I read a lot of awesome books this summer (including At The Water’s Edge and Ape House during a mini Sarah Gruen binge). One of my favorite recent reads was by a new-to-me author, Heather Graham. I won’t lie and say I didn’t pick this book up because it is set in Alaska. Alaska has always held a sort of ethereal, stunning, intangible romance for me. I love how remote it is, and the idea of sun glittering on the snow for nearly 24 hours straight during six months of the year. Perhaps I just wanted to escape the dripping humidity of August. Either way, I tried a new author with a twist on crime writing.
Deadly Fate is the story of a serial killer with all the right elements for pleasure reading — suspense, an imperfectly perfect heroine, and a tortured, stony FBI agent who cannot resist her delicate strength. It is bloody and intense and fast-paced (I think I read this in two or three sittings). I like Graham’s style. She is a no-bones-about-it kind of writer, but still manages poetry when the story needs a breather. She is no Jeffrey Deaver, but she is fun. And “fun” is not a word that comes when one thinks of Lincoln Rhyme. So if you are looking for “lighter” crime, I think you would like Graham.
My favorite thing was the supernatural element. In Graham’s work, the victims come back — to help. A ghost is inserted into the mystery, which is clever, surprising, and adds something not found in your typical NYPD thriller. Part of the excitement is the FBI unit, the Krewe of Hunters, that assists in cracking the case because they can communicate with spirits. I love this fantasy angle, and I really liked this book. It is always satisfying to read a story with a sense of humor and romance that is just predictable enough. I will definitely be digging into more of her work soon!