The Cursed (Krewe of Hunters, Book #12)
by Heather Graham
Release Date: May 27th 2014
2014 Harlequin MIRA
Paperback Edition; 368 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher
3.5 / 5 Stars
Hannah O'Brien, who grew
up in the house and now runs it as a B and B, has always had a special
ability to see a pair of resident ghosts. But when a man is murdered in
the alley behind her place, she's dismayed when his spirit appears, too,
asking for help.
FBI agent Dallas Samson has a passionate
interest in the murder, since the victim's a colleague whose death is
connected to the smuggling ring known as Los Lobos—the wolves. Now
Dallas is even more committed to chasing them down….
that Dallas has certain abilities of his own, Hannah calls her cousin
Kelsey O'Brien, a member of the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, an elite unit of
paranormal investigators. The present-day case is linked to a
historical mystery involving salvagers, a curse and a sunken ship.
Danger and desire bring Hannah and Dallas together, but to survive, they
have to solve the mysteries of the past—and stay alive long enough to
solve the crimes of the present!
The Cursed is the twelfth book in the Krewe of Hunters series, and to be honest, it's rather like slipping on an old pair of slippers and a worn housecoat, as the formula always tends to be the same: beautiful girl or beautiful man discovers a dead body, then has to deal with beautiful girl/man who happens to be a police officer and who, oh yes!!, also happens to have paranormal abilities most of the time, and the two of them now have to hunt down the killer/killers. I tend to turn to a Heather Graham novel when I want a rather light read, knowing the formula will be fun and predictable, but one that I will still enjoy tremendously, and this one is no exception.
First of all, one of things I like about these novels is the description about the various settings: New Orleans, Key West, Savannah, Charleston, and so on. Even though the research is not always accurate (I do remember something about sharks or salt water in the Great Lakes once and laughing over it), but it is still meticulous and I enjoy learning about the local culture and history. I have been to most of these cities and I love checking out the local lore that Ms. Graham had mentioned in one of her novels. There is an emphasis on teaching readers and sharing information about these locales and it is evident that Ms. Graham is very proud of the areas she selects for her novels and wants to share that enthusiasm with her readers. I really like that and it shows in her novels.
Hannah and Dallas were both typical characters in a Heather Graham novel: he is the dashing police officer who is very protective and strong while Hannah is the strong female protagonist who doesn't want protection but finds she needs it anyways. I liked both of these characters and thought Hannah held her own quite well in a household full of FBI agents; I can imagine it would be quite difficult to get one's say in such a situation but she managed quite well, without doing anything silly or typically rebellious. As always, the romance came on rather quickly, and this has always been one aspect where I have had issues with these novels as I have never bought into the "love at first sight" scenario and don't really appreciate it. Making a difficult choice, such as the one Hannah has to make at the end, I can see, but to give up everything for someone you just met? No way.
The Cursed was rather formulaic in nature with regards to the plot line, but this is nothing new and I expected it so I didn't enter this novel with any grand expectations. I just enjoyed the ride with the ghosts and hoped to see a lot of them, which I did, and that made me happy. I also like it when previous Krewe members visit in these novels and we gets to catch up with their doings. Ms. Graham definitely has developed a good formula for her novels, but you don't get anything deep in these, just fun, interesting reads, with few layers and little food for thought. I think that is why the epilogue didn't quite work as it didn't really fit the formula and threw off the rest of the book, and allowed the 'love story' to overshadow the 'mystery'.