by Heather Graham
Series: Cafferty and Quinn #1
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Paranormal, Suspense
It was stolen from a New Orleans grave – the centuries-old bust of an evil man, a demonic man. It’s an object desired by collectors – and by those with wickedness in their hearts. One day, its current owner shows up at Danni Cafferty’s antiques shop on Royal Street, the shop she inherited from her father. But before Danni can buy the statue, it disappears, the owner is found dead…and Danni discovers that she’s inherited much more than she realized. In the store is a book filled with secret writing: instructions for defeating evil entities. She’d dismissed it as a curiosity…until the arrival of this statue, with its long history of evil and even longer trail of death. Michael Quinn, former cop and now private investigator, is a man with an unusual past. He believes that doing the right thing isn’t a job – it’s a way of life. And the right thing to do is find and destroy this object weighted with malevolent powers. He and Danni are drawn together in their search for the missing statue, following it through sultry New Orleans nights to hidden places in the French Quarter and secret ceremonies on abandoned plantations. Cafferty and Quinn already know that trust in others can be misplaced, that love can be temporary. And yet their connection is primal. Mesmerizing. They also know that their story won’t end when this case is closed and the dead rest in peace once again
Let the Dead Sleep is the first in the Cafferty and Quinn series by Heather Graham and I was excited to get a chance to review it for you. I love mystery and suspense wrapped in a little paranormal woo-woo with a side dish of romance and Graham serves up a perfect dish every time. The setting is one of my favorites; New Orleans and I quickly consumed this.
The tale begins as Danni Cafferty sits by her father’s hospital bed after learning he won’t survive. As she holds his hand, she tells him he cannot leave and she needs him. Suddenly he sits up and tells her he loves her, that he did her a disservice by not telling her about her inheritance and that he thought he had more time and could keep things normal for her a little longer. He tells her she must keep the shop and look to the book for answers. He then falls back on the bed. Danni calls for the doctor but he dismisses her claims that he spoke to her and informs her that her father passed before she arrived, and he wanted her to have a few moments before he told her. He indicates her father is already becoming cold and it’s true. Creepy right? Danni keeps the shop on Royal Street filled with antiques and the staff she thinks of as family. She lives above it and paints. An elderly woman enters the shop and claims a marble bust killed her husband and is trying to kill her. She wants Danni to come get it, but before she can buy it the bust disappears and the owner is found dead. Michael Quinn is a former cop turned private investigator who claims to have worked with her Dad and demands her help in stopping this malevolent bust. What happens next turns Danni’s world upside down as she discovers secrets about her Dad and herself.
Graham has a way of creating characters that I connect with and ultimately end up rooting for and this was the case with Danni and Michael. Danni is a successful artist, and loved her father so she doesn’t hesitate to honor his wishes. Her journey of discovery and acceptance in events that occur was fun to watch unfold. I like that she is confident and puts herself out there even when she is totally freaked out on the inside. Michael and his back story were fascinating and I look forward to learning more about threads that were introduced. He is smexy, confident, level headed and I trusted him almost immediately. We meet cops, a priest and street thugs who all have their own unique voices and propel the story forward. I loved Natasha the voodoo priest and found facts about the religion fascinating and accurate. Michael’s dog Wolf was sweet, and I think I would love to have the oversized mutt looking out for me. The only character that didn’t ring true to me ended up being a key player in the mystery and my instincts and Graham’s subtle hints were spot on.
The mystery involved a malevolent bust created in the image of a horrific man. It is highly sought by collectors and as thieves try to steal it the death rate in New Orleans rises. Voodoo, satanic rituals and greed all play a part in this fast paced mystery that kept me turning the pages. Graham’s grasp of New Orleans, cults and voodoo made the tale feel very genuine and added to the creep-tastic tale. All of the pieces and clues thread together and I like how they are all brought together at the end. We do get a romance and it developed slowly out of respect and circumstances. Graham gave us some hot moments with just enough smoke to set our imaginations on fire. The relationship is fresh and undefined and I look forward to seeing how it develops. The plot possibilities with the overall ARC to this series is endless and I look forward to seeing what the author does with them.
Fans of mystery and suspense wrapped in paranormal woo-woo will enjoy Let the Dead Sleep and I look forward to the next installment. Heather Graham is an auto buy author for me, and I am never disappointed.
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