Dark Rites by Heather Graham

The witches, they are real… 

A series of bizarre assaults is mystifying Boston police: an unknown attacker is viciously beating random strangers and leaving a note quoting an old warning about witchcraft. History professor Alex Maple was one of the victims, and now he’s gone missing. Vickie Preston is certain that someone has taken her friend for malicious purposes. She’s having blood-drenched visions that seem to be staining her waking life, and the escalating attacks suggest that a dangerous cult is at work behind the scenes—a cult so powerful that its members would rather die than be apprehended.

Vickie is grateful to have Special Agent Griffin Pryce and the FBI’s elite Krewe of Hunters on her side. Vickie and Griffin are finding their way in an increasingly passionate relationship, and he’s keeping her safe and sane amid the disturbing investigation. The search for Alex will take them deep into the wilderness of Massachusetts on the trail of a serial killer, where an ancient evil is waking.

Dark Rites is the #22 title in the Krewe of Hunters series.  This book connects to Dying Breath #21.

Title:  Dark Rites
Series:  Krewe of Hunters #22
Author:  Heather Graham
Genre:  Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Published:  July 25, 2017
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Dark Rites follows directly on the heels of Dying Breath with most of the same main characters plus some new villains and secondary characters.  I will usually recommend following a series from the beginning, but when a series is now in the twenty-something numbers, well, it’s not always possible.  What I have always enjoyed about Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series is that often she will set three stories, much like a trilogy, within the same general storyline… and this set follows that same pattern with Wicked Deeds to follow this story.  This is a much easier way for readers to get caught up when you can place three stories within a set, then move forward or backward for more at your leisure.

While Vickie and Griffin are continuing their wrapping up of the latest case, and failing deeper in love along the way, another danger is lurking within the city of Boston.  A young History professor, and a man who helped Vickie and Griffin on the Undertakers case is about to find himself far too deeply involved in a madman’s plans for Alex has been kidnapped and is being held in a remote, almost hauntingly eerie location.  Alex can keep himself alive with his knowledge that is needed… but he can stall for only so long.  He’s desperately sending out mind messages to Vickie hoping that somehow she can sense he’s in danger, but he knows far too well that the odds are not in his favor this time.

Vickie’s certain that Alex is in trouble.  Nothing more than a feeling backed up by his not showing for a planned outing they’d had.  Alex is not one to be so rude as to not at least send a message, and he hasn’t been seen anywhere by anyone who knows him.  She’ll convince Griffin and two of his Krewe of Hunters friends that they need to push to find Alex – and some attacks and odd occurrences in the city of Boston only seems to reinforce her worry.

Dark Rites is an intense dive into the world of cults and Satanism fueled by history and greed.  People are disappearing, bodies are being discovered and the race to find Alex and stop a crazed murderer is fully engaged.

Again, the history of the  location adds to the story as we get a background on the people and places in history that have brought this madman’s actions about.  I enjoyed much of the history, in particular the Lizzy Borden house converted into a bed and breakfast… which actually does exist.

There are several suspects, people who act the wrong way, people who have reasons to be seen as suspects.  We’ll run into some known ghostly helpers, and meet more along the way.

I enjoyed Dark Rites.  The story was intense and the characters brought it to life quite easily.  I had my suspicions along the way, changed them and rearranged them several times… did I figure it out before the ending – partially but not completely.  I don’t have to have solved anything to enjoy the story, and this one was full of people acting oddly.  If you enjoy Heather Grahams’ Krewe of Hunters series, then you’ll want to pick up this next installment and continue Vickie and Griffin’s adventure in mystery and in love.

I own a Kindle edition of this book.

Available in several formats including for the Kindle

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