Cruising with Ghosts: Haunted Destiny (Heather Graham)

May 20, 2016 Book Reviews 2 ★★★★

Cruising with Ghosts: Haunted Destiny (Heather Graham)Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #18
Published by Harlequin MIRA on May 24, 2016
Genres: Paranormal romantic suspense
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Heart of Evil, Deadly Fate, Darkest Journey
Also by this author: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Flawless, Heart of Evil, Deadly Fate, Darkest Journey, A Perfect Obsession

Between the evil and the deep blue sea…

A historic cruise ship, a haunted ship, the Celtic American Line's Destiny, sets sail from the Port of New Orleans—with a killer on board. He's known as the Archangel Killer because of the way he displays his victims in churches. And how he places a different saint's medallion on each body. No one knows exactly who he is or why he's doing this.

Jackson Crow—head of the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, a special unit of paranormal investigators—is assigned to the case, along with local agent Jude McCoy. Then Alexi Cromwell, who works in the ship's piano bar, is drawn into the situation when a victim's ghost appears to her—and to Jude. She and Jude share an attraction, and not just because of their mutual talent.

There are many suspects, but one by one they're ruled out… Or are they? In the end, Jude and Alexi have to rely on each other to catch the killer and escape his evil plans for Alexi.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Review

Haunted Destiny is the newest in Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series, and I really enjoyed it. “Destiny” refers to the cruise ship on which most of the action takes place, as well as its more conventional meaning of fate. The setting reminded me a little of Agatha Christie’s mysteries set in closed communities (ships, trains, planes, country houses), although of course Graham’s style is very different from Christie’s. Alexi and Jude make a good couple, and the secondary characters were interesting as well.

The ghosts in this one are unusually talkative for a Krewe book (though I admit I haven’t read that many yet.) That might bother some people who feel that ghosts should be more… ghostly, but I rather liked it. Especially the chanteuse and her boyfriend, who are around enough to be secondary characters in their own right. As in some of the other Krewe books I’ve read, the ghosts are integral to solving the mystery.

Speaking of mystery, Haunted Destiny kept me reading late into the night. Graham does a good job of introducing a number of suspects and eliminating them one by one, while slowly ratcheting up the suspense. Even as the book nears the denouement, I was still debating between two or three suspects. I wasn’t exactly surprised by the final reveal, but it wasn’t my top suspect. I sometimes find serial killer mysteries very disturbing, but this novel didn’t bother me, perhaps because while Graham does describe the deaths, she doesn’t dwell gratuitously on the violence and gore. And although her investigators certainly pay attention to the killer’s psychology in an attempt to figure out his motives and probable next moves, as a reader I didn’t have to spend a lot of time in the murderer’s head, which helped as well.

Where the plot falters slightly is in how quickly Jude zeros in on Alexi and her friend as the most likely target(s). He does this even before they have any evidence of the “type” the murderer is likely to go for next. And even when they have that evidence, there are plenty of other possible targets on the ship, yet his major focus is still on Alexi and her friend.  It’s a relatively minor point, but typical of the sort of logical leap that I’ve seen in many of Graham’s books. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll buy an intuitive leap on the part of a character, particularly if they’re the sort to make intuitive connections. And that could have been the case this time. But sometimes it comes across more as a skipped step in the author’s chain of logic, and I got that feeling in this book. It didn’t keep me from enjoying the story, though!

I’m slowly working my way through the backlist of the Krewe of Hunters series, but I’m already looking forward to the next one. Deadly Fate is due out July 26.

four-stars

About Heather Graham

NY Times best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Heather was a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children’s charity. She has been published in approximately twenty languages, and her books have won awards from Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, and Romantic Times, as well as major bookstore chains.

Heather loves travel and anything have to do with the water, and is a certitified scuba diver. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Heather is also published as Heather Graham Pozzessere and Shannon Drake.

2 Responses to “Cruising with Ghosts: Haunted Destiny (Heather Graham)”

  1. Stormi

    I am doing my best to catch up on this series. I hate going out of order and I am have been listening to this series and I am currently on book 9 so I am about half way there I think…lol. I have some of the newer books in eARC’s so I am trying to catch up to them so I can read them and then I have Haunted Destiny that I got from BEA (my prized possession…lol. I love Heather Graham!!! 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…The Week In Review #89 ~BEA addition~Picture HeavyMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I started pretty late in the series, but this is one of the series I don’t mind reading out of order, because although some of the characters carry over from book to book, each story is pretty self-contained. So I am just reading the older ones as I find them and/or have time. 🙂

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