Meanwhile, while, Brent Blackhawk is sent by Adam Harrison to assist the New Orleans Police Department in their investigation of the apparent murder of an undercover FBI agent, Tom Garfield. The cause of Garfield's death was a heroin overdose. Brent puts two and two together and theorizes that Andrea's death and Garfield's death may be connected. Brent was born and raised in New Orleans, but then moved around the country with his part-Lakota, part-Irish family. He is a widower whose young wife was killed by a stray drive-by bullet and is now entombed in a New Orleans cemetery. Since childhood, Brent has been able to see and communicate with ghosts.
Nikki keeps pressuring the police to investigate Andrea's death as a murder. She describes to them a disheveled man who bumped into them at a café the night before Andrea's death, and slowly the police begin to believe her—especially since, by this time, Brent is insisting that the two deaths are linked. While Brent is meeting with Owen Massey and Marc Joulette, the detectives assigned to both cases, Nikki visits the police station to look at mug shots, trying to identify the bum from the café. Brent, in a moment of inspiration, shows her a picture of Tom Garfield and—sure enough—he is the "bum" in question. The two detectives don't believe Nikki, but Brent does. Nikki and Brent are immediately attracted to one another, and that attraction builds throughout the book. The two story threads interweave their romance and their detective work.
The casework plot thread follows Brent and Nikki as Brent works on the case and Nikki keeps seeing two ghosts—Andrea and Tom—both of whom try to give her clues. Eventually, the story deteriorates into a mishmash of dirty politics and drug dealing. Graham provides a huge list of possible suspects, including both police detectives, Nikki's fellow tour guides, a maverick FBI agent, a voodoo medium, and the owner of the café.
The story is very well told, right up until the end, when it kind of spins out of control as Graham drops in way too many red herrings in an attempt to keep the reader guessing. The resolution is, in places, beyond the scope of believability. Until then, though, the story provides plenty of spine tingles and goose bumps. The main characters are well developed and mostly likable, although Nikki gets a little too stubborn and whiny in several scenes. If you like ghost stories, you'll find plenty of spooky spirits here, from the apparitions of recent murder victims to the ghost of a former slave.