Series: Krewe of Hunters #17
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
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:
Can the same killer strike again a hundred and fifty years later?
Estes Park, Colorado, is a place of serenity. But it wasn't always so serene. Shortly after the Civil War, Nathan Kendall and his wife were murdered there, leaving behind a young son. The crime was never solved.
Now historian Scarlet Barlow is working at a small museum attached to a B and B, the same building where that murder occurred. She recently came to Colorado, reeling after her divorce from FBI agent Diego McCullough. Diego, who's just been asked to join the Krewe of Hunters, a unit dealing with unusual situations.
When Scarlet unwittingly takes pictures of people who've been murdered just like the Kendalls a hundred and fifty years before the police look at her with suspicion. Then the museum's statues of historic people, including Nathan Kendall, begin to talk to her, and she knows it's time to call her ex-husband. Diego heads to Estes Park, determined to solve the bizarre case that threatens Scarlet's life and to reunite with the woman he never stopped loving.
The very first sentence of this blurb caught my eye and even if I weren't already a fan of the series, that alone would have drawn me in. Add in the setting and I was sold. I had the pleasure to visit Estes park years ago and it was gorgeous. After reading the book, I want to go back again and visit everything I missed the first time.
As for the story, Graham did it again. I have a few nitpicks but as a whole the story was gripping and entertaining. Graham did a fantastic job with the setting, making the reader feel as if they were truly there, capturing the beauty of the land and the distance from one place to the next. And the setting is integral to the mystery as it involves ranches, gold miners and US Marshalls in addition to our Scooby gang, the Krewe unit of the FBI. As always, the story is a blend of paranormal, mystery, and romance. The paranormal aspect and the mystery are predominant but she doesn't forget the romance. We met Diego previously, most recently in book 16, "The Forgotten".
The mystery was tightly written with several red herrings. I had several potential suspects whose billing as the top suspect changed as new information was revealed. In the end, the killer was someone I'd considered but discarded as a suspect. Well done. Ms.Graham!
Now the nitpicks; there are several. Granted, the Krewe is not your typical FBI unit and the agents use unusual methods but we still need believability. A suggestion is made by the agents that stretches credibility but not a single character blinked or thought it odd for a law enforcement officer to make. It's actually an idea I could see the Krewe doing on a regular basis; it was just odd that none of the non-Krewe characters thought was weird or even crazy for them to suggest.
Second, one of the local police officers did a 180 degree change in behavior and personality and we don't know why. A few of the characters note that he's behaving differently but it's left at that, no questioning of it. It was jarring. I kept waiting for a revelation and he was one of my candidates for the killer.
My last nitpick was the romance. I'm not a fan of second chance romances but sometimes they work. This one mostly did; the reasons they split up were believable as was their effort at reuniting and working through their problems. What felt off to me was how quick they were to fall in bed together. Yes, they'd been married before and weren't strangers but BOOM! they're in bed before working out their problems. I'd have preferred to see them talk and work through their problems before jumping in the sack.
Still, despite those niggles, "The Hidden" was enjoyable with strong writing, realistic and enjoyable characters (my heart broke for Nathan), an intriguing premise and set-up, and an entertaining mystery.