Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: The Forgotten by Heather Graham

The Forgotten (Krewe of Hunters, Book #16)
by Heather Graham
Release Date: July 28th 2015
2015 Mira
Ebook Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778317890
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 Stars

A woman named Maria Gomez is murdered in Miami, apparently by her husband—who'd been presumed dead, slain by a crime boss. FBI agent Brett Cody can't believe it; dead or alive, the man had loved his wife. He also can't help feeling guilty, since he was responsible for protecting Miguel and Maria Gomez.

A few miles away, Lara Mayhew has just begun working at a dolphin research facility. She loves her new job—until a dolphin brings her something unexpected from the deep. A human hand. More body parts show up, and when Brett looks into the situation, he discovers that the dismembered corpse is Miguel's.

Soon, rumors of crazed zombies abound in the Miami media, and the Krewe of Hunters, an elite FBI unit of paranormal investigators, is called in. Brett and Lara find themselves working with the Krewe—and working closely together. An elderly crime boss who's losing his memory seems to be key to solving this case, but…there's no motive. Unless Brett and Lara can uncover one in the Miami underworld. And that means they have to protect themselves. And each other.

The Forgotten is the next installment in a paranormal series that I really enjoy; even though I know the story will probably follow the same predictable story line as the previous books, I still enjoy reading them and learning more about some of the characters that appeared in previous books.   You have the romance between the main characters, you have the usual mystery with a touch of paranormal, you have the beautiful settings full of sun and water and beach (usually), and you have the mystery, while formulaic, is still intriguing. All of these elements combine for a fun, easy read and one that I return to time and again.

One of the things I have always enjoyed about a Graham novel is the setting and the historical background that is given to readers.  No matter where a novel is set, there is always plenty of information about the cultural background, the historical background, and the diversity that make up so many of these places, all done in such a way that is interesting to read about and makes you want to go there and visit.  Graham's vivid descriptions of the Florida Keys have added that place to my bucket list years ago and because I've been to Miami, I can actually visualize the city through her eyes and see what she is trying to get across.  I really enjoyed some of the background story of the Haitian population in Miami and refreshed my history of Papa Doc and his so-called zombie army.  

That being said however, I did find the overall story in this installment to be a bit dull compared to previous novels, and thought the paranormal element kind of fell flat; it really felt as if the paranormal element was thrown in there just to remind us that this was a Krewe novel and the Krewe typically dealt only with very unusual cases.  Every novel also has a different FBI agent as the principal character who falls in love with someone involved in the case in some way, and this novel was no different.  While I enjoyed the two main characters very much, I didn't really buy into their romance as much as in previous novels as it felt like it was just tossed in there rather than really worked into the story.  I'm glad they got together, but I don't think it would have mattered to me a whole lot.  However, I was rooting quite a bit for Diego as I really liked his character and thought his loyalty and bravery were really appealing. I think it says quite a bit when you are rooting more for the other guy than the main character, doesn't it? 

The Forgotten was still very enjoyable, and there were elements in there that I really liked.  I really enjoyed the cultural and historical descriptions of Miami and could really feel the vibe of the city through the written language.  I also liked learning about the dolphins as I don't really know a lot about them so I found that pretty interesting.  I thought the concept of this book was intriguing, but felt the paranormal element and the romance were not as well-blended into the mystery in this one.  It was fairly predictable as most of the novels do follow a fairly predictable pattern, but that doesn't usually deter from the fun of reading these books.  I do feel that this is one I probably wouldn't re-read in the future.