Book Showcase: THE FINAL DECEPTION by Heather Graham


The Final Deception, New York Confidential #5, by Heather Graham
ISBN: 9780778309437 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488055423 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488208102 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781094098517 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B07XVPRCQ9  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07R61QBB3   (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2020


How do you confront a threat that is hiding in plain sight? FBI agent Craig Frasier and psychologist Kieran Finnegan hunt an escaped serial killer in the latest explosive thriller in the New York Confidential series.

It was one of Kieran’s most chilling cases: her assessment of a murderer known as the Fireman. There was no doubt that the man needed to be locked away. Now Craig is called to a gruesome crime scene that matches the killer’s methods, and news breaks that the Fireman has escaped prison.

Amid a citywide manhunt, Kieran and Craig need to untangle a web of deceit, privilege, and greed. They suspect that those closest to the killer have been drawn into his evil, or else someone is using another man’s madness and cruelty to disguise their crimes.

When their investigation brings the danger right to the doorstep of Finnegan’s Pub, Kieran and Craig will have to be smarter and bolder than ever before, because this time it’s personal, and they have everything to lose.






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Read an Excerpt



PROLOGUE




CRAIG FRASIER BREATHED IT IN BEFORE HE COULD STOP himself; the bloodcurdling scent of burning flesh.

Human flesh.

Flames still skittered over the body—an accelerant had been used. As he stood there in the small dark alley, he heard others rushing in: Mike Dalton, his partner, and patrol officers. He heard the sirens; the fire department was coming.

But there was no saving this victim.

Craig was already tamping the fire out; an extinguisher would make the work of the medical examiner more difficult.

But he knew what the medical examiner would find.

The victim had been strangled, then the tongue had been cut out. And then the eyes had been gouged out. Death had occurred, mercifully, before the fire had been set.

The corpses haunted his dreams. Burned shells, some flesh and soft tissue remaining, charred and clinging to the bones, mummy-like. The mouth in the blackened skull was agape, and those empty, soulless eye sockets seemed to be staring up, as if they could still see, as if they stared at him in reproach…

Why hadn’t they caught the killer sooner?

He heard a rustling sound. Looking across the alley, Craig saw a shadow moving. Leaving the corpse to others, he took off like a bullet. He pursued the moving shadow at a run…running and running for blocks. The city was a blur around him.

He reached apartments on Madison, with a coffee shop and a dress store on the first floor, just as the gate at the street entry to the residential units above was closing. He caught the gate, and he reached the elevator in time to see what floor it stopped on. He followed.

And again, as he arrived, a door was just closing; he didn’t let it close.

And there he was: the Fireman, still smelling faintly of gasoline, ready to sit down to a lovely dinner with his family. About to say a prayer before the meal…just a husband and a father, and a man who looked at Craig and calmly said, “So, my work is over. But I have obeyed the commandments given me, and I will go with you.”

Why did you take so long? The corpse again! In Craig’s dreams, the corpse was back, animated, flying at him like a ghostly banshee, issuing a silent scream.

Craig opened his eyes.

He didn’t awake screaming or startled—he didn’t jerk up. It was almost as if he always knew it was a dream, reliving the day the Fireman had gone down.He’d had the dream several times before. But, now, it seemed as though it had been a long time. Weeks. He’d thought he’d ceased experiencing it altogether. He’d been doing all the right things: quietly seeing a Bureau shrink a few times, following their advice. He hadn’t told Kieran Finnegan, his fiancée, about his recurring nightmare, and while she was a criminal psychologist working with two of the city’s finest criminal psychiatrists, he’d made a point of not telling her or her bosses.

He’d thought he’d settled it on his own. It was a little strange and sometimes intimidating being in love with someone who studied the human psyche, and he hadn’t wanted Kieran worried about him or trying to analyze him.

Why the hell had the dream come back?

He felt Kieran shift against him. He pulled her into his arms and she rolled, crystal eyes opening wide when she realized that he was awake.

And aroused. Kieran’s tangle of auburn hair was a wild mass around her face, emphasizing her eyes and the quick smile that came to her lips.

“Ah!” she murmured, feeling his arousal against her.

“Your fault,” he accused.

“Well, thankfully. What time is it?” she asked with a soft whisper.

He laughed. “Quickie time, or time for a quickie,” he said.

Her smile deepened, and there was something so sensual about it that it never failed to increase whatever he had begun to feel.

In her arms, in the liquid burn of kisses here and there strategically placed, in the swift—and intense—blaze of arching and writhing and thrusting, all else faded.

After, Craig headed for the shower. He was an FBI agent in the Criminal Division of New York City’s branch of the FBI. He could be satisfied in having brought down several killers. But there would be more; a sad fact of the world and humanity. He was blessed to have his job, his vocation, and it was time to go to work.

He shoved the dream into the back of his mind.

Whatever his day held, he’d already seen the worst that this world could offer.

Little did he know.



Excerpt from The Final Deception by Heather Graham. 
Copyright © 2020 by Heather Graham. Published by MIRA Books. 
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.




Meet The Author


Heather Graham is The New York Times and USA Today best-selling author sold her first book, When Next We Love, in 1982 and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas with about 60 million books in print in categories of romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. Graham earned high praise for her New York Confidential series, including a starred review from Library Journal which called it, “Intricate, fast-paced, and intense, this riveting thriller blends romance and suspense in perfect combination and keeps readers guessing and the tension taut until the very end.” For more information, visit her at TheOriginalHeatherGraham.com.



Connect to the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, or Twitter.



This excerpt brought to you by MIRA Books

Book 119: THE NIGHT IS WATCHING Review

The Night is Watching by Heather Graham
ISBN:  9780778315063 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781460313145 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00BED2UUU (Kindle edition)
Publication date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA


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.


Sloan Trent is a former big-town cop turned small-town sheriff. He’s returned to his familial roots by returning to Lily, Arizona. Nothing much ever happens in Lily until a skull, an old skull, is discovered at the local theater. Given he lives in a town reputed to have more its fair share of ghosts, Sloan contacts his friend Logan Raintree for help. Jane Everett is sent to the small town of Lily as a forensic artist. She quickly finds herself seeing ghosts and receiving messages from the dead. Shortly after her arrival there’s a murder, a discovery of a mummified body, another murder, followed by a vicious attack on a member of the theater group, Jane and the family of one of the murder victims. Something is definitely going wrong in the town of Lily, but will Jane and Sloan be able to uncover the truth before more lives are lost?

The Night is Watching is the ninth in the Krewe of Hunters series by Ms. Graham. Although I’m not a big fan of the paranormal genre, I rather enjoyed the ghostly interactions in this story. The atmosphere created by setting the story in a haunted Old West town worked beautifully. Lily appears as a small Old West town that has never really died out. The townsfolk, native-born and transplants from other US cities, have made an effort to keep the Old West charm. The history of the town is woven into the story and creates the right setting for all of the other action. The mystery-suspense aspect is found with the murders, discovery of a mummified body, discovery of the old skull, and the lost gold shipment from the past. The only part of the story that didn’t work for me was the “romance” between Jane and Sloan. I bought the sexual attraction, but the “I’m so in love that I’m willing to do anything for you” aspect of their relationship felt a bit forced. But don’t let that stop you from grabbing a copy. The Night is Watching is a fast-paced paranormal, mystery-suspense that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Book 73: LET THE DEAD SLEEP Review

Let The Dead Sleep by Heather Graham
ISBN: 9780778315056 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781460309728 (ebook)
ASIN: B00ALTVI6K (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: March 26, 2013


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.



Danielle “Danni” Cafferty leads a very “normal” life as an artist in New Orleans. She’s still grieving the death of her father, Angus Cafferty, and is focused on running the family business, an antique and curio shop. Her life is forever changed when Mrs. Gladys Simon enters her shop and wants to give her an antique marble bust. Mrs. Simon states that the bust is evil, responsible for her husband’s suicide and she wants it removed from her home. If that wasn’t strange enough, Danni must contend with the appearance of Michael Quinn, a private investigator, who informs her that he used to work with her father and he’s willing to help her get the bust as it is imbued with evil. Sadly, when Danni and Quinn arrive at Mrs. Simon’s home she is found dead of an apparent suicide and the bust is missing. Danni begins to feel as if she’s walked into an episode of the Twilight Zone as things go from strange to downright bizarre in their search to find the mysterious bust before more evil is released and more people die.

Let the Dead Sleep is the first in a new series by Ms. Graham. This is a paranormal-mystery-suspense-romance that is shades of the Twilight Zone meets the SyFy channel’s Warehouse 13. Danni has inherited more than just her father’s store, she has also inherited his sometime partner, Michael Quinn and a mysterious family heirloom called The Book of Truth. Although Danni has some difficulty believing in the so-called “evil” nature of an inanimate object, she quickly becomes a believer after discussions with some of her father’s friends. Let the Dead Sleep introduces some interesting characters as Danni and Quinn’s support system, such as Father John Ryan, Natasha (a local Voodoo priestess and business owner), Billie McDougall – longtime business associate and friend of Angus Cafferty, Detective Larue of the New Orleans Police Department, and Wolfe – a retired canine police officer. Ms. Graham has crafted another great read with Let the Dead Sleep. The characters are strange, quirky and yet wholly believable. I found Let the Dead Sleep to be a rather fast read and even though I had pretty much guessed the accomplices to the bad guy (no I will not reveal that information, read it for yourself), I still enjoyed this story. If you enjoy mystery-suspense with hints of romance and loads of the paranormal, then you’ll definitely want to add Let the Dead Sleep to your reading list.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Book 175: THE EVIL INSIDE Review

Salem, Massachusetts has a rich and strange history. It is a beautiful coastal town that is now best known for its history with the Salem Witch Trials. Centuries ago the mass hysteria led to numerous accusations of witchcraft and many innocents died. Now a series of heinous murders, Lizzie Borden style murders, may lead to the lifelong incarceration of a true innocent. Jenna Duffy, a member of the Krewe of Hunters, is asked by her uncle to come to Salem and investigate and perhaps save Malachi Smith, the accused murderer. Is there an old evil lurking in Salem or is this just another case of people judging what they don’t understand? The Evil Inside by Heather Graham is the fourth in the Krewe of Hunters series and seeks to answer these questions.


Jenna begins to work unofficially with her uncle to investigate these bizarre murders. Is it possible that Malachi may have killed his family, a neighbor and a former school teacher without knowing it? What was his motive? Jenna and Uncle Jamie feel that Malachi may be railroaded because of his family’s unconventional religious beliefs (hard to believe that a town can embrace Wicca but have a problem with a fundamentalist Christian faith). Malachi’s father wasn’t loved or understood and was inordinately strict but, were these grounds for murder? Fortunately Jenna and Uncle Jamie are assisted by a well-known Boston attorney, Samuel Hall. Their investigation starts with the house that was the scene of several historical murders just like the Smith family’s murders. What follows isn’t really a paranormal thriller than a basic whodunit mystery. As a mystery, The Evil Inside keeps the reader on the edge with the story twists and turns. The initially antagonistic relationship between Jenna and Sam quickly devolves into the expected love-fest. This story doesn’t involve as many of the Krewe of Hunters, Jackson, Angela and Will make appearances and play secondary roles in the investigation. Jake makes cameo appearances by phone consultations. The ghost of Rebecca Nurse, the first to die as a result of the Salem Witch Trials, makes periodic appearances as well.


The Evil Inside does a great job of weaving the factual history of the Salem Witch Trials into the fictional story line. The inclusion of the ghost of Rebecca Nurse is a nice touch. As a romantic suspense-thriller, this falls a little short. This may be because it has more focus on the sexual aspects of the relationship and not so much on the romance. But as a suspense thriller it excels, with the thrills and mystery front and center. Ms. Graham has taken fact and fiction and woven them into a great story. The Evil Inside is a great suspense-thriller with paranormal elements and a light romance thrown in . . . a perfect read for the weekend. The Evil Inside is scheduled for release on August 30th.


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 172: HEART OF EVIL Review

What do an old Louisiana plantation, a civil war re-enactment and things that go bump in the night have in common? These are all elements in the second Krewe of Hunters book Heart of Evil by Heather Graham. (Yes I know I read the books out of sequence, but it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference.)


Ashley Donegal is the co-owner/operator of a hotel in her family’s plantation home. During a Civil War re-enactment a man is murdered. It just so happens that this particular man was portraying her forefather, Marshall Donegal, and the body is left in the family cemetery. Ashley’s grandfather is concerned, seeks some favors from old friends, and before you know the Krewe of Hunters is on the scene to help with the investigation. The first to arrive on the scene is Jake Mallory, an old Donegal family friend and ex-lover to Ashley. What follows is an investigation into the past and present with a little help from some family ghosts. 


I rather liked the incorporation of past with the present in terms of the Donegal family history. Sorry to say but that was about all I really liked from this particular story. The characters seemed to be a bit flat, most of the action was expected, and even the romance seemed forced. I sadly found the ghosts to be more entertaining than anyone else. This particular series seems to be a hit-or-miss combo for me, as I found book one – Phantom Evil to be an okay read, book three – Sacred Evil to be a good read, and now book two –  Heart of Evil back to being an okay read.   


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 159: SACRED EVIL Review

The Krewe of Hunters is at it again in Sacred Evil by Heather Graham. This time the Krewe is in New York working with the NYC Police Department on a series of Ripperesque style murders. The question arises is this work of a homicidal, possibly crazy, Jack the Ripper fan or are there supernatural elements at work? Whitney Tremont, one of the Krewe, is working beside Jude Crosby to make this determination. Whitney, as a Krewe member, has some paranormal abilities but will this help her in this particular investigation? Jude Crosby is a talented investigator but he is stumped by these murders because of the lack of evidence. The only thing on their side is that the police department has initiated a task force and given Jude carte blanche and the assistance of the FBI team, referred to as the Krewe of Hunters, to help solve these crimes. 


Ms. Graham has provided a great backdrop with New York City. The murky history of the city at the end of the 1800s adds to the overall mystique. The story is aided with theories that Jack the Ripper migrated to the US as Jonathan “Jack” Black at the turn of the century. This migration is the reason why the murders ended in London, but appeared to begin in New York. All of the present day murders are exact copies of each of the Ripper’s murders. Everyone becomes a suspect: a movie director, an actor, another detective, the medical examiner and even Jude’s father. 


While I enjoyed reading Sacred Evil, it seemed almost formulaic at times. The romance was expected and the mystery and suspense just weren’t as mysterious or suspenseful as other books by this author. There were some surprises with the plot and this, ultimately, saved the overall reading experience. If you’re looking for a quick romantic suspense read with some dark, paranormal elements, then add Sacred Evil to your summer reading list.


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Coming This Week…

Coming up tomorrow is a review of Pulled by Amy Lichtenhan. And Wednesday, July 13th will feature a guest post by author Amy Lichtenhan. 


Don’t forget you still have until 12:00 AM ET on 07/13/2011 to enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of Pulled by Ms. Lichtenhan. Don’t have an ereader? Don’t worry…you can read the ebook on your computer. The winner of the ebook giveaway will be posted on 07/14/2011.

Additional reviews coming up this week will be for Sacred Evil by Heather Graham, The Undertaker by William Brown, and In Seconds by Brenda Novak.






Reviews Coming Soon…

I know…I’m a little behind in posting reviews, but thankfully not behind in my reading. I’ll be posting reviews of the following titles over the weekend: Darkhouse by Karina Halle, The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross, Merciless by Diana Palmer, Tenderfoot by Amy Tupper and possibly Sacred Evil by Heather Graham (told you I’ve been reading.)

Of course next week will feature a review of Pulled by Amy Lichtenhan posting on 07/12/11. Ms. Lichtenhan will be providing a guest post on 07/13/11. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win the ebook version of Pulled (you can read the ebook on a computer even if you don’t have an ereader); winner will be announced on 07/14/11.

Here’s a sneak peek at books I’ll be reading over the next week: The Undertaker by William Brown, The Saints Go Dying by Erik Hanberg, In Seconds by Brenda Novak, and You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz.

So what have you been reading and what’s next on your TBR list?

Book 144: PHANTOM EVIL Review

Do you believe in ghosts? Maybe you believe that evil, pure evil can transcend human life. Both beliefs are at the core of Phantom Evil by Heather Graham. 


A new team of paranormal investigators, lead by a profiler from the FBI, is sent to New Orleans to investigate the suspicious death of the wife of a state senator. In addition to confronting ghosts and the evil that is inhabiting a local house, these investigators stumble upon corrupt politicians (say it isn’t so), a cult masquerading as a church (oh no), and a racist hate group. I forgot to mention that a local voodoo priestess provides probable insight into the beliefs of the deceased. I also forgot to mention that two of the investigators fall head-over-heels in lust after only 2 days, but I digress. I know it sounds like I didn’t like this book but it was a decent read even with all of the cliches. I personally think it would have been just as good without the lust fest (I couldn’t really call it a romance) between two of the investigators, but that’s just my opinion. All things considered Phantom Evil makes for a pretty good weekend or vacation read.






























The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop starts now... This giveaway is being hosted by Leeswames Blog and will end at midnight Eastern Time on June 29, 2011. I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Both books will be shipped by BookDepository.com and is open internationally. The only restrictions and requirements are these: shipping is strictly limited to those countries BookDepository.com ships to, one entry per person/email address AND following is required. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and posted on June 30, 2011.
To enter, please click here to visit my giveaways page and complete the entry form