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“Castro's first mystery is fierce and intense, with both harrowing depictions of New Orleans after Katrina and psychological mayhem for its troubled heroine, who crawls under your skin and lingers there long after you've finished reading.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Exquisite New Orleans background, intriguing newsroom politics and atmosphere, a flawed but plucky heroine, and skillfully paced suspense makes this a ‘stay up way past your bedtime' read.” ―Booklist, (starred)
“Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers will find this a fascinating look into an intriguing city. Nola is a feisty character...” ―Library Journal
“A terrific mystery, but Hell or High Water is more than just a mystery; it's a heartfelt examination of a second America--poor but undaunted--that was swept under the rug but refuses to stay there . . . I can't wait to see what Joy Castro does next.” ―Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River
“Hell or High Water is a tightly written thriller. Nola's first-person perspective and her witty, often cutting dialogue will make the reader believe in the character and really care for her and what happens to her. . . . Like the city for which she was named, Nola is damaged yet unbeaten. . . . an exciting, incisive novel.” ―El Paso Times
“Hell or High Water is so thick and rich with authentic New Orleans details that you'll be wiping sweat off your brow and smelling the crawfish étouffée. Joy Castro has crafted a complex, conflicted, and hauntingly real heroine with Nola Céspedes. Shackled to her past and to New Orleans, Castro's Nola reminded me of Pat Conroy's Tom Wingo and the Outer Banks in Prince of Tides. ” ―Alex Kava, New York Times bestselling author of The Maggie O'Dell series, Whitewash and One False Move
“In the tradition of P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Lucha Corpi, Joy Castro shows how mystery can be much more than the unraveling of crimes concealed. An irresistible and compelling novel.” ―Lorraine M. López, author of Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories
JOY CASTRO teaches literature, creative writing, and Latino studies at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Her 2005 memoir, The Truth Book, was elected an ABA Book Sense Notable Book.
I almost never buy books, as I read/listen to so many I have to use library facilities or I would be completely broke. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sally
Captivated me. Completely. Rare to find a protagonist so complex and infuriating, but engaging and sympathetic at the same time. Read morePublished 13 months ago by flikwrtr
My book-club selected this book and the majority of the members really liked it. However, I was unimpressed with this story. Read morePublished 14 months ago by sapr
Joy Castro's protagonist Nola Cespedes is one crazy flawed woman. But, she's so relatable. Castro's knowledge of the city of New Orleans is epic! This was a great read. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Wyn Andrews
Castro writes beautifully as we come to care about the characters and empathize with them. The description of New Orleans and its culture is spot-on and I longed to take the... Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by Julie25TX
I am very surprised at how poorly written this book is. Worse than a generic mystery novel. That is not to say that I think the author is without talent--I think she could... Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by msjs
Emotionally satisfying. Given the history of the writer this is a very riveting book. Up until the very end I was not sure how she would end this work. Read morePublished on August 7, 2013 by Tony Smith
I LOVED this book. That is not to say that it was an easy read, by any means. Nola is a deeply flawed character that seems to spiral downward toward certain trouble. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by Victoria Allman