Title: The Evil Inside (Krewe of Hunters #4)
Author: Heather Graham
Release Date: 08/30/2011
I was initially apprehensive about reading this book. After all, some of the previous books in this series weren't really as good as some of Graham's previous works. I decided to give this a read & ultimately I'm rather glad I did.
For as long as it has stood overlooking New England’s jagged coastline, Lexington House has been the witness to madness…and murder. But in recent years the inexplicable malice that once tormented so many has lain as silent as its victims. Until now…
A member of the nation’s foremost paranormal forensic team, Jenna Duffy has made a career out of investigating the inexplicable. Yet nothing could prepare her for the string of slayings once again plaguing Lexington House – or for the chief suspect, a boy barely old enough to drive, much less kill.
With the young man’s life on the line, Jenna must team up with attorney Samuel Hill to pinpoint who – or what – is taking the lives of those who get too close to the past. But everything they learn brings them closer to the forces of evil stalking this tortured ground.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I really enjoyed reading this book. From the very first page I was hooked. The suspense in this was well done for the most part & unlike some of the previous books, I couldn't instantly discover who the true killer was. The romance in this was also pleasant, albeit a little too overly similarly plotted to the romances in the previous books. I'd like to see a romance in this series (there's still one more character to match up) where the love interest didn't instantly go the skeptical route or have that be a big focus of the match up. It just gets a little overly tread after a while. Even with this handicap our main characters are still well matched. Their romance isn't "set the pages on fire" hot, but it is sweet.
One of the strongest points in the book was the book's atmosphere, which was helped along by Graham setting the story in Salem, Massachusetts. The name alone gives the reader a certain mental image, which helps out greatly in this book. It also doesn't hurt that Graham decided to bring in the idea of witch hunting, comparing the hunts of the past to those of the present. It was a bold but smart move by Graham.
It's not a completely flawless book, however. At times I really couldn't help but wish that Graham had fleshed out some of the characters more, especially our whodunit. The whodunit wasn't an outrageous surprise but a little more development would have made the finish really stand out. I sort of blame this on the fact that this book was part of a series. It was only when the KoH had to be involved that the book started somewhat unraveling & I feel like if our two heroes had to do more of the footwork themselves (rather than relying on people who could quickly do it offscreen) the book would have been a little more tightly woven. This would have been an excellent standalone novel.
I'd still highly recommend this as a last minute vacation or "yay, the kids are back in school" read. Despite a few stumbles, this was a lot of fun to read & I would recommend it even if you haven't read or been all that entranced by the previous books. I'd go as far as to say that this is easily the best book of the series so far.
(ARC provided by Netgalley)