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Bending the Spine

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Phantom Evil by Heather Graham



A secret government unit is formed under the oversight of Adam Harrison, famed paranormal investigator. The six members he's gathered know a little of the otherworldly—each has honed a psychic talent of their own.
Jackson Crow, part English, part Cheyenne, heads the group. Haunted by his experience with an ancestral ghost who saved his life as a child, and the recent murders of two previous teammates, Jackson can't tell if Adam's demoted him or given him an extraordinary opportunity. Despite his link to the realm of spirits, he's well aware that the living commit the most heinous crimes, with spiritualist charlatans existing merely to fool and seduce the unwary.
To counterbalance Jackson's careful skepticism, Adam Harrison has paired him with Angela Hawkins, a young woman who learned the painful lesson of loss at an early age. A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition in Virginia, she already has her hands full. But Adam's call to New Orleans is strong.
The case: In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death from a balcony. Most think she jumped, distraught over the loss of her young son. Some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits that inhabit the house—once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.
Whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion, greed and desire will cast the pair into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.
Audio CD
Published March 29th 2011 by Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD Lib Ed (first published March 14th 2011)
ISBN: 144189621X (ISBN13: 9781441896216)
series: Krewe of Hunters #1


This is the first of Graham’s novels that I’ve tried [EDIT: WRONG!  This is the second Graham novel I've read.  *face-palms*].  I liked it, for the most part.  I liked that it was a paranormal-crime novel.  That there were the usual and unusual suspects.  I liked that you never knew what was coming next, and that it was ever so slightly predictable.  I liked the Krewe of Hunters—they were all unique, had their own voice, and added something extra to the story.  I liked how unique Phantom Evil was.

I liked that I didn’t figure out who dunnit.

Now, on to what I didn’t like…
  • We got off to a very choppy start.  I felt like I was starting the second book in a series without having read the first one.  I actually double-checked to make sure that Phantom Evil was the first!  Felt that there was major character development that happened elsewhere, and I was trying to catch up to get with the program.  Graham did answer a lot of the questions as you progressed through the story, but some of it I would have liked up front.

  • Jackson’s skepticism is very tiring.  I just wanted him to be like, “OK, so maybe there is a possibility of something otherworldly.  Now prove it to me.”  Which at one point he was, but geez, he really just got on my nerves!  His character was comical at times and felt hard to relate to.

  • There were two VERY graphic sex scenes.  I fast-forwarded through the second because I couldn’t handle another one.  They were gratuitous and unnecessary to the plot.  They were sex-for-the-sake-of-sex, and I didn’t appreciate it. 

More of what I did like…

New Orleans as a setting is pretty great for this book.  There’s the whole voodoo/mysticism that is inherent in New Orleans that makes this story seem very possible.  Graham was very light on the details, giving just enough to set the place without talking about the grain on the hardwood floors.  If you catch my drift.  I got confused as times about the actual footprint of the house, where all the rooms were, etc.  It was a big house, so I can understand why I got a little lost.

Overall, this is a great read, I highly recommend it. [and it’s my first completed read of 2012!  Woot woot!]

4 Trees: Delightfully evil!

Get to reading,


  1. Phantom Evil grabbed my attention from the first page and held on, finished in 2 days, love the interaction between Jackson and Angela and the rest of the team. The ending was a little predicatable but good.

    1. I am so excited to read book 2! I hope to get to it on my TBR soon!


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