Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Unholy by Heather Graham

The Unholy
by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #6
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: June 26, 2012
Genre: Adult Paranormal Suspense/Mystery/Crime
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

A Hollywood shrine hides unholy deeds The 1940s: hard-boiled detectives and femmes fatale are box-office gold. In one iconic scene, set in a deserted museum, the private eye arrives too late, and the buxom beauty is throttled by an ominous Egyptian priest. Now: the Black Box Cinema immortalizes Hollywood's Golden Age in its gallery of film noir tributes. But the mannequin of that Egyptian priest is hardly lifeless. He walks-and a young starlet dies a terrifying death. Movie mogul Eddie Archer's son is charged with the grisly murder. Eddie calls agent Sean Cameron, who specializes in...irregular investigations. As part of an FBI paranormal forensics team, Cameron knows that nightmares aren't limited to the silver screen. Working with special-effects artist Madison Darvil-who has her own otherworldly gifts-Cameron delves into the malevolent force animating more than one movie monster....(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Unholy is the sixth novel in Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunter series. Each of her novels follows a special unit of the FBI that solves difficult cases utilizing paranormal gifts. All of her novels can be read as a standalone. They each deal with one member of the team, their love interest and a new case. Unholy was a fun read involving a closed room murder, the ghost of Humphrey Bogart and an old Hollywood Cinema. I quickly became swept up in this tale, and was surprised when the murderer was revealed.

The tale begins when a murder occurs at the Black Box Cinema and the owner’s son is arrested for the heinous crime. Owner, Eddie Archer pulls every favor he has in Los Angeles to help clear his son’s name. He contacts former special-effects employee and friend Sean Cameron. Sean is now a member of the FBI’s special unit; Krewe of Hunters. He and the rest of this unusual team have recently finished their FBI training. Sean arrives a day ahead of the team, and Archie introduces him to Madison Darvil. She is a trusted employee and special effects artist. He puts Madison in charge of showing Sean around the cinema. The tale that unfolds was both delightful and creepy as we searched for clues to solve this murder.

Sean Cameron is a sweetheart. He is smexy, protective and sensitive. His back-story will delight you, and I found him to be completely swoon-worthy. He is a talented special-effects artist, and one heck of an FBI agent. His training and special abilities help him as he works to clear a man’s name, protect Madison and prevent another murder. Madison Darvil is talented, kind, head strong and lives with the ghost of Bogart. Yep, movie icon Humphrey Bogart watches television and chats with Madison in her bungalow! Their interaction was hilarious. At the age of six her best friend died and appeared as a ghost. She shared this experience with her mother. That experience taught her to never talk about her anyone, ever! While happy in her career she is lonely. Living with this secret and having Bogart around (who likes to sit in the living room when she entertains perceptive dates) doesn’t do much to help her non-existent love life. The rest of the Krewe team is there, but they work strictly on the case as the tale focuses on the murder, Sean and Madison. Graham gives us a great array of characters as suspects from an actor to a costume designer. She provides characters that scream guilty; like Archie newest wife. I wanted to slap this woman and then turn around and slap the loveable Archie for falling for a woman like this..eek gads!

The case is a good one. It features a favorite mystery classic; a murder within a closed room. I loved the setting of the old movie theater and the back history to the old black and white movies. I found the whole thing intriguing. Graham shows us the killer in costume and it is quite frightening. She reveals bits and pieces of the murderer’s psyche. As Cameron, the team and Madison piece together clues I became completely enthralled with the tale. I pieced together parts and totally failed on the masked killer. The romance is secondary to the mystery which is one aspect I appreciate in Graham’s tales. I get great suspense and a couple who I end up believing in and rooting for. There is some sexual content in this novel, but Graham has a talent for providing heated scenes that are all implied.

I highly recommend The Unholy to fans of paranormal mystery and suspense with a side of romance. Heather Graham is one of my favorite authors in the mystery/suspense genre and I encourage you to check out her other work. My personal favorite is her Bone IslandTrilogy. I look forward to the next two novels in the Krewe of Hunters series due out this summer. They are The Unspoken and The Uninvited.

I want to thank Harlequin and netGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this novel 4.5 coffee cups out of 5. 

Reviews of earlier Graham novels on my blog:

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At May 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM , Blogger Jade said...

Aww this one sounds like so much fun and mystery! I'm loving that the heroine sees and interacts with Bogart's ghost! How brilliant is that? Must make for some really funny scenes too. And the hero sounds like a sexy dream! I'll have to look further into this series.

At May 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM , Blogger Sam said...

I'm glad you mentioned that each of the novels can be read as standalones as I haven't started this series yet. :P Amazing review, Kimba!

At May 30, 2012 at 6:44 PM , Blogger Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog said...

I had NO idea these novels could be read as standalones! I've passed several up because I didn't have the first few already. Gah! Good to know!

At May 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM , Blogger J-9 said...

I have been looking to get into Heather Graham again as I remember I used to really enjoy her book. I will have to look into this series and the Bone Island one, I have been a little bored with paranormal lately, maybe Graham can get my interest back.
Great Review

At May 31, 2012 at 12:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this series before, but I'm very interested. I love murder books and before I started reading YA books, I devoured them.
Just a few days ago, I was looking for a crime book to read. This one seems perfect since it has also got a paranormal aspect to it !
Great review, kimba :)

At May 31, 2012 at 1:50 AM , Blogger Sharon ObsessionwithBooks said...

Ooh, this book sounds great! I haven't heard of this series before now but will have to look into it..

A wonderful review Kimba! thank-you for sharing..

At May 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM , Blogger Danny said...

I heard lots of this series, but I never picked it up so far. However, reading your review truly makes me rethink! Especially this sentence totally sold me "he is smexy, protective and sensitive." ;)) yeah, me and the smexy boys! ;)

At May 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM , Blogger Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I love closed room murder mysteries and it's great to know that these do not need to be read in order! I'm getting just a little sick of all these series lately...nothing worse than reading a book and not realizing until the last chapter when nothing wraps up that it is the start of a series!!

At May 31, 2012 at 7:29 PM , Blogger Dalene @ A Date with a Book said...

I have this in my galleys to read. I was glad to see it can be read as a stand alone. Also going to check out the Bone Island Trilogy as well. She has been recommended to me many times and never knew where to start, so when I saw it was a galley, I grabbed and they gave. Can't wait, it's coming up soon!!


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