Series: Krewe of Hunters #16
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 29, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge | What An Animal | COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | iTunes | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
Murdered by a dead man?
A woman named Maria Gomez is murdered in Miami, apparently by her husband—who'd been presumed dead, slain by a crime boss. FBI agent Brett Cody can't believe it; dead or alive, the man had loved his wife. He also can't help feeling guilty, since he was responsible for protecting Miguel and Maria Gomez.
A few miles away, Lara Mayhew has just begun working at a dolphin research facility. She loves her new job—until a dolphin brings her something unexpected from the deep. A human hand. More body parts show up, and when Brett looks into the situation, he discovers that the dismembered corpse is Miguel's.
Soon, rumors of crazed zombies abound in the Miami media, and the Krewe of Hunters, an elite FBI unit of paranormal investigators, is called in. Brett and Lara find themselves working with the Krewe—and working closely together. An elderly crime boss who's losing his memory seems to be key to solving this case, but…there's no motive. Unless Brett and Lara can uncover one in the Miami underworld. And that means they have to protect themselves. And each other.
“Can you imagine the headline? ‘Dolphin Saves Miami from Zombie Attacks.’ ” – Lara, “The Forgotten”
Zombies, ghosts, dolphins, and FBI agents, “The Forgotten” is not your usual mix of topics. You might wonder how well all of that meshes, does it work or is it a steaming pile of mush? It works, it definitely works. J
I didn’t realize when I started it but “The Forgotten” is a sequel of sorts to the previous book in the series, “The Silenced”. That one is on my wish list so I can happily tell you that you don’t need to have read it to read this one. Graham gives us plenty of back story without dumping it down our throats. And, like the other books in this series, it works as a standalone; you can jump in without having read any of the previous books. The title, by the way, refers to the people who have gone missing or turned up dead. They are, for the most part, from parts of American society that are easily overlooked or considered disposable, i.e. the forgotten.
Graham has become a comfort read for me. Her books are suspenseful, but not terrifying, and she has a formula so I have a general idea of what to expect. The romance has an HEA and the mysteries, well people die so the resolution is not a complete HEA, are neatly tied up. “The Forgotten” is no different; the fun is in the journey.
Brett is a decent man; he takes his work seriously, is responsible, occasionally brusque, and devoted to his job. When an informant and his wife are killed on Brett’s watch, he feels compelled to find their killer and bring him or her to justice. But when the evidence points to a dead man, Brett suspects the case the informant was helping him with has moved into the woo-woo zone. Luckily, he has friends on the Krewe, the FBI’s team of woo—woo experts.
Lara had to leave her old life behind after she was kidnapped and almost murdered. She’s enjoying her new life right up until she and one of the dolphins at the marine center where she now works start finding human body parts.
Brett and his partner are called in but Lara also calls a friend of hers in the FBI who happens to be part of the Krewe. The story moves quickly after that as the agents try to protect Lara, solve the murders, and determine who is creating zombies and why. The suspect is an obvious one, or was to me; I won’t say more so that I don’t spoil the identity. I was disappointed that Graham went the obvious route but she did a good job of laying down clues both accurate and misleading; she kept me guessing. There were times I questioned my suspect but I always went back to that person and in the end I was right. The character interactions are a delight. Graham gives us wit, smarts, and warmth. The secondary characters, even the minor ones are believable. I could picture them in my head and there are several I’d like to hang out with. Actually, the marina seems like a cool place to hang out. I’d love to spend time with the dolphins.
I was discussing the book with some blogger friends and they had concerns about the zombies. Graham put her own twist on zombies and it was realistic enough to be terrifying. I didn’t find the zombies themselves to be terrifying though their actions certainly could be. For me, the terror was in the likelihood of something similar actually happening in real life. The sciences have never been my strong suit but Graham’s explanation sounded plausible. For me, the zombies were pitiable and sad. I wanted them to find true death, and peace.
Lara and Brett have a slow building relationship and I appreciated that Graham acknowledged the conflict of interest in a witness and an agent becoming involved. They worked nicely together, both as a couple and as a team trying to solve murders; they liked and respected each other but there were also some hot sparks. While I had no real doubts they’d end up together, I still cheered them on and hoped they’d work everything out. There’s a cutesy little epilogue that also provides some of the answers. I’m not a fan of epilogues; I think Graham could have given us the information as part of the main story.
“The Forgotten” was solid storytelling that kept me reading. I wanted to know the answers to the zombies, even more than I cared about the killings though of course the events are related. If you’re normally put off by zombies, give this one a try.