About the book, The Hexed
Series: Krewe of Hunters
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (July 29, 2014)
A place of history, secrets…and witchcraft.
Devin Lyle has recently returned to the Salem area, but her timing couldn’t be worse. Soon after she moved into the eighteenth-century cabin she inherited from her great-aunt Mina—her “crazy” great-aunt, who spoke to the dead—a woman was murdered nearby.
Craig Rockwell—known as Rocky—is a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI’s team of paranormal investigators. He never got over finding a friend dead in the woods. Now another body’s been found in those same woods, not far from the home of Devin Lyle. And Devin’s been led to a third body—by…a ghost?
Her discovery draws them both deeper into the case and Salem’s rich and disturbing history. Even as the danger mounts, Devin and Rocky begin to fall for each other, something the ghosts of Mina and past witches seem to approve of. But the two of them need every skill they possess to learn the truth—or Devin’s might be the next body in the woods….
Buy, read, and discuss The Hexed
About the author, Heather Graham
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels and has been published in more than 20 languages. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and the mother of five, she enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys. Reading is still the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s a winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and also the founder of The Slush Pile Players, an author band and theatrical group.
Heather annually hosts the Writers for New Orleans conference to benefit both the city, which is near and dear to her heart, and various other causes, and she hosts a ball each year at the RT Booklovers Convention to benefit pediatric AIDS foundations.
Connect with Heather
I loved this novel so much I don’t even really have words to describe it, except to say that if I hadn’t read the materials provided for this blog tour, I’d never have known it was from an imprint of Harlequin. (Yes, I know, I’m showing off my inner snob there.)
First, Heather Graham does amazing research and is true to history. When I was offered the chance to read a paranormal mystery set in and around Salem, MA, I was concerned that it would use the pop culture version of Salem, instead of delving into the real history – the biggest conflict of the witch trial era bring rooted in land ownership and the debate about whether Salem should be one community or two. I was equally concerned that she’d be casual about other things – like having witches burned instead of hanged. For the record: NO ONE WAS EVER BURNED FOR WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA.
My historical nitpicking aside, this is a deliciously creepy romantic thriller. It opens with teenage boys finding their murdered friend, and that murder comes back to haunt them, quite literally, decades later.
Main characters Craig “Rocky” Rockwell and Devin Lyle are both written so vividly that I feel like I’ve had tea with them, and with Devin’s Aunt Mina, who is a ghost, but still one of the most vibrant characters in the story. As well, the supporting characters, Jack and Hayley, Jenna and Angela, Bert and Vince, all feel like fully realized people, and I’d be happy to read a novel with any one of them at the center.
The plot, likewise, is so well realized that even I, who can usually figure out whodunnit long before a story’s end was guessing nearly to the end of the book, and I was honestly surprised at who the killer turned out to be.
The combination of three settings – contemporary Salem, recent-past Salem, and historic Salem – really worked well, especially as the plot was interwoven with the threads of history, as well as those of tourist culture, consumerism, and what it means to live in a real place that people see only as a tourist destination. As someone who grew up in just such a town, although not one with quite as rich a history, I really appreciated those nuances.
Should you read The Hexed? Yes! But only if you love great characters, a sensible blend of paranormal mystery and romance, and a truly gripping story that uses history as more than a jumping-off point, but never lets anything get gimmicky.
Goes well with Crisp apples, sharp cheddar cheese, and hot cider.
This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, click HERE.
Check back in October when I review another of Heather Graham’s books, The Betrayed