Sacred Evil -- Heather Graham
Book 3 of Krewe of Hunters
I sat on this review for a while because I really just wanted to give it a rating and move on.
Anyway, I don't remember having such a negative reaction to the previous two Krewe of Hunters books, but the writing style and narration for this one gave me pause. In the end though, I can't deny that there was still a nice hook even if I had my reserves from page one onward.
I might have had a problem with the previous Krewe of Hunters book, but it was mostly because of one character and the slow-progressing storyline. This time around however, it was really the way the book was narrated that made me cringe, over and over. Just something about the writing style, to me, felt overly wordy and unnecessarily detailed to a point of insignificant rambling.
Which sucks, because the premise of this series is one I’ve always enjoyed and I had been wanting to continue reading the rest of the installments (the series is up to book number seventeen at the time of this review post).
A gruesome murder in New York gives rise to a possible Jack the Ripper re-enactment. While there seems to be something much more sinister underlying these butcheries (as if anything could be more gruesome than Ripper-style killings), Detective Jude Crosby is intent on finding the murderer without relying on the untraditional, paranormal investigative tactics of the Krewe of Hunters. Enter Whitney Tremont, whose knowledge of both the paranormal and the film industry as well as her sensitivity to the paranormal might just be what is necessary to solving this murder mystery and stop the Jack the Ripper recreations from continuing.
The Jack the Ripper twist was welcome, to be honest. I’ve always had a morbid curiosity about famous, sadistic serial killer stories, which is probably why I love reading murder mysteries. And what better than to base a murder mystery off of the infamous Jack the Ripper killings? So this was a story line premise I could definitely jump into.
And as far as murder mystery “whodunnit” stuff goes, Sacred Evil actually doesn’t fall too short.
It’s just… there was entirely too much talking and discussion of minor details that did not help propel the storyline, the investigation aspect by our fictional detective Jude Crosby was laughably incompetent, and even some of the paranormal “clues” that helped move the investigation forward felt a little forced and deux ex machina.
The story dragged along for a good percentage of the book before things actually started picking up a little bit, both with the murder investigation and the romance (even though the romance was, as is usual in Romance-landia, quite insta). The paranormal stuff felt like it had been delegated to an afterthought, even though the entire series is sort of based on the paranormal aspects of ghosts and investigations and the like. I mean, you can’t just continuously describe a mysterious man in a stovepipe hat, a cloak, carrying a medical bag, and call him the ghost of Jack the Ripper--that’s not ghostly; that could easily be construed as some crazy maniac roleplaying as a serial killer.
But anyway, when the book started focusing more on the investigation, things DID get a little better. But I can’t help thinking that the investigation and the Ripper-history lessons felt a bit half-assed. How much research did this author actually do? And why do the detective’s investigative strategies and actions feel dramatically comedic?
At least the murder mystery wasn’t entirely predictable; though the final reveal didn’t come to me as an entire surprise… nor did it feel really satisfying either.
This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):