Monday, December 21, 2020

Review: Deadly Touch by Heather Graham

by Heather Graham
Release Date: July 21st 2020
2020 MIRA
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778309680
Genre: Fiction / Paranormal / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

When Raina Hamish tries on a dress in a Miami boutique, she has a terrifyingly accurate vision of a murdered corpse in the murky shadows of the Everglades. She wants to help, but who would believe her when she can hardly believe herself?

Special Agent Axel Tiger has returned to Florida to help hunt a serial killer, but the investigation doesn’t have much to go on. Raina’s vision is their best chance to uncover more. Axel’s experience with the FBI’s elite paranormal team will nurture Raina’s abilities, and she may be able to help save a life—but it puts her directly in the crosshairs of a killer who is closer than they would ever suspect.
My Thoughts
Deadly Touch is the next instalment in the Krewe of Hunters and I'm not going to lie, these are a guilty pleasure of mine, books to be read in between the heavy hitting non-fiction and fantasy books that I have been reading lately.  One of the reasons I enjoy them so much is that they are predictable: girl/guy has vision/paranormal 'something', murder happens, Krewe gets sent in to investigate, girl/guy fall in love, murder solved, girl/guy live happily ever after, done.  And it works, EVERY SINGLE TIME.  This author has hit on a formula that is plain, simple, but effective.  
What I especially enjoy about these books is the historical background to each story.  As a history buff (and a history teacher), I love learning new things and this one focused on the Everglades.  Living in Canada, I have only ever visited that area once, and not long enough to really learn enough about it, but I have read a lot about it.  The author explores and explains a lot about the history of the Everglades and the devastating effects the pythons and other invasive plants/animals has had on it.  Fascinating stuff.  And I like how the history and legends blend into the story line so well.  Definitely appreciate it.
The story itself was a bit slow as the author took a longer time than usual to really get on with the mystery / murder.  I think the author is trying really hard to come up with different ways for her heroines / heroes to see ghosts as this time Raina started to see them after she tried on a dress worn by the victim.  I'm all for trying something new, but I don't see anything wrong with the classic story line either as it worked and sometimes you can get too elaborate.  Then it just sounds silly.  
Other than the interesting history, I thought the writing was just okay, even a bit different from previous books.  It seemed to have more of a juvenile edge to it with stilted dialogue, and I just didn't see the connection between Axel and Raina.  Either the author is losing her touch or she didn't believe in her characters as a couple either and it shows through her writing.  To be honest, I have found that the connection between the main characters seems to be missing as it's not the same as when we first met Jackson and Angela or Ashley and Jake.  
Deadly Touch is one of those books I read simply to relax between other books.  And I enjoy them simply for that reason, knowing exactly what I will get.  Unfortunately, the story line was slow and the writing did nothing for the characters in this one as I didn't feel the connection between Raina and Axel, both characters whom I liked very much.  If you read them knowing what you are going to get, you will enjoy them.  I definitely don't read these for their heavy material, but that's ok, I have other books to read for that. 



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