Phantom Evil by Heather Graham
(Krewe of Hunters, #1)
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Format: paperback from Mandi @ Never Too Fond of Books
Read: 7/16/2012 — 7/18/2012
In Six Words: Digging deeper into what evil is.
1. Phantom Evil
2. Heart of Evil
3. Sacred Evil
4. The Evil Inside
5. The Unseen
6. The Unholy
7. The Unspoken
8. The Uninvited
A secret government unit is formed under the oversight of Adam Harrison, famed paranormal investigator. The six members he’s gathered know a little of the otherworldly–each has honed a psychic talent of their own.
Jackson Crow, part English, part Cheyenne, heads the group. Haunted by his experience with an ancestral ghost who saved his life as a child, and the recent murders of two previous teammates, Jackson can’t tell if Adam’s demoted him or given him an extraordinary opportunity. Despite his link to the realm of spirits, he’s well aware that the living commit the most heinous crimes, with spiritualist charlatans existing merely to fool and seduce the unwary.
To counterbalance Jackson’s careful skepticism, Adam Harrison has paired him with Angela Hawkins, a young woman who learned the painful lesson of loss at an early age. A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition in Virginia, she already has her hands full. But Adam’s call to New Orleans is strong.
The case: In a historic mansion in New Orleans’s 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.
Whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion, greed and desire will cast the pair into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.
Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict
Mandi @ Never Too Fond of Books picked up this book at BEA for me, and I read it as part of the Profiling Mysteries event because it fits so well into the mysteries with a paranormal element category. Though I doubt that Krewe of Hunters will ever be a favorite series of mine, it was definitely entertaining, and I will likely continue the series in the future.
I think what I liked most about Phantom Evil is that it is a mystery that completely straddles the line between normal and paranormal. The paranormal in this sense is otherworldly presences, or ghosts. Phantom Evil skirts the edge of what evil is and who can accomplish what. Can lingering evil spirits cause the death of a living person? Or is evil doing strictly a human thing? What I have always found chilling and eerie is that if you’re haunted by a ghost, how do you get rid of it? It’s not a tangible thing. At least with a person, you can lock them up. With ghosts and spirits, you lose the control aspect.
The mystery Heather Graham has set up here is one that seems relatively straightforward. But it’s one that with enough loose ends that once the crew (krewe?) begins pulling on these ends, everything begins to unravel. Beyond the mystery of what really happened to the senator’s wife, there is also some exploration into and mystery surrounding the house and its murderous past. The house, its past, and what happened with senator’s wife are all linked, but perhaps not in the way one might expect. I liked that.
There was also a romantic element to Phantom Evil. Though it is not a slow romance by any means, it is not an all-consuming one, either, which leaves the developing relationship between Jackson and Angela seem sweet and natural. And, of course, a six member team clearly leave room for more romantic pairings in future books. I can’t say that the romance was my favorite part about the book, but I did like the characters and look forward to seeing more.