In 1927 New Orleans, homicide detective Damon "Day" Rourke must protect his lover, silent-movie queen Remy Lelourie, from an obsessed fan. At the same time, Rourke tracks a missing girl who may be one victim of a double murder and investigates the crucifixion of a local priest. These three incidents twist into an intensely paced mystery.

Full of characters you can feel and settings you can taste, WAGES OF SIN illuminates the dark side of New Orleans. Hatred, violence, rape, murder… all are part of the job for Day, a driven cop who gives more to his profession than to his young daughter or his gorgeous mistress. He survives on little sleep, relentlessly chasing clues and driving his Stutz Bearcat to the doors of bordellos and "low-down smoke joints" as well as French Quarter mansions and townhouses.

Every hour things get worse and puzzles accumulate. The double murder turns into a triple, and intrusions into Remy's life become increasingly physical. This clever plot keeps turning until the final shocker—an ending that will blindside the reader who has not paid close attention to clues that were there all along. (Mar., 432 pp., $19.95)

Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison