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Family Inheritance Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The sticky Louisiana bayou comes alive in first-time author LeBlanc’s imaginative chiller about family curses and witch doctors. Jessica LeJeune has the ability to heal people simply by touching them on the forehead. As the story opens, she begins having bizarre hallucinations and severe headaches; shortly thereafter, she learns that her brother, Todd, has been placed in a mental hospital for self-destructive behavior. Meanwhile, a bayou shaman ("gris-gris man") named Eli with similar healing powers starts having visions of a woman he must locate. He and the woman share the ability to heal, but they are both host to the malevolent demon Maikana-the force that is driving Todd insane. Before long, all three primary characters are losing their minds and experiencing gruesome and painful visions, which gives the reader an exhilarating sense that anything can happen at any moment. LeBlanc’s dialogue is spot on, particularly Eli’s twangy Louisiana slang ("Gets out, you demon! You gots no business in this place. Get!"). The book loses steam at a pivotal moment, and the climax is an over-the-top, blood-soaked mess worthy of a B-grade horror movie. The journey up to that point, however, is riveting.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books; First Ed edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843953470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843953473
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,829,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This really is a page turner.
Johnny Dangerously
In addition, I really enjoyed just how much detail went into this story.
John Palisano
I can't wait to start the next one.
Angela Lynch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
On a whim, friends Sharon and Roberta visit the mysterious "gris-gris man" Samuel to ask if he can discern the sex of Roberta's unborn child. Initially seeing it as an adventure, the pair starts to have second thoughts moments after entering the mystic's residence. First, they meet a black woman and her child in what amounts to the waiting room; the four-year-old boy's fascination with Roberta's condition makes them uneasy. Then, they meet Samuel's overly defensive aide, who peppers them with annoying questions. Finally, they meet Samuel himself, a curious figure of a man protected by two vicious Dobermans.

Seeing to his customer's request, Samuel dangles a pendant over Roberta's womb. Initially, the pendant sways back and forth. Then, gathering unnatural speed, the pendant actually leaps out of Samuel's hand and starts to bore into Roberta's exposed skin before the shocked magic man can yank it away. All are parties are shaken by the incident, which they quickly bury in their memories. The strange events of that day are not so easily dismissed, however; forces behind human comprehension are at work, forces which eventually come to threaten the lives of Roberta's progeny.

An absorbing first novel, Family Inheritance is a well-written, tightly plotted work brimming with the energy and enthusiasm only a fledgling writer can bring to bear. Happily, it exhibits few of the excesses and lapses that commonly mar such efforts. Writing with a Southerner's abiding sense of place, Leblanc lavishes copious amounts of attention on her cast, building credibility for the time she plunges readers deep into more fantastic territory--it's a tribute to her skill that we go so willingly. A richly imagined, atmospheric dark fantasy oozing with dread and menace, the novel is a memorable debut from a writer obviously devoted to her craft.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Angie Ledbetter on January 23, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not a reader of suspense/mystery/horror/thriller genres, so found myself very surprised by this book. Not only was I drawn in by the twisty-turny plot, but by the family psychology and characters! I also lost several nights' sleep from reading late into the night, but it was worth every minute.

LeBlanc's uncanny handle on characters and the workings of the mind (both "normal" and disturbed) was masterfully handled. The scene-setting was not unlike a real Louisiana swamp that holds you and refuses to let you go. Family Inheritance met and exceeded my personal touch stone for books of excellence: unforgettable characters that stay with you long after the last page is read.

I'll be buying and giving copies of her next book, Grave Intent, to others just like I do with Family Inheritance...but the first copy goes to me! It's hard to believe that this is LeBlanc's first book out the shoot.

Can't recommend this book enough, no matter what your genre preference is. Get a copy today -- just be sure you're well rested before you open the cover!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Dangerously on November 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like horror and suspense, you've got to check this book out. It is quite an amazing first novel. Set in the bayous of Louisania, this thriller really lets you into another world and sinks you deep into the cajun mystique. It has all kinds of twists and turns. This really is a page turner. If you are a thriller/horror fan, I think you will really like this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Hawkins on March 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book in 4 hours and lost sleep because I simply could not put it down. The Bayou setting intrigued me all the more. LeBlanc knows how to set a scene and build tension to such an extreme, she keeps her readers yearning to reach the last page. I will definitely read her next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erik Smetana on February 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First time author Deborah LeBlanc brings the backwoods of the Louisiana bayou to life with her novel, "Family Inheritance." From the first page through the last, the reader feels like a first hand witness to the chain of events experienced by Jessica LeJeune, our heroine whose journey is about much more than attending to her institutionalized brother.

Over the course of "Family Inheritance," the reader makes the acquaintance of so many whimsical and colorful characters, including Eli-a backwater mystic who holds the key to Jessica's fate, Eula Mae-Eli's guide for the journey ahead and Jake-Jessica's son, who suspects more is afoot with his mother than the typical "suburban working mom" drudge.

"Family Inheritance," while chalk full of demons, voodoo and other things fantastical manages to keep the story focused and the reader interested. With few hiccups and a frenzied pace, "Family Inheritance" is an enjoyable read for fantasy/horror enthusiasts and the average coffee house patron alike.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Palisano on November 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all, the story for 'Family Inheritance' is really unique and soulful. Especially for the entice 'em and dice 'em horror genre. Being a huge horror reader, I found myself very much wrapped up in how different the feel of the story came across than I expected. A tremendous amount of feeling and depth obviously went into this novel. In addition, I really enjoyed just how much detail went into this story. There was certainly a lot to learn about the Creole culture, as well as an entirely different side of Louisiana that I haven't come across. There is a rawness of emotion throughout, which truly made me care for the characters.

If you are interested in strong characters in very unsettling situations, read this book. I don't want to give away major plot points. However, I can say that there are lots of intricate twists and turns that will definately keep you reading. Cool book. I can't wait to read more from her, sooner than later, hopefully.
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