AUTHOR: Julie Smith
Publisher: TOR Mystery
Genre: Series Mystery
Day or night New Orleans is a happening place, but when you're a P.I. in New Orleans there is no such thing of having seen it all, there is always more crime, perverts, drug addicts, voodoo, and creative characters so true to form that no decent author would dare try to convince their readers it is real, but in fact truth is always more interesting than fiction.
Talba Wallis, might be considered a character by some but more to the point she is in the P.I. business and whether she is on the computer checking out the background of a cheating husband or out tracking a killer there is one thing for sure, Talba is always ready for the unexpected and she is never disappointed.
When her friend Babalu Maya gets murdered, Talba wants to know why but when she tries to check into Babalu's past she comes up blank. So she starts with the present boyfriend, which leads her to Babalu's other friends and eventually she learns that Babalu has a family but it's the family from hell. Babalu also has an exhusband worth forgetting about starting with abusive and ending with drugs and drinking himself to death.
With each deadly step she takes she soon figures out that being black, a woman and a P.I in Babalu's hometown of Clayton, Louisiana just might get you killed. There is however a thing or two that Talba learns which is more scary than the local law enforcement. The first is ....that there is a man in she shadows that Babalu was afraid of whom is very well connected and Talba wants to know just how connected he is to Babalu's death. The other thing is that when Babalu was in school she was badly beaten and cut up it was this situation that made the whole town clam up about Babalu, it was also when Babalu left home never to return. She really only kept in contact with one sister and the rest of the family she wanted to put as much distance from as possible.
Babalu has bettered herself in more ways than one and while she had her secrets she had begun to live her life on her own terms. Babalu is actually not her real name, her real name she left in Clayton and when her body is returned there to be buried and for services it's Talba who thinks some of the people attending are just a little off, and when the minister preaches the sermon he does about Babalu and her life it's him that Talba wants to send to meet Jesus.
This is a dark and deadly story with a lot of plot twists but it's the characters that will send a chill up your spine long before the last page is read. I loved this book for it's depth and dark twists and what a page turner it is, fear is a strong emotion and be prepared to become emotionally involved in this mystery.
Pamela James Reviewer