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They say it's about the journey, not the destination…
Charlene "Charlie" Moreau is back in St. Francisville, Louisiana, to work on a movie. One night, she stumbles across the body of a Civil War reenactor, the second murdered in two days. Charlie is shocked to learn that her father—a guide on the Journey, a historic paddle wheeler that's sponsoring the reenactment—is a suspect.
Meanwhile, Ethan Delaney, new to the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, is brought in on the case. He and Charlie have a history of their own, dating back to when he rescued her from a graveyard—led there by a Confederate ghost!
Charlie arranges a Mississippi River cruise so she and Ethan can get close to the reenactors, find out who knows what, who has a motive. They discover a lot more as they resume the relationship that ended ten years ago…but might die, along with them, on the Journey.
Charlene "Charlie" Moreau was tied to a headstone and left in an old Louisiana cemetery as part of a high school club hazing. However, being left helpless in the cemetery, it's not the dead Charlie fears, but the living since there have been several recent murders of young women in the area. Older, popular Ethan Delaney comes to her rescue, with guidance from the spirit of a Confederate Calvary officer. Ten years later, Charlie is an actress and during the filming of a movie, finds a dead body in the same cemetery. Charlie is understandably upset, and things get worse when her dad becomes one of the prime suspects. Charlie once again turns to Ethan for help and the two find romance in spite of the danger all around them.
I enjoy Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters romantic suspense series. The Krewe is a special group of FBI agents who use their paranormal abilities to help them solve cases. Each book features a different agent, so it's not necessary to have read any of the others to enjoy any given book in the series. Some characters, such as the agent in charge and the assistant director, have appeared in all of the Krewe books I've read, so those who follow the series will like the consistency. This book is also part of a series within the overall Krewe series that deals with various ships. In this book, Charlie’s dad is a guide on the “Journey”, a historic paddle wheeler that's sponsoring a civil war reenactment. Charlie's friends Clara Avery and Alexi Cromwell and fellow actresses make an appearance and were featured in prior books in this ship-themed trilogy.
Graham handles the paranormal parts of this book and others in the series in a way that seems believable. A historical event in which soldiers on both sides of the Civil War come together provides a backdrop for the book and plays a part in the current events. Charlie and Ethan are a cute couple and even though they are investigating a murder, they find time to reconnect. Their romance doesn’t seem forced or rushed since the two did have a history in high school. The love scenes are both romantic and passionate and fans of Graham won't be disappointed by Charlie and Ethan's love story.
The mystery is a bit lacking, however, and the transitions from scenes on the boat, the civil war reenactments, and other current events are a little choppy. There are some great scenes between Charlie and Ethan and Charlie and her friends, but some parts of the story drag out too long, only to be resolved by an ending that was a bit rushed. Because of this, Darkest Journey isn't my favorite by Graham, but I liked the characters of Charlie and Ethan as well as the history that plays such an important part of the story.