It’s Friday (happy dance), and we’re all thrilled about that, right? So how about celebrating Friday with a little ghost story set in my favorite city of New Orleans. Today, we’re looking at a new paranormal romantic suspense (and first in a new series) by Heather Graham, Phantom Evil.
ABOUT PHANTOM EVIL: 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.
MY THOUGHTS: This is the first in a new Krewe of Hunters series–as near as I can tell the next three will come out in June (Heart of Evil), July (Sacred Evil) and August (The Evil Inside). It was fun to read a romantic suspense with haunted houses as a break from the usual kickass women fielding demons story, so in that sense I really enjoyed Phantom Evil even though I’m not sure it would technically qualify as urban fantasy. The sense of New Orleans and its old houses is vivid, and each member of the ‘Krewe’ brings a different skill set to the paranormal team. The characters are well-drawn, and Jackson and Angela have a tense, understated chemistry. The Krewe’s mysterious leader, Adam, is sort of left in shadows, although I suspect he’ll become clearer as the series progresses.
I guess my biggest adjustment from reading a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance to reading Phantom Evil was the pacing–UF and PNR tend to throw the reader into the middle of the action, whereas Phantom Evil progresses more like a mystery (or romantic suspense). There’s a punchy prologue, after which the team forms, we’re introduced to each member, and the tension builds. So it feels a little slow in the beginning but eventually ramps up once the stage is set. This is a good, fast read if you’re looking for a break from the onslaught of UF and PNR.
Want to win a copy of Phantom Evil? Just tell me your favorite ghost, if you have one! I’m kind of fond of Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter series. As always, +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or Retweet.