by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #17
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
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 Hidden by Heather Graham is the seventeenth book in the Krewe of Hunters series, but if you have not read them, you can jump in anywhere. Each book focuses on one case and a couple. The Hidden takes us to Colorado with a murder that occurring at the site of an unsolved Civil War murder. Graham delivered a suspenseful murder mystery with a second chance romance on the side making The Hidden a compelling read. Graham delivers a tale with the focus on the murder mystery. She then weaves in a solid romance and paranormal elements making the Krewe of Hunters series a must for my auto-buy list.
In The Hidden, we meet Scarlet Barlow, the ex-wife of Diego McCullough. We met Diego in Miami, Florida in The Forgotten. Scarlet is now working as a historian for a small B&B nestled near the Rocky Mountains. The work is fascinating particularly because she ties to Nathan Kendall. He and his wife were previous owners that were found brutally murdered. When grisly murder scene pictures appear on her camera she soon finds herself under arrest. She calls the one man she knows will come to her aid, Diego. Diego has been offered a place on the Krewe and a series of events followed by Scarlet’s frantic call have him joining and asking for assistance. He and his partner fly to Colorado and the fun begins…
The case was intense tying the past to the present. I enjoyed all the suspects and clues as the murderer becomes more brazen. The paranormal aspects are in the form of ghosts. They are all victims who have been murdered and they reach out to Scarlett. The connection between them and the past was interesting; as was the motive for the present day murders. Graham weaves local history into her stories, and we learn a little about Stephen King and his stay in the small-town, as well as the history of Nathan Kendall. It gave the story a little more depth and I loved all the tidbits. I also felt a connection to the characters from the past and current murder victims.
A second chance romance between Scarlett and her ex-husband Diego felt genuine. Graham gave us chemistry and enough back story that I became invested in their outcome. I enjoyed seeing them admit to past mistakes and realizing it takes two. Graham did a great job of sharing their feelings and I am glad that the physical need to connect helped them open up.
Adam Harrison the founder of the Krewe and other Krewe members aided with reconstructing facial images to identify victims and canvassing for clues. Graham dabbles in some of the forensic and police procedures but keeps the details light. I questioned a few aspects of the story, particularly with the local police officer in charge of the case. View Spoiler »He was a pain in the arse, until one of the Krewe spoke to him and he did a completely 180. I want to know what was said. Sadly we never learned what transpired. « Hide SpoilerHowever, nothing bothered me enough to hinder my enjoyment. Of course, red herrings, and suspects keeping secrets led us on a merry chase towards a nail-biting, life or death climax.
The Hidden wraps up nicely solving the mystery and giving us closure between Scarlet and Diego.
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