, 25th book Pale as Death and 26th book Echoes of Evil.

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 four distinct groups. The first group is led by Jackson Crow, who is also the Supervising Field 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.

Kristi Stewart inherits a haunted bed-and-breakfast, McLane House. However, she also inherits ghosts that send her straight into the arms of Dallas Wicker, a Krewe of Hunters agent who has come to the House to investigate odd incidents. And the attraction is instant and sizzling. While they work together to find cause behind the odd incidents, they wade through the attraction. But someone or something is also attracted by Kristi and wants her dead.

Heather introduces the hero and heroine literally smacking into each other, putting Kristi in Dallas's arms. I remember she used a similar introduction to the lead characters in another book of hers in this series. She made Maureen "Mo" Deauville and Aiden Mahoney in a similar situation in the 14th book The Betrayed. Heather rarely repeats her scenes., so it came as a surprise to me. 

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 or secret passages or vaults. Always has one new pair of Krewe of Hunters or Harrison Investigations investigators.

Heather Graham again has the list of cast and characters of her plot in the beginning of the book, which she 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 adds another element - seances and haunted inns. 

Again it was hard to guess who the actual criminals were. But the motive I had guessed around Chapter 5. Even then connecting the dots from the motive to the criminals it was a maze that I got lost eventually until Heather revealed it for the readers. Perfectly penned except for one part that she doesn’t explain away why one character was killed, motive was shown, but not very clear. 

As always other members of the Krewe and the local law enforcement aid in the case. This time Dallas and Kristi are aided by - supervising field director Jackson Crow, his wife Angela Hawkins also a Krewe agent, Joseph "Joe" Dunhill the detective with the Savannah police and Victoria "Vicki" Preston whom we had met in the 21st book Dying Breath. Apparently Vicki has graduated from the Academy now and full-time Krewe member although she was a historian when we met her first. Her husband Griffin Pryce and his work definitely rubbed off on her. 

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 am surprised that Heather's editing  or proof reading group missed those details.

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.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Places, TV Shows and Books that Heather mentions in the plot:

i. Heather mentions that Mercer House in Savannah was made famous by the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil published in 1994 and later in the movie of the same name released in 1997. And the Mercer House does indeed exist. Check it out here.

ii. Jonah Whitney loves watching reruns of I Love Lucy. Why not, even we love them. Lucille Ball is one of the most accomplished comedian ever.

iii. The resident ghosts - Lieutenant Justin McLane and Captain Monty McLane - are fascinated by modern inventions, particularly the Television. And they like some of the shows that are my favorite too, like The Twilight Zone, Star Wars movies.

iv. Another famous inn and restaurant that the characters in the plot frequent is the 17hundred90 Inn & Restaurant. And it does exist too. Check it here.

v. Apparently her character Carl Brentwood loves watching the reruns of the series Haunted History that had aired in 1998. 

b. The Detective Joseph "Joe" Dunhill looks like to have some kind of paranormal ability, but Heather doesn’t explore further in here. Perhaps for a future one.

2. Sub Plots:

a. Some of the characters we see along that have paranormal abilities, making the reader wonder if they would come back in future:

i. Dr. Phil Kinney from the 16th book The Forgotten.

ii. Photographer, Chance Morgan, from the 20th book, Darkest Journey.

iii. Bridget Davante, Marnie's cousin and a writer for many a hit TV shows, from the 24th book, Fade to Black.

iv. Colleen Bellamy, Kody's assistant at the museum, from the 26th book Echoes of Evil.

b. Dakota "Kody" McCoy from the 26th book Echoes of Evil, is she related to Jude McCoy whom we had met in 18th book Haunted Destiny?

c. We also meet Detective Liam Beckett (whom we had already met in the 12th book The Cursed), his wife Kelsey Beckett, his brother David Beckett and his wife Katie O'Hara, along with a brief history from their past in Echoes of Evil. That piqued my interest and I learned that these characters are part of Bone Island Series, another series by Heather Graham. Now my mind is leaving towards that series as well. Have to see when I will pick it up and if the Krewe of Hunters characters cross-over there too.

3. Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. On Pg. 35, Heather has Adam Harrison mention that Dallas Wicker will go in as a Private Investigator rather than as a member of Krewe and that the local detective, Joseph Dunhill will also know him only as a PI. But in the subsequent conversations on Pg.65, it looked like Joseph knows him as someone working for the Krewe for Adam Harrison. 

b. On Pg. 63, Line 8 from bottom, shouldn’t it be "…talking about the…"?

c. On Pg.  115, Line 16, shouldn’t it be "…had gotten to…" or "…had gone to…"?

d. On Pg. 131, Line 5 from bottom, shouldn’t it be "…maybe wanting someone…"?

e. On Pg. 151, Heather suddenly pops up the details about Simon Drake and Eliza Malone, the missing people part of Dallas's investigation, during a conversation between Kristi and Dallas. However, until that moment Dallas never talks to Kristi about those two characters part of his investigation of Ian Murphy and Lachlan Plan, of which Kristi was aware of it as well. A mis-entry by the author? Or was a scene deleted during the proof reading and thus the disconnect?

f. Heather Graham again has a confusion with regards to position for Jackson Crow. On Pg. 30 she has him as "supervising field director" for the Krewe and On Pg. 296, she gives him the "acting field director" title. Which one is he? I thought a few books ago she had clarified it clearly but again the confusion reigns.

g. On Pg. 259, Line 3 from bottom, shouldn’t it be "..That's wonderful…"

h. On Pg. 309, Line 7, Janet Knox's last name is mis-quoted as "Murray".

i. On Pg. 342, Line 5, shouldn’t it be "…now that Trinity…"

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