The Night Watching
by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters # 9
Publication date: June 1, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
The dead of night. The Old West town of Lily, Arizona, is home to the Gilded Lily, a former theater…and bawdy house. These days, it offers theatrical productions geared to tourists, but the recent discovery of a skull, a real skull, among the props and costumes shakes everyone up. So, who do you call? The Krewe of Hunters, a special FBI unit of paranormal investigators. In this case, it’s agent Jane Everett. Jane’s also a talented artist who creates images of the dead as they once were. But the Krewe always works with local law enforcement, and here that means Sloan Trent, former Houston cop and now sheriff. His great-great-grandmother was an actress at the Gilded Lily…and she’s not resting in peace. Then more remains appear in the nearby desert. As they search for answers, using all the skills at their disposal, Jane and Sloan find themselves falling into danger–and into love.
The Night is Watchingis the ninth book in the Krewe of Hunters, but each of them can be read as a standalone. Each book in the series deals with a new case for the special paranormal unit of the FBI and focuses on one of member of their unit and their romance. In this tale the past and present intertwine as dead bodies from the past and present begin to appear. I quickly became swept up in the mystery. Three word review: ghost-town, suspense, legends.
The Night is Watching takes us to the Old West and a town called Lily in Arizona. The town’s claim to glory is the Gilded Lily a former theater and bawdy house. The main street of town has been preserved in its former glory and rumor has it ghosts haunt the buildings. The old jail is now a hotel where you can stay in famous cells and the Gilded Lily has rooms for you to stay in, a fine restaurant and puts on nightly theatrical shows. Sloan Trent is a former Houston cop, who left when his uncle became ill and accepted a job as the local Sheriff. He stayed on since the quiet life suits him just fine. When an old skull wearing a wig shows up in the theater he calls his old friend and former partner Logan. Logan is now working for the FBI and Sloan asks him for the name of a respectable forensic anthropologist. Logan sends a team member, Agent Jane Everett to reconstruct the skull. Ghosts, murder and mayhem ensue as Jane and Sloan must piece together the mysteries of the past to solve a present day case involving murder.
Sloan is an interesting character and we learn his ancestors go back to the town’s origins. While he misses the action of the big city, he is comfortable in his ancestral home with his horses and the spirit of his uncle. He is level headed, smexy and respected. Jane Everett an artist and trained FBI agent who loves her job. She is cautious, clever and confident. The chemistry between the two of them was interesting. While they both found each other attractive, things started off a little icy, but as the ice melted the tale began to burn. Graham provided a delicious cast of characters with the townsfolk of Lily. It was fun trying to decide whodunit. The ghosts and their stories were fascinating and was one of my favorite parts of the tale.
I loved the setting; it was like an episode on one of those haunted places TV shows. Lily, Arizona lives for its tourist and the colorful past Graham gave it was interesting. I thought she did a clever job of weaving past legends and unsolved mysteries into the present murders. While I had an idea of whodunit, I must admit I was a little shocked when the players were revealed. The romance was sweet, but sometimes I wanted to shoot Sloan for forgetting Jane is a trained professional and not a damsel in distress. When they connected it felt genuine. As always her tale was paced well and I quickly became caught up, I loved piecing things together and watching it all unfold.
Fans of romantic suspense mixed with a little paranormal woo-woo will enjoy The Night is Watchingand the Krewe of Hunter series.
Three and half cups of coffee from the Gilded Lily out of five
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