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Monday, May 9, 2011

Phantom Evil, by Heather Graham

From the back of the book:
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' 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.

My personal "fluff" reading is paranormal fiction. So, to be able to pick this up in pre-publication was a win for me.

The story is interesting and the lead characters (Jackson Crow and Angela Hawkins) are well-developed. It's rare that I find enough believable backstory to bring a character to life. Graham, once again, delivers that wonderful character development I know her for.

The story is well-done. Graham does more than just randomly set her story in New Orleans, she includes New Orleans in the story. There's so much to draw from in New Orleans for paranormal/supernatural stories, but she also does a little history work. Overall, the story is good.

However, some of the character stuff bothers me. There's 6 on the team, and 3 involved in the case. That's 9 primary/secondary characters that are through out the story. A bit busy. Also, the romance between Crow and Hawkins. While it's believable that there would be some attraction, it all moves much too quickly. Much, much too quickly.

Overall, it's a good story, I just wouldn't give it 4 or 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Harlequin through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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