Death in Alaska: Deadly Fate by Heather Graham

July 22, 2016 Book Reviews 5 ★★★★

Death in Alaska: Deadly Fate by Heather GrahamDeadly Fate by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #19
Published by Harlequin MIRA Genres: Paranormal romantic suspense
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Heart of Evil, Haunted Destiny, Darkest Journey
Also by this author: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Flawless, Heart of Evil, Haunted Destiny, Darkest Journey, A Perfect Obsession

Alaska—the final frontier?

When Clara Avery, an entertainer working on the Fate, an Alaskan cruise ship, goes to nearby Bear Island, she comes across a scene of bloody mayhem. She also comes across Thor Erikson, who will soon be a member of the FBI's elite paranormal unit, the Krewe of Hunters.

Thor's been sent from the Alaska field office to investigate several grotesque killings, with the dead posed to resemble the victims of notorious murderers. The prime suspect is a serial killer Thor once put behind bars. The man escaped from a prison in the Midwest, and all the evidence says he was headed to Alaska…

Thor and Clara share an unusual skill: the ability to communicate with the dead. Their growing love—and their contact with the ghosts of the victims—brings them together to solve the case…and prevent a deadly fate of their own!

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

Review

Deadly Fate, the newest Krewe of Hunters novel, hooked me early and never let up. From the opening scene of (fictional) carnage to the denouement, the book kept me guessing and eagerly turning the pages to see if my guesses were right.

Graham is really good at evoking an atmosphere, making a setting appealing and then progressively ratcheting up the tension so the setting itself begins to feel menacing.  In this case, though, while Alaska itself is certainly appealing enough, the fictional Black Bear Island is a scene of death and destruction almost from the start, and it remains an ominous if beautiful setting for much of the book.

I was delighted to see Clara Avery get a leading role in Deadly Fate. I liked her in Haunted Destiny, and suspected we might see her again when it became clear she could see ghosts. Several other members of the Destiny’s entertainment contingent also appear; it was nice to see them again and it also offered at least a few trustworthy people for Clara to lean on. Thor is new to the series (to the best of my knowledge; I haven’t read them all), but he and Clara make a good pairing. I was less taken with some of the other characters, particularly Marc Kimball, the rather slimy billionaire who owns Black Bear Island, and some of the TV crew…but then, some of them aren’t intended to be sympathetic.

The book has something of a “locked room mystery” feel to it, because although people do come and go from the island, the initial deaths must have been caused by someone on the island, probably by someone we’ve been introduced to. One of my few quibbles about Heather Graham’s books is that they often make logical leaps or contain plot holes, but Deadly Fate has fewer of these than most of the other Graham books I’ve read. There were one or two plot twists and explanations that felt a bit forced, but they were reasonably logical.

I’ve talked before about my difficulty with reading about serial killers, but Deadly Fate steered clear of the things that seem to trigger my discomfort the most—I didn’t have to spend a lot of time in the killer’s head or analyzing his/her twisted psychology, and it wasn’t a situation where a close family member turns out to be a killer. (Incidentally, I have no idea why either of those things should trigger such anxiety and revulsion for me when I read about them; there’s nothing in my personal past that would account for it. It’s baffling.) Deadly Fate, despite the undeniable suspense and the rather gruesome deaths, kept things at enough of a distance that I could approach the mystery as a puzzle rather than be sucked into the terror of it all—which is how I prefer it, frankly.

All in all, I think Deadly Fate is one of the better-constructed Krewe of Hunters books, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m already excited for Darkest Journey, the next book in the series.

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.

5 Responses to “Death in Alaska: Deadly Fate by Heather Graham”

  1. Rita @ View From My Books

    Yay! Glad to hear this one was such a good read for you! I have it up next to read, as I received it through Netgalley. I’ve only read 3 early Krewe Hunters books, and someone once said they get better as they go along.

    I love books set in Alaska, probably because it still has that feel of an unchartered territory, and is different and exciting for me as a reader.

    Thanks for a good review that I only skimmed through, because I wanted to go in unknowing as much as possible.
    Rita @ View From My Books recently posted…You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone ReviewMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      This is the only series I’ve read of hers so far (not that I’ve read all of it, only about five books.) I did read Flawless when it came out this year.