This is a well-written novel with an intriguing concept that, unfortunately, never quite jells. While the author's style is likable, this story ends up being just strange. The plot never goes anywhere, and there's no real drama, even in the demon confrontation at the end, because the reader is left thinking, "What? Demon confrontation? How
did we get here?"
Gabriel is a demon, a fallen angel. Sent to earth to watch over humans, he succumbed to alcohol and drugs because he was unable to bear the anguish of mortals. He has struggled to remain sober for 75 years and now writes true-crime books.
Sara Michaels is traumatized from the brutal slaying of her mother and the constant media attention when her mother's lover was tried for the crime. The lover was acquitted, just as Gabriel was acquitted of murdering his lover 100 years ago. Sara comes to New Orleans to help him work on a book about her mother's murder, and these two damaged souls must find a way forward to some kind of peace. They are also unaware of how closely the two crimes are connected. (Jove, May, 320 pp., $7.99)