From Publishers Weekly
Wall Street Journal writer and editor Wells (Meely LaBauve; Junior's Leg) takes his readers on a wild Southern roller-coaster ride in the final installment of his lighthearted Bayou trilogy, focusing on down-and-out widower Logan LaBauve as he tries to pull his life together despite some formidable opposition from law enforcement and the forces of nature. The former dominates LaBauve's maneuvers in the early going: he finds himself stuck in a swamp with his son Meely's friend, Chilly Cox, after an incident with the corrupt police in their Louisiana hamlet lands Meely in jail. Chilly and Logan escape, thanks to Catfish Annie Ancelet, who quickly becomes Logan's romantic interest for this installment. Annie helps Chilly line up a ride to return to his family in Tupelo, but when Logan tags along they get waylaid by two hitchhikers in an extended comedic sequence of cops-and-robbers. Wells shifts gears when Logan takes off for Florida with Annie to follow up on a job offer, but the lovers are stranded when a killer hurricane approaches. Wells is a pro when it comes to inserting plot twists and character foibles, although the romance seems prepackaged and overly gooey in the early going. The transition to the storm subplot is jarring, but Wells compensates with a strong, surprisingly affecting finish in which the stranded lovers try to rescue some local residents. Readers who have enjoyed the first two volumes will be sad to see this successful series come to an end, but Wells has done a fine job of whetting their appetites for his next literary adventure.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Picking up the story from Junior's Leg (Random, 2001), Logan LaBauve narrates this set of adventures. He teams up with Chilly Cox, a young black man, and they set out to cross the Great Catahoula Swamp. The local police are after both men for helping Chilly's friend Meely, whom these same police officers had mistreated. The two make it across the Catahoula, incurring misadventures with various swamp critters, including some humans. They finally reach Mississippi, where Chilly finds a safe house with relatives. Logan meets Annie Ancelet, and they become lovers. They are bound for Florida and a gator-farming job for him when they are caught in Hurricane Belva. While the first sections of the book dwell on escape from the law, the last one features action as Annie and Logan battle for survival against the storm. Logan's fortitude provides the courage, endurance, and will to keep going, and Annie proves to be his mirror image. The author expertly describes the beauty and reality of the swamp and the storm, conjuring scenes worthy of the action accompanying them. Although the story can stand alone, it provides a satisfying end to the trilogy. Teens who enjoyed either of the previous novels will want to read this one.Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.