"kept me guessing till the very end"
Anne Lockhart is a private investigator on a mission to
find her sister Katie. Missing for three years, a photo in
the mail of Katie spurs an impromptu trip to New Orleans,
where Anne's pretty sure she can never fit in amongst the
voodoo and Mardi Gras spirit. She heads straight for the
Rising Moon, the club her sister appeared in front of,
where she encounters an astounding man. His musical
talents draw people like bees to honey and his blatant sex
appeal doesn't hurt either. John Rodolfo, blind and loner
by choice, is more moved by Anne than he'd like to be. Her
voice calls to him, and before long, her pull is too
strong to resist. Even as their attraction wins out, John
condemns himself for he can bring her nothing good. As
Anne unravels the mystery of the missing Katie, John's
involvement becomes frighteningly clearer and the
unexplained deaths in New Orleans for the past six months
come to a boiling head. Voodoo alters, strange wolves and
multiple missing persons make for a confounding stage, but
Anne manages to hold her own admirably.
With all its amazing twists, this one kept me guessing
till the very end. What started as a series about her
jager-sucher (German for "hunter-searcher") characters
hunting down supernatural baddies, has transpired now into
the Nightcreature series (in the last three books, this
one included). The focus is more on the werewolves, in
various forms, and how their continued mayhem has affected
the city of New Orleans. Dirty, raucous and yet still
hopeful, New Orleans itself has a strong voice in this
novel, with clear tributes made, celebrating its survival
instincts and love of passionate life. There can be no
better place for this series as Handeland draws it out and
encourages its gritty and boisterous nature. Her
characters thrive there and soon Anne is living the
strange unreality the city so often portrays. Her drive to
find her missing sister, while vital, does not define her.
Her character still feels passion and sympathy for those
around her. She's the perfect counterpart to John's
determined aloofness and determinedly self-inflicted
torment. If readers have followed the series, John will
begin to ring eerily familiar and the surprising twist
towards the end may have you gasping at his identity.
Several previous characters make an appearance, the jager-
suchers, Detective Sullivan and the gutsy voodoo priestess
Cassandra, but this one can be read alone and still be
moderately enjoyed. Would I personally advise it? No. To
fully understand and appreciate John's plight, readers
might want to have at least read "Crescent Moon", the
official start of the Nightcreature chapter in the series.
The romance, I'm happy to say, picked up considerably in
this installment. Their attraction is believable and
heartwrenching. Handeland's signature tight, clean writing
style might seem bare bones to some, but fits so well with
her fast-paced and suspenceful storylines. Another five
star winner from an amazing author. Her next Nightcreature
novel, "Hidden Moon", releases July 31, 2007.
Reviewed by Kenda Montgomery
Posted February 19, 2007
A Nightcreature Novel
Denizens of The Big Easy know its steamy nights can hide any number of sins and secrets. Private-eye Anne Lockhart is counting on it. Her life has been in a holding pattern ever since her sister Katie disappeared without a trace…but when a clue leads Anne to a jazz club in the French Quarter, everything changes. Rising Moon's proprietor, John Rodolfo, is mysterious in his own right, a gifted musician who reaches deep into Anne's soul and whose mere presence taps into desires she can't afford to indulge...
By going undercover at the Rising Moon, Anne can get close to people who know what goes on after dark--people like John, whose nocturnal disappearances are more than a little suspicious. But unlocking John's secrets is harder than Anne had anticipated. What's far too easy is surrendering to him. And now someone--or something--is stalking the innocent and the guilty, and waiting for Anne's next move...