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Phantom Evil by Heather Graham
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** spoiler alert **
Hmm...2.5 stars.

The truths behind the murder mystery were pretty entertaining, and while I really couldn't bring myself to give much of a damn about the crew (krewe? bzzah? I was listening to the audiobook, so spellings are lost on me) besides Jackson and Angela, they weren't terribly annoying as characters.

Problems: it takes forever for the book to become interesting. The prologue starts out with a bang, then the crew comes in to uncover the mystery of a senator's wife's murder, and they then proceed to just...talk and talk and talk about details of the mystery. I know you need details so that the case can be understood by the readers, but I don't like having six people on the crew, because it means that everyone needs to get in their share of the conversation, most of it just case details, some more character-building comments, though not a lot in terms of witty banter or very engaging thoughts. (And like I complained about in the previous book of Graham's I'd read, she really isn't very good at varying spoken sentence structure. It's always "something something," he said. "Something something," she said.)

The ghost aspect isn't terribly exciting either. I know, Jackson said over and over it wasn't a ghost that killed the woman; it was a human being's work, and that's exactly what it was...but that also took any spookiness due to ghosts out of the picture. (Also, Angela seemed to be able to contact them way too easily. It seemed almost like if she wished to see the ghost children, they'd appear.) But I guess that's the difference between a horror story and a mystery with paranormal aspects.

All in all, the concept isn't bad...except that I think there isn't even a need to put ghosts into this to begin with, and the mystery was entertaining enough.
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