Publisher: Harlequin - Published on 27th March 2012
E-Arc Read courtesy of netgalley and Harlequin publishing.
1800s. San Antonio, Texas: In room 207 at the Longhorn Saloon, in the long shadow of the Alamo itself, a woman renowned for her beauty was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found. One year ago: In that same historic room, another woman vanished without a trace. Her blood was everywhere…but her body was never recovered. Now: In the last month, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies. All young women, all long missing, almost all forgotten. Until now. Texas Ranger Logan Raintree cannot sit by and let his city’s most vulnerable citizens be slain. So when he is approached to lead a brand-new group of elite paranormal investigators working the case, he has no choice but to accept the challenge. And with it, his powerful ability to commune with the dead. Among Logan’s new team is Kelsey O’Brien, a U.S. marshal known for her razor-sharp intuition and a toughness that belies her delicate exterior. Kelsey has been waiting all her life to work with someone who can understand her ability to “see” the past unfolding in the present. Now she has her chance. Together, Kelsey and Logan follow their instincts to the Alamo and to the newly reopened Longhorn, which once tempted heroes with drink, cards and women. If the spirits of those long-dead Texans are really appearing to the victims before their deaths, only Kelsey and Logan have the skills to find out why. And if something more earthly is menacing the city’s oldest, darkest corners, only they can stop it – before more innocent women join the company of San Antonio’s restless ghosts...
With Jackson Crow’s original Krewe of Hunters all paired up and proving a huge success investigating haunted crimes, a second team is being set and is introduced here. I can’t tell much about most of the characters in the second team which the exception of Logan and Kelsey as they don’t really take a major part in the story. This is squarely Logan and Kelsey’s story with a cameo from Jackson to bring them together. Kelsey is a US Marshall who can see ghosts, is good at her job but retains her emotional connection to people. Logan is part native American and 100% Texas ranger who can hear and see the dead. However, while they made a nice couple I never really connected to either in any meaningful way. They were both too nice and neither had any characteristics that made them particularly memorable.
Where this story succeeded more for me was in the mystery. With piles of female bones turning up across San Antonio and only a tenuous link to the Almo to connect them, I was more than curious to see how it was solved. The Almo is one of the most famous historical sites for the US, but I’m afraid my knowledge before this book didn’t really cover more than Davy Crockett hats and general slaughter. However, this story focuses more on the modern day than on the past, with the historical giving an interesting piquant flavour to the mystery. The ghost element is barely needed in the story but was nonetheless enjoyable and added a different layer to the story. There are plenty of suspects and I enjoyed trying to figure out who it was – although I got there long before our heroes. Overall an enjoyable mystery with a rather bland romance.