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The Gris-Gris Man Hardcover – March, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A dash of voodoo spices this New Orleans-based crime thriller and binds its supernatural and suspense ingredients into a thick, if undistinguished, gumbo. Wade Broussard is a living embodiment of the Big Easy's reputation for magic and mystery: a Cajun raised by a voodoo maman, he uses his knowledge to help the NOPD solve occult crimes. The press has dubbed him "the Gris-Gris Man," but in his youth he was known as Le Blanc Houngan, one of the most formidable voodoo priests on the bayou. A confrontation with Baron Samedi, Lord of the Graveyard, resulted in the deaths of several crime victims and persuaded Wade to turn his back on his calling. But a new crime spree replete with ritual murders is unfolding along the Louisiana coast, and, its apparent link to the international drug trade notwithstanding, Wade senses that the Baron is seducing him into a final showdown. The climax, a fireworks display of magic and munitions, devolves literally into a standoff between good guys in white and bad guys in black. The outcome is as predictable as Wade's hand-picked SWAT team, whose members come straight from central casting with appropriate stereotypes sharply creased into their characters, and as sappy as his storybook romance with beautiful New York editor Alexandra Larsen. Veteran true-crime writer Davis (The Milwaukee Murders; Fallen Hero) brings the bayous and the French Quarter to life with his reporter's eye for detail, and effortlessly folds the action around fascinating nuggets of swamp lore and Louisiana history. Nevertheless, readers may find that his tale resembles the voodoo paraphernalia that studs it pages?quaintly exotic but curiously remote.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Bobbi Devereaux lived fast and died young, but two things make her more than just another New Orleans statistic: her father, Wendell Devereaux, is a political power broker and her death appears to have been part of a voodoo ritual. Wade Broussard, known as the "Gris-Gris Man" because he's the Louisiana state police's reigning expert on the dark arts, gets the case. Broussard doesn't buy the crime scene--especially the phony-looking voodoo symbols--and he doesn't buy the NOPD's theory that the killer is the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. The case stalls until Broussard uses both his own voodoo skills and his connections in the gris-gris underground to determine a motive and flush out the killer. Though tempered by humor, this fine first novel, in its darker moments, will remind readers of William Hjortsberg's Fallen Angel (1994), perhaps the classic melding of crime novel and the supernatural. Wes Lukowsky

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