Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Waking the Dead by Heather Graham

Waking the Dead (Cafferty and Quinn, Book #2)
by Heather Graham
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
2014 Harlequin MIRA
Hardcover Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778316122
Genre: Fiction / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars


They say a painting can have a life of its own…

In the case of Ghosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that's more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, "the year without a summer." That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art….

Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow.

My Thoughts
Waking the Dead is the second book in the Cafferty and Quinn series.  I typically love Heather Graham novels as I can always count on this author to follow a fairly formulaic pattern with rather interesting characters, an interesting setting, and an intriguing storyline, none of which requires a lot of thought on my part to decipher, but which is fun easy to read.  While I enjoyed Waking the Dead, I found parts of it to be a bit slow as the plot floundered and I had to make myself continue reading in order to get to the parts I knew would be more interesting.

What I always enjoy about Heather Graham's books are the characters and the various personalities.  While the author doesn't delve too deeply into their character traits, I manage to somehow always find a connection with most of the characters and enjoy them tremendously.   Danni is one of those people who I would like to get to know personally as she always seems to calm and together, doesn't fly off the handle when she sees something paranormal, and tends to listen to her intuitive side, even if it's rather instinctive rather than knowing.  Quinn, on the other hand, typical of a Graham male, is the protector type, with an element of sensitivity, but as down-to-earth as they come.  Having experienced the paranormal firsthand, he tends to take everything in stride and takes care of those around him.  Sometimes it can be almost cloying, although the author doesn't let it slide into really annoying mode.  My favourite character is Wolf, the dog who looks after them both.  Any dog named Wolf has got to be something special.

I did have some issues with the plot in this one as I did find it rather slow, as if the author was trying to come up with interesting ideas and things to further the plot, but couldn't decide what she wanted to do.  There were times when I found it slow and the conversation between the characters dragged on and on, trying to fill in the gaps.  What I typically like about her plot lines though, are how she manages to mix romance, suspense, mystery, the paranormal, and hauntings together, without having a choppy or disruptive story line.  In this one, I thought she didn't quite achieve what she set out to do, but it was an interesting story nonetheless, just not up to her usual par.  

Waking the Dead was enjoyable, but I felt like the author quite missed the mark when it came to telling the story in this one, that she just didn't achieve what she meant, and it kind of fell flat overall.  As always, I thought the characters were interesting, but even that wasn't enough to cover up the lack of a story line.  I did enjoy some of the historical detailing, like I always do, and the setting definitely had the markings of a good ghost story, but it didn't quite work, and it really wasn't that spooky.  However, having read pretty much everything there is by Heather Graham, this definitely won't stop me from reading another as her books are easy to read and they can be quite fun.  


  1. Good review!

    I've never gotten around to reading any of her books, actually.

    1. I definitely don't read them for her in-depth literary style, but sometimes I need a break from the heavier reading material, and these are fun ones to turn to that I can read in one day, and don't require a lot of thought.