Phantom Evil (Krewe of Hunters Series book #1) By Heather Graham (Book Review)
Plot: In a historic mansion in New Orleans’ French Quarter, a senator’s wife falls to her death from a balcony. Most think she jumped, distraught over the loss of her young son. Some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits that inhabit the house — once the site of a serial killer’s grisly work. A secret government unit is sent to investigate the haunted house and uncover its secrets.
My Review: I haven’t read a Heather Graham book in probably eight to nine years, and even then I always read her romance novels and I believe a couple cop/crime novels. Its been a long time, its hard to remember them all. But I know I really enjoyed her writing back then. A few months ago I noticed she had started writing supernatural books, but I never picked them up. Thanks to NetGalley her three upcoming paranormal books were available for me to read for free and review. Unfortunately I hated reading on the laptop so I read very slowly…until I recently got a Kindle for my birthday! On a side note the NetGalley Kindle version of this had some horrible editing. I don’t know if the retail copy will be like this or not, but there were sentences that stopped way too early on one line to continue on another, as well as no indents for new paragraphs. In other spots there were no paragraph breaks when there should have been to signal that the story had jumped to later in the day or to another person’s perspective. As I said, not sure if this was just my advance copy or not. But the publishers should be aware of this issue.
Anyhow, if you decided to read this book I’m guessing you’re a fan of the author or like ghost/haunting books. I picked it up for both reasons. Unfortunately – and this was only with a LOT of research – I found out that this series, although listed as a separate series from Graham’s other paranormal series, contains characters from the “Harrison“ series. Which I have not read. This book, Phantom Evil is listed as being the first of the “Krewe of Hunters” series. Confusing if I do say so myself. To date the Harrison series contains nine novels. And well, I don’t have the time to read all of those before reading this to review it for NetGalley. So with that being said, I’m going blindly into this series not knowing anything about these characters which is not ideal for me, I HATE reading a series without reading the books before it, even if its just a character crossover. It seems to me that perhaps these characters are not from the other series, only “Harrison” himself is a “crossover character” and it’s a very brief one.
Jumping into the prologue we get our first ghost. Kinda creepy, but nothing crazy. I was hoping since the story jumped right in that it would set the pace, but the first chapter and second chapter were filled with history lessons on New Orleans. I HATE history lessons and I kept finding my mind was wondering elsewhere. The book was not keeping me interested. It got worse when people seemed to each possess some sort of “gift”. I just want a haunted house book. Not a book where this person sees dead people, and this person finds dead people, and this person talks to dead people. That sort of stuff doesn’t interest me at all in books. Not to mention the entire book takes a turn away from ghosts for the most part. Its like at first they were the major aspect of the book, and then they got pushed aside for real conspiracies and police work.
This book started off with a woman in a house, she sees the ghost of a child, and then next thing you know she’s over the side of the balcony – dead. Her husband hires a group of paranormal investigators to check out the house, as its rumored to be very haunted.
I didn’t care for these investigators…at all. Some have some sort of “sixth sense” when it comes to ghosts and the supernatural, and the others are techies. There were TOO many characters as well, so it was hard to keep track of who was who and what their “sixth sense” or specialty was. The author tried to give too many details about each person too fast. By the end of the book it was obvious she could have done with only couple ghost hunters.
As I briefly said above, I was under the impression that this was a book about ghosts and a haunted house. Not a book about a Murder investigation that would include tons of suspects not of the Supernatural kind…as well as a romantic relationship between the two main characters that just felt forced, rushed, and well not special or all that interesting really.
As for the end of the book, it was confusing. Perhaps due to all the suspects and the “reveal” being all over the place. I still am left wondering “what the hell just happened”.
Overall: In the end I didn’t like the book all that much. It felt all over the place, the characters weren’t all that likable or interesting and neither was the actual book. If you are looking for a horror story about ghosts then definitely skip this one, it was quite a disappointment to me.