This week we have a police procedural book that is suspenseful and has some delicious paranormal elements. Join this cruise ship that stops in New Orleans and Jamaica for a nail-biting excursion by an award winning author.
Copyright: Feb 2010 (Five Star) 256 pgs
Series: 2nd in Murry/Kidman Suspense
Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Police Procedural
Main Character: California Police Detective Art Murry
Setting: Modern day - New Orleans, on-board a cruise ship, and Jamaica
Obtained Through: Author for an honest review
What would it be like to be a police detective and have psychic visions? Detective Art Murray has learned to pay attention to his "insights". In the first book in this series he followed his visions and saved his girlfriend from a serial killer - but she is left traumatized. This book picks up with his girlfriend Mary having retreated to family in Iowa and Art's opera star brother drags him on a cruise to cheer him up. Murry's single police partner Billy tags along and finds the dating possibilities endless while Art tries to bury his pain of possibly loosing Mary in booze. That is until the ship docks in New Orleans and the woman Billy was out with is found brutally murdered in the ship's jacuzzi. Billy is the prime suspect and Art sobers up fast to sort out the vision he has of wolves involved in the murder.
In New Orleans Detective Jean Gallan is investigating the murders and doesn't think Billy is the only suspect but her boss insists Billy is the killer. Detective Gallan believes it is a local woman, Sylvania, who was a prime suspect of a prior and very similar murder who happens to be on the cruise. The problem being that Sylvania Benoit is wealthy and her papa is influential so Gallan will have to risk her career to trust Art and try to prove Sylvania is the murderer not Billy.
Initially Art Murry was drowning his sorrows and I didn't care for him. But once he got focused and moved into action his character was compelling. I enjoyed the New Orleans detective Jean Gallan who was more than a rich girl playing at being a cop. The main view point shifts between Murry and Gallan smoothly and effectively. They are both well developed characters. Art's brother Lance although a minor character is lovable. The story has a few minor characters who are still quite enjoyable.
There are several twists in the plot with eerie settings in New Orleans and later in Jamaica that keep the tension and suspense high. The paranormal aspects lend to the suspense and atmosphere. This is primarily a police procedural with paranormal elements and a good dose of suspense. If you aren't a big paranormal fan this will allow you to dip your toe in the water without immersion. I liked the bit of supernatural help Art gets from a New Orleans celebrity - the deceased voudou priestess Marie LeVeau. I felt that was a nice touch.
The climax is good edge-of-your-seat suspense that will have you hooked. I enjoyed this book and will definitely look for the next in the series. If you like your books with action and more police type than amateur sleuths this book is a good choice. Although this is not a cozy, it wasn't graphic in explaining the murder etc.