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Book Critique: The Stalking (Krewe of Hunters #29)

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 Stalking is the twenty ninth book in the long-running series, Krewe of Hunters, by Heather Graham and published in September of 2019. The primary plot is centered around Andre Rousseau - a not so recent member of the Krewe of Hunters - and Cheyenne Donegal - an FBI Special Agent.

The plot is set in New Orleans and forms the third book in her next trilogy in the series. Although the primary characters are not introduced in the previous two books. It almost gave a feeling of an after thought with the plot.

Her First trilogy began with 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. Seventh trilogy begins with the 26th book The Summoning, continues onto the 27th book The Seekers.

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. 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, Krewe of Hunters, is led by Jackson Crow, the Supervising Field Director of all Krewe divisions; the second group, Texas Krewe, is led by Texas Ranger Logan Raintree; the third group, Yankee Krewe, is overseen by Jackson Crow. In he 17th book The Hidden, possibility of a fourth Krewe team in Miami, FL is explored.

While neither Andre nor Cheyenne had been introduced to us in either of the two books in this trilogy, we do see that they are connected to Keri Wolf, whom we met in the previous book The Seekers. Cheyenne and Keri had been roommates at Loyola college when Keri had written her first true crime book. 

Cheyenne Donegal seeks out to Keri Wolf for help in the case of a serial killer who was targeting young women, and mimicking the one who had been caught years ago. Through Keri the request goes to Jackson Crow at the Krewe of Hunters and Andre Rousseau joins her in the investigation.

Cheyenne and Andre are perfectly paired even though Cheyenne has a frustration at Andre in the beginning. Although I had a smile on my face every time these two had the sparks flying around between them.

This plot again continues with the usual pattern of Heather's books in the Harrison Investigations and Krewe of Hunters series, apart from the presence of ghosts and spirits. Usually they 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. We get to see a new pair in this book as always.

Incidentally Heather doesn’t have the list of cast and characters of her plot in the beginning of the book which she had been doing in her books lately. Another point that made me feel that this whole book perhaps was an after thought. 

The characters are as usual fun and loving even though there is terror on every corner of the page. However, the plots are becoming simpler and simpler as the series is progressing. Her initial plots had been much more chiller and far more in-depth plotted. 

As with her other books, Heather has help coming to Cheyenne and Andre from all kinds of law enforcement - local Detective Pierre Fournier; Jackson Crowe, Field Director of the Krewe; Angela Hawkins, an agent with Krewe and Jackson's wife. However, Heather also indicates to past cases where Jackson and Angela had come to aid the lead hero and heroine of that cases - references to the very first book Phantom Evil, the second book Heart of Evil,  18th book Haunted Destiny and 20th book Darkest Journey

We had met Ashley Donegal in the second book Heart of Evil, that was published in June of 2011. Ashley had her own murder mystery to solve while at Donegal Plantation, which is closer to where the current plot is set. I was hoping that Cheyenne Donegal is somehow related to her instead of being mentioned merely that the Krewe had a case in the lower plantations in New Orleans.

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 - a serial killer who has been replicating crimes from recent past and distant past.

This time I could guess who the murderer was towards three-fourths into the plot. It was a but dead give-away at that point. However, I continued to read the entire book just to see how Heather would reveal the antagonist. Although the plot seemed to end very suddenly. Would have loved to see an epilogue.

It is very surprising that Heather thanks her brilliant editor at the beginning of the book, when we still see so many editing errors with the plots. How come are they missing these out, just boggles my mind. Because, I still see considerable number of editing errors with regards to character or grammatical ones. 

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. Cheyenne Donegal has her own pair of ghosts guarding and helping her - Janine Dumas, her cousin who was killed by a serial killer and Christian Mayhew, Janine's classmate who had committed suicide. Her family includes mother Genevieve and father Robert.

b. We met Lara Mayhew in the 15th book The Silenced, and she had her own story in the 16th book The Forgotten. Is Christian related to her somehow?

c. Andre Rousseau's family includes - mother Lily and father. He comes with his own resident ghost - Louis Marquette, a member of Lafitte band.

d. Keri Wolf and Joe Dunhill are living in Alexandria, VA as of this plot. 

e. Jimmy Mercury, guitarist, seems to have a knack to smell the rat, if I may say so. Will he be a character to pop in future?

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

i. Heather gives us the sights and sounds of New Orleans in this plot - Galatoire's Restaurant; Cat's Meow; Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar; Fifi Mahoney's

ii. Andre's resident ghost behaves like the candlestick from Beauty and Beast.

iii. Andre and Cheyenne are compared to detectives from Moonlighting, a 1980s TV Show in which Bruce Willis started his career; and to Bones, a 2000s TV Show.

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.

v. Carl Brentwood, a film personality and friends with Dallas Wicker and Joe Dunhill from the 27th book The Summoning. 

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. Special Agent Andre Rousseau is mentioned as Andre Broussard in the blurb that is printed at the back cover of the book.

b. On Pg. 121, Line3 from bottom, it should be "…do you want to…"

c. On Pg. 172, Line 10, it should be "…I've been playing…"

d. On Pg. 188, Line 1, Heather mis-entered the last name of Cheyenne as "Dumas" instead of "Donegal".

e. On Pg. 299, Line 16, it should be "…Andre said…"; Heather inadvertently gives a different character's name.

f. On Pg. 334, Line 8, it should be "…shook his head…"

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