This second Patrese book is another winner, with Blake putting an imaginative and original spin on the typical conspiracy and serial killer plotlines. This story is shocking, creepy and thought-provoking — the conspiracy even more so than the murders. Make a New Orleans-style gumbo by throwing in some voodoo, mutilations, politicians, snakes (both two-legged and reptilian), drug cartels, a little romance and a hurricane, and you’ve got an unforgettable tale.

Pittsburgh detective Franco Patrese decides to join the FBI and takes the first available opening in New Orleans in 2005. He is soon teamed with Selma, a straightlaced NOPD detective, to investigate a series of killings with voodoo elements. As the gory killings continue, Franco and Selma rush to put the disparate clues together and interpret the killing pattern, which appears to be alphabetical. Franco doesn’t know who to trust, but ends up partnering with gang members and a voodoo priestess just as Hurricane Katrina comes barreling into New Orleans. (GALLERY, Jul., 416 pp., $25.00)

Reviewed by: 
Joyce Morgan