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THE UNHOLY
by Heather Graham

Genre: Paranormal, Romantic Suspense

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Eddie Archer, owner of a special effects studio in Hollywood, has called in favors to get help from the Krewe of Hunters—a team of paranormal investigators within the FBI. Eddie’s son, Alistair, is accused of a gruesome murder on the premises. Sean Cameron, who once worked for Eddie, is the agent on the case…

***

“Eddie,” Sean said, “a ghost—or a creature—didn’t kill the girl. I mean, if you’re hoping we can come up with the spirit of a dead noir actor, it’s not going to fly.”

Eddie looked at him, frowning. “Sean, I…I know that. I don’t think a ghost killed Jenny Henderson. But someone did,” he said grimly. “Someone who knows the studio. Whether it’s someone working here now or not, I have no idea. The police checked out the security footage and said, Hey, cut and dried, no one in there that night except for the security guard—who never moved until Alistair came running to get him. Someone else was in that studio, Sean, and you know as well as anyone that what we see isn’t always real, and that what looks real can be illusion.”

“Of course, Eddie,” Sean said, feeling a little foolish. Was he a bit testy about being part of a unit that many questioned? The Ghostbusters of the FBI?  His unit was still a new one, and they’d met all the members of the original Krewe, so they knew what they were up against. He’d been involved in the case that had put this second Krewe together, and it had been unusual, to say the least. But like most evil, it had come down to human greed and the horrible twists and turns the mind could take.

But…

He’d learned that there were others like himself and his cousin Kelsey. Those who could hear voices and see visions of people who’d departed the physical realm. He’d also gone through rigorous training. He was an excellent shot, should the need occur, even if he’d always planned on living his life creating fantasy for entertainment purposes.

On both fronts, he’d learned that perception was everything. They were dealing with a locked-room mystery, he thought. A classic puzzle, and every puzzle had a solution.

And Eddie had seen this as the key to vindicating his son.

“I haven’t been in the studio in years, Eddie,” Sean reminded him.

“Yeah, I figured that, and some things have changed. Some storage has been moved around, but most of the structure is the same. Climate control or cold room, sewing section, construction—those areas are all the same. Anyway, I’ve asked one of my top young protégées to be your guide. She’ll take you through the studio, answer any of your questions. She’s the perfect assistant for you right now.”

“Oh? Why is she so perfect?”

 “Because she’s a lot like you. She’s quiet, doesn’t say much about anything that affects her, but…well, she’s either certifiable, crazy as a loon, or just like you. She talks to the dead.”