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Friday, August 1, 2014

ARC Review: The Hexed by Heather Graham

I haven’t read anything by Heather Graham in long time. I use to read anything she wrote. After I started The Hexed I realized what I had been missing. The Hexed is actually the 13th book in the Krewe of Hunters series. But it works great as a stand-alone novel. However I now want to go back and read all the other novels in the series. I was that drawn into the book and this group of people.

The story focuses on the investigation of murders taking place in the present time (and one 13 years earlier). But along with the investigation is the fact that the story takes place in the towns that surround and make up the Salem, Massachusetts area. Local lore and The Salem Witch Trials play a prominent role. The book focuses on three groups who surround the main characters, Rocky and Devin. The first group is the teenagers/now adults who found the body of their friend 13 years earlier, one of which is Rocky. The second group is Devin and her friends, all but one she knew in high school. The third group is the Krewe of Hunters. They are a special division of the FBI which Rocky has just joined. They use their paranormal abilities to help solve cases that are difficult to solve. Rocky specifically joins the group when a second murder happens that mimics his friend’s death. Since Rocky can see and talk to ghosts he is a perfect fit for the Krewe. Both Rocky and Devin have just recently returned the Salem area where they both grew up (in different towns).

After a Prologue and some information to set the stage, the story begins as Devin runs into Rocky’s path one night (literally) after finding a murder victim near her home. It steamrolls from there, going down the path of the investigation and the start of a budding romance and keeps going until threading history in with the investigation until finally everything comes to light. I would say this is suspense with romantic elements. Some books balance it, and some lean more one way or the other, this leans heavier towards suspense, but it is all woven together so well I think most everyone who loves romantic suspense will love this one.

I loved getting to know the all the characters, but Rocky and Devin especially. He’s a FBI agent which was his goal in life especially after the murder of his close friend. He’s pragmatic, he’s a stellar FBI agent, he’s caring and he sees ghosts which makes him a very interesting character. Devin is a children’s book author who has returned to the Salem area as well to live in her Aunt’s house. Devin is practical as well. She cares for her friends and seems to care for people in general as well. I love Devin and Rocky together, they have a truly believable attraction. Together they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to solving the crime spree around the Salem area and all while developing an promising romance. Devin’s deceased Aunt Mina who appears to Devin in ghost form also a captivating character. She is fun, loving and a great addition to all the other characters in the book. The Krewe members that come to town were interesting and I can’t wait to go back and read some of their stories or read them in the future. Devin and Rocky’s friends from the area who were involved every step of the way led to a great camaraderie feel in the book.

I loved the setting. Salem is a fascinating spot with a lot of history and I loved learning more about the Salem Witch Trials through this book. I thought the plot was well done and it kept me engaged through the whole book. It also kept me guessing the whole time. I did not know who the killer was until that person was revealed. The plotting was perfect. Between the relationship developing between Devin and Rocky, the inner workings of an investigation, the history of the Salem area, the paranormal aspect of seeing and talking to ghosts, and getting to know the other characters in the book, I was enthralled.

There is a lot going on in The Hexed but not too much to make it hard to follow. I fell right into reading this at a time I was in a reading slump. I fell in love with all of the characters, they were interesting and each one was a great addition to the story. I fell in love with the setting of the Salem area. I was mesmerized by the suspense plot. With the addition of the paranormal element, it was an amazing book for me. Heather Graham can write an fascinating story that will stay with you and leave you thinking.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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