Series: Krewe of Hunters #28
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 23, 2019
Genres: Paranormal romantic suspense
Source: the publisher
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Also in this series: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Heart of Evil, Haunted Destiny, Deadly Fate, Darkest Journey, Dying Breath, Echoes of Evil, The Summoning, The Unholy
Also by this author: Phantom Evil, The Hidden, Flawless, Heart of Evil, Haunted Destiny, Deadly Fate, Darkest Journey, A Perfect Obsession, Dying Breath, Echoes of Evil, The Summoning, The Unholy
THE TRUTH IS SCARIER THAN FICTION
Kerri Wolf has joined the crew of The Seekers, a show that searches for paranormal phenomena, as they explore a supposedly haunted old inn on the road between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. The place is famous for its warm welcome—and infamous for being the site of an ax murder rampage in the 1920s. They’ve barely begun when a very real dead body is discovered in the basement. As a nonfiction author, Kerri is supposed to be the rational one, but she can’t explain a terrifying apparition that seems to be both a threat and a warning.
Former detective Joe Dunhill knows what she’s going through—the strange gift of being able to see and talk to the dead is a struggle he shares. A new member of the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters, he’s on the team investigating the disturbing death. The town is steeped in old-fashioned superstition, and the deeper Joe and Kerri plunge into the dark secrets of the inn, the closer they get to a devastating truth. Will a bloody history be repeated? Or can the spirits of the past reach out to stop a killer?
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
The Seekers kept me turning the pages—and constantly rethinking whom I suspected in the grisly murder of an FBI agent. As usual in a Krewe of Hunters novel, the present-day mystery is tied to events in the past, the hero and heroine can both see ghosts, and their attraction is nearly instantaneous… but this time, said attraction was offset by their initial irritation with each other. Both Keri and Joe are eminently likable, and despite their mutual prickliness, I had no question where things were headed; it was more a matter of when than if. I particularly liked Joe’s respectful, even courteous protectiveness. It isn’t machismo or alpha-male posturing; he treats Keri like an intelligent partner whose strengths and training lie elsewhere.
Sometimes the books in this series are a little too graphic or creepy for me, and this one came close a few times, particularly in the descriptions of what had been done to Agent Castro, and to the inn’s guests in the past. (shudder)
I also had a few reservations when it came to believability. As good a cop as Joe Dunhill is, he hasn’t been through the FBI academy yet, so he’s not an official member of the Krewe; nor is he still on the Savannah police force. (He was a secondary character in The Summoning.) The police and FBI can both be sticklers about turf, jurisdiction, and civilian involvement. The Krewe are a bit more laid back, but local cops and other FBI units might not be be. So I was surprised that Joe wasn’t challenged more often for acting as a full member of the investigation. There were also some logical leaps and assumptions that I’m not sure real agents would make, particularly in drawing parallels between the past and present. (That, too, is typical of this series; I’ve learned to live with it.)
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the suspenseful ride and the just-creepy-enough atmosphere, plowing through The Seekers at top speed to find out “what happens next.” And by the scenes just before the denouement, I had pegged almost all the characters’ guilt or innocence correctly, which is always gratifying. I like books that can keep me guessing, but I also like being able to figure out at least some of the mystery myself. The Seekers delivered on both counts.