Title: Heart of Evil
Author: Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters
Previous in series: Phantom Evil
Next in series: Sacred Evil
My rating: 3 Stars
Synopsis: When a man is found murdered following a civil war reenactment, Ashley Donegal seeks the help of an old flame, Jake Mallory, a member of the FBI's paranormal investigative unit. It soon becomes clear that a madman with a grudge is on the rampage and Ashley and her family are his target.
Review: The idea of a killer with a historic score to settle is interesting and constitutes a strong foundation for the story. Nevertheless, the plot is poorly executed. The prologue provides no preliminary information and could easily have been another chapter. The division into chapters is problematic in the sense that the narrative begins from the POV of one character and switches to another in the same chapter with no warning, which can be confusing at times.
The characters are like cardboard cutouts and their characterization lacks substance. Even though the romantic couple has more of a connection than the pair in the first book; there is still a serious absence of chemistry in their relationship. The secondary characters are not sufficiently developed and the suspects are merely candidates for a police line-up. Very few clues are provided for the reader to follow, and the villain is ultimately revealed after everyone else is either killed or has an alibi. I would like to point out that I enjoyed the plot in this book more than in the first.
Ms. Graham has many fans out there. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. Her writing does not appeal to me as I do not enjoy having the story spoon fed to me as if I am unable to follow a narrative thread.
I can only recommend this for Graham devotees but I will not be continuing with the series.
Heart of Evil is scheduled for release on June 28, 2011. An advance copy of the book was provided to me for review by the publisher and NetGalley.com.