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Monday, June 22, 2015

Phantom Evil by Heather Graham

A couple months ago I was peer pressured into trying a Heather Graham paranormal. Ok ok, subtly peer pressured. Ok, so Katherine was reading one.  Katherine had one on her TBR. Same thing.  It was not awful, but also not great. It did, however, convinced me to try a different Graham series, The Krewe of Hunters. Phantom Evil is the first of that series.

A secret government unit, a group of renegade paranormal investigators…and a murder no one else can crack
Though haunted by the recent deaths of two teammates, Jackson Crow knows that the living commit the most heinous crimes.
A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition, Angela Hawkins already has her hands full of mystery and bloodshed.
But one assignment calls to them too strongly to resist. In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death. Most think she jumped; some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits inhabiting the house—once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.
In this seemingly unsolvable case, only one thing is certain: whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion will cast Jackson and Angela into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.

Wow, sounds creepy! But was it? No, not really. It was much more enjoyable than The Dead Play On though, and made me think that perhaps this was a series I could follow. Now, I read this one several books and a couple months ago, and I only just realized I didn't entirely finish my review but have already written a review for a future book in the series that may or may not make sense if I hadn't written this one yet. And yes, I realize that there's no one actually reading my blog and paying that much attention, but humor me, ok?  So here's the entirety of the review that I had already written:

ghosts vs real story
chopping writing
hokey sex

Nice. That tells you a lot, doesn't it? I'll fill that out for you. (THANK GOD I made such detailed notes! Tho, if I'm honest, that's enough to remind me.)

Religion.  This one takes place in New Orleans and there is a bit of a voodoo flair to it, not a ton, but a bit. There's also a good bit of dark vs light imagery that grew a bit annoying, and overall I felt as though there were more than a little Christian bent to the book. It wasn't overwhelming or particularly preachy, but it's not something I read often. 

Ghosts vs real story. The summary would lead you to believe that the murder is caused by ghosts. In reality, this is very much a Scooby Doo type ghost story. Oh there are actual ghosts, which I enjoyed, but it was almost a parallel story. Compared to The Dead Play On, it was much much more paranormal.

Chopping writing. I found this one to be much better written than I did The Dead Play On. Graham ceased to describe every single action. It's still not a series one reads for the writing, and there are certainly writers who do both paranormal plot AND writing better, but I never wanted to gouge my eyes out.

Hokey sex. Ok, so here's the biggest problem with this one. This is a paranormal romance. The main characters have to fall in love. I totally didn't buy it. I didn't feel the love or the attraction and I felt like the sex was way out of place. While I liked both the main characters, and actually ALL the characters, I just did not buy any aspect of the romance.

You're just dying to read this now, aren't you?  Honestly tho, I enjoyed it and I've gone on to read two more in the series. It isn't likely to make my favorite series list, but it's fresh and new to me right now and they are easy and quick for when I'm too tired to focus on anything else.  (As I write this, I realize this is the same slot the In Death books fill for me but I'm actually caught up on that series!) Would I read more? Clearly. Would I hold it out as an example of great writing? Nope. If you're already a fan of paranormal or romance then take a chance.


  1. And when you say the 'In Death' books, I'm assuming you mean the J.D. Robb books? Gotcha! I also got this book, based on the lovely Katherine's recommendation. I have not read it yet, but I did know that it was a long-running series. So...yep, I'll get in the mood for it sometime, I'm sure. A little secret - I read all the 'In Death' books last year before I came back to blogging. All of them. Took me about 3 months. Are you impressed or horrified? I had fun with it. :-)

  2. Haha I always enjoy your reviews! I have this one on my TBR list but haven't yet grabbed it from the library. I have read other books by her and have felt similarly but for the life of me can't remember which ones. I will probably read this one at some point though :)

  3. Great review! I read a Heather Graham title a while back (last year, I think it was) (not that I can remember the name of the book or anything) and I had pretty much the same feelings about it. There was a nice paranormal aspect to it, I remember, but I could have done without the romance.


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