Midnight Hunter by Kait Ballenger
Series: The Execution Underground #3
Published by Harlequin HQN
Published on: September 1, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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Hunters of the supernatural, THE EXECUTION UNDERGROUND are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but can dark temptation destroy good intentions?
Occult specialist and witch hunter Dr. Shane Grey is called upon to investigate a string of crimes that bear all the hallmarks of black magic. But he can't take on this daunting assignment for the Execution Underground alone. He'll need the help of Vera Sanders, a witch with a dark past—and a woman who disturbs him as much as she intrigues him.
Vera is determined to ignore the dangerous chemistry between herself and Shane so she can prove her loyalty to his cause; otherwise she risks the wrath of the Execution Underground once again. If she can't make Shane trust her, they won't stand a chance in hell of defeating the evil that's terrorizing their city. No easy task, considering old habits die hard…and Vera may be the very person responsible for luring Shane into a killer's trap.
This latest in Kait Ballenger’s Execution Underground series, was a fairly good read, but not without a few problems. I have read all of the previous books in this series. My thanks goes to Net Galley for providing me with a copy from the publisher, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
It’s Shane Grey’s turn to have his story told, and I was really glad about that. As a professor and resident geek of the Execution Underground team, he has been mostly behind the scenes. Not so with this story of black magic, witches and necromancy-since that is his specialty. The Execution Underground agency is tasked with fighting and investigating all things paranormal-at least the bad apples of the paranormal group anyway. The agency is made up of hunters, and each has his own specialty. We first met Vera Sanders in Immortal Hunter. She’s a witch that has spent time on the wrong side of the agency, and has even been imprisoned by them for using black magic. Evidently the use of black magic is highly addicting because of the power that courses through the practitioners body. Vera is addicted, and although she tries to stay clean she occasionally breaks over and practices. She’s a bartender at her uncle’s strip club out of necessity, and is a college student in one of Shane’s classes. When evidence surfaces that a black magic practitioner is raising the dead and using them to murder innocent people, Damon(the head of the agency in Rochester) hands the case to Shane. Shane’s first thought is to involve Vera, even though he has a thing for her and as her professor, he can not act on it.
I did like the characters of Shane and Vera-Shane in particular. Shane tries to do the right thing when all he wants to do is take Vera to bed, but he doesn’t. He loves his job and doesn’t want to lose it. That gets tested throughout the read, until the test eventually fails, if you understand what I am saying! Vera, I had a bit of a problem with. She’s an addict, and I know that isn’t that uncommon. I am just not used to that in a main character of a book of this sort-even if her drug of choice is practicing black magic. I thought she was fun at times though, and I did love her snarky attitude. I guess I just wanted her to be stronger, although I think she was working hard on it. And no, all characters don’t have to be cookie cutter for me.
It took me awhile to actually get into the story. There’s action here and there, but not as much as there is in previous books. Raising the dead evidently takes a lot longer to do, so there is waiting in between each raised body. To be honest, I almost sat the book down, but persevered, and ended up enjoying the read more towards the end. I think the previous books had a lot more scenes of the sensual nature as well. Necromancy isn’t my favorite sort of paranormal read, so there’s that as well. Personal taste is not the author’s fault.
If you are already reading this series, you definitely shouldn’t miss this installment. If you are like me, Shane was one of the team members that I really wanted to see get his story. If you haven’t started this series, I would suggest starting with the first one, Twilight Hunter. It’s still my favorite of all of them. This book could be read as a stand alone, but you would be missing out on all the background and romances of the hunters from previous books. I would recommend this to adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy fans-adult due to sexual situations and violence.
The Execution Underground