Thursday, July 18, 2013

To Murder a Saint w/ Nicole Loughan

I enjoy a good short story or novella length book, don't you?  They're short, sweet and to-the-point, a great way to catch a read when you don't have all day to lounge around the house.  That's what we have in Nicole Loughan's To Murder a Saint - that is, except for the sweet part.  After all, it is death and destruction.

Book Summary
“The ground is too wet… If you bury the dead here, they can come back.”

Her father always warned her that the bayou was a mysterious and dangerous place. She never suspected that the greatest danger of her life was lurking in New York City.

Before their bags are unpacked one of two Creole girls in fresh from Louisiana is found savagely murdered in New York. All the clues point to a wild animal, a perplexing development for a third floor apartment. Lacking a suspect the police accompany the murdered girl’s French speaking roommate back to her reclusive Southern Louisiana town in search of a lead. They are met with a warning that the killer is not finished yet and learn that this is not the first mysterious death in the family.
My Review
I really enjoyed this novella, a mix of horror, mystery, and suspense all bottled into one.  But, as usual for me, the culprit was obvious early on.  Don't let that stop you from reading though - I'm just plain weird!
Fanchon and Josephine are two beautiful young Louisiana bayou girls trying to break free into the more cultured lifestyle of New York City's fashion and music havens.  Fanchon is a musician trying to make it in the big city, which immediately drew me to her.  Music always speaks to me. :-)  When Fanchon comes home from a miserable blind date her world is turned upside down by the grotesque murder of her sister-like roommate.
Besides being suspect number one, Fanchon has to cope with the loss of her dear friend, face the family back home, and grapple with whether NYC and her dreams are in the future, a jail cell, or having to tuck tail and stay in Louisiana, where Josephine's go-nowhere brother has eyes for her.
Then there's Detective Banyon's ridiculous assumption that maybe it wasn't a man who killed Josephine.  Maybe it was something else, something more gruesome, something that Fanchon never saw coming.
Now her life is in danger, just like Madame Du' Ponde warned.
Only a couple of issues really stood out to me.  There were some editing issues but not anything that made me stop reading to go back - mainly my little pet peeve of using the wrong there, their, or they're gave me a touch of heartburn.
The only other thing is just a personal issue.  If you don't want a spoiler then skip the remainder of this paragraph.  All done?  Okay, here comes the spoiler - can't say I didn't give you enough warning!  The perp ends up being retired military.  I get it that there are some rogue members of our military, but they are usually so few and far between, but those are typically the only ones the media likes to talk about.  Seems right now there's so many books out there that portray military personnel as unhinged and just plain psycho.  I've known many honorable servicemen and servicewomen in my lifetime.  Their sacrifices in countless ways we will never be able to repay.  But again, this is fiction and other than the military component, I really liked how the different sides of this psycho were portrayed.  Quite creepy and otherwise very good.
So not counting the personal issue I had, this was a very good read and I recommend it.  I just may re-read it again as well.  I really liked Fanchon, the whole realistic and respectful portrayal of the Cajun atmosphere, and the horrible predicament in which Fanchon is trapped.  Enjoy!
Soon you can also catch the release of her second novella in this series, All Saints' Day Secret coming in August.  I'm looking forward to reading it too.
Author Bio
Nicole is an award winning journalist. She was awarded first place in feature writing by the Michigan Press Association for her story “Family Keeps the Faith.” She also writes two regular features for Calkin’s Media, “My Bucks County” and “Fresh Offerings.” She has a regular gig as Happenings Media syndicated Columnist, “The Starter Mom.
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