Review of Waking the Dead

They say a painting can have a life of its own…

In the case of Ghosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that's more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, "the year without a summer." That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art….

Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow.

Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn, occasional partners in solving crime, are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. Danni, the owner of an eccentric antiques shop, and Quinn, a private detective, have discovered that they have separate but complementary talents when it comes to investigating unusual situations.

Trying to blend their personal relationship with the professional lives they've stumbled into, they learn how much they need each other. Especially as they confront this work of art—and evil. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. And they have to destroy it—before it destroys them.
Heather Graham has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, so when I got the chance to review the ARC for Waking the Dead I jumped on it. Heather has published so many books, all with easy-to-read, intriguing ghost / mystery stories. This one felt a little different to me, but I still enjoyed the mystery. This was a partner to her other Cafferty/Quinn story, but they do not need to be read together to understand the situation.

  • The storyline was intriguing. A painting seems to be blamed for murdering individuals who were in procession of the painting. The storyline took place in New Orleans (like many of Graham’s stories) and also parts of Switzerland.
  • I like both MC, Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn. They have interesting personalities and are so different, but fit well together. I also liked the side characters in the story, especially Hattie. Hattie was a feisty, well-off older lady with a hilarious personality.
  • The villain, the painting “Ghosts of the Mind” was so amazing in detail. I really thought the painting had to be real from the amazing description, but alas, from multiple google sessions, I cannot seem to find that it is a real-life painting or artist.

  • Most of Graham’s stories were more believable, but this one was definitely far-fetched. I was not so much upset with the plot, but it was outside what I have read from Graham before.
  • They bounced around a lot to catch the villain, as who the villain was, what to do with the painting, ect. I just felt that more research into the killer should have been done initially. It is hard to write this without spoiling, but it was like an episode of House were they get the wrong thing ten times before they finally figure out the right thing. In all normal circumstances, they patient would be dead before that could really happen!


  1. I STILL haven't jumped onto the Heather Graham bandwagon. I keep meaning to though because I always come across her books one way or another O_O

    Great review!

  2. I've never heard of this one before, but it doesn't really sound my type. Usually I like mystery, but mainly whenever it seems like it could happen in real life :P
    Great review!

  3. Wow, that sounds super intriguing about a painting being the villain! And the epic detail that the author must have gone into describing it to make you curious, amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  4. I've only read a few books by her and this one is new to me. It sounds really good!

    Great review ! :)

  5. Sorry to hear that this book wasn't as strong as her previous books.


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