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City of the Dead Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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"City of the Dead starts with a tsunami and ends with a hurricane, and nothing in between slows it down. A smart, scary, and relentless storm overtaking a city held hostage by greed and disaster." – Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author
"Hugely entertaining."– Sean Black, author of the Ryan Lock series
"Daniel Blake makes New Orleans the setting for a story that's as hot, steamy and shot through with voodoo madness as the city itself. As the victims of a ritualistic serial killer mount up, City of the Dead is not just a first-rate crime thriller, but also an impassioned, powerfully evocative attack on social injustice, racial prejudice and the unfettered power of the rich. Highly recommended!" – Tom Cain, author of The Accident Man and Dictator
"City of the Dead is a fast-paced, blood-soaked, full-throttle descent into hell and one of the best thrillers you will read this or any other year. Daniel Blake weaves an intricate plot with the skill set of a top-tier surgeon, his dialogue rich and spot-on and his characters--both good and gut-wrenchingly evil--full-bodied and as real and fresh as morning rain. It is a novel that quite simply demands to be read. To do otherwise would be a crime." – Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of Sleepers and Midnight Angels
"Blake keeps the dialogue razor sharp and the action hammer blunt while tantalizing readers with a Sherlockian thriller that turns the modern detective story on its head. If ever there was a character ripe for transition to the big screen, Franco Patrese is it." -- Rupert Wyatt, director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes
"Incendiary . . . Blake's edgy, cynical take on the Katrina tragedy blends easily with Patrese's increasingly desperate quest for justice and survival." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The introductory premise of this story turns out to be nothing but a ploy (albeit cleverly done) that draws the reader in to believing the thrust of this story is about some deep-seated cultural evil.
An extreme disappointment overall. Don't waste your money.
When he arrives back in Pittsburgh, he doesn't get a very warm reception. He becomes the scapegoat in a crime that goes bad; a crime that kills his partner. Franco decides that he will look elsewhere for work and calls a friend in the FBI. He gets hired by the Agent in Charge in New Orleans, Louisiana.
When Patrese arrives at his new job, he learns that New Orleans is being inundated with some horrible crimes that look like they are inspired by Voodoo rituals of some kind. He comes in contact with a very wealthy man, St. John Varden in the city and the man's son, St. John Varden, Jr., who is the present Governor of Louisiana. When Franco starts work he is partnered with detective Selma Fawcett who is not fond of the FBI and tries to get rid of Franco at every turn. The first case that they partner on is the murder of Cindy Rojciewicz, who is the elder Varden's Personal Assistant. She was killed in a horrific fashion that included dismemberment and a very large snake. There are more killings in the future and as these two try and figure them out sometimes the murder scenes get caught up in Voodoo, politics, drugs and some very interesting characters, including a lady who takes care of BIG snakes. But the snakes that crawl are not as bad as the snakes that walk on two legs.Read more ›
The editors missed several instances of British terms sneaking into the text. For example, he talks about an AGM rather than an annual meeting of shareholders and plasters rather than bandages. The main character, Franco Patrese, doesn't "sound" like someone from Pittsburgh and he doesn't have the "ear" for writing the "voice" of people -- whether black or white -- from New Orleans. They all sound pretty generic. If the author wanted to write this particular story, which could take place nowhere but New Orleans, it would have improved the book a lot to have a co-author who could have written with an authentic New Orleans voice. He also has a supposedly devout Seventh Day Adventist character get drunk.
Despite this lack of authentic voice, I generally enjoyed how the story unfolded through the first 300 or so pages of the book. But when Patrese uncovered the true villains behind the murders and the reason for the killings, the author completely lost me. It was a cobbled-together hot mess of corporate greed (I can always accept greed as the basis for evil plots), completely unrealistic pseudo-religious motivation, racism, and individual greed (but I didn't think the the sideline players's financial gain was large enough to believe they'd support such a heinous plan). I also don't believe the sideline players would have agreed the murders that started the book were a necessary part of achieving the ultimate goal. And finally, the last two scenes of the book were beyond my ability to suspend disbelief.
By the end I felt let down and wished I had never started reading it. I give this book 3 stars only because the writing itself, while not authentic for the place and people, was fairly decent.
I won't be reading any other books by this author.
Ruth Burkett Weeks: author
Partnered with New Orleans PD detective Selma Fawcett, a woman who grew up in the projects, Franco is introduced to the multi-layered complexities of New Orleans politics, law enforcement agencies and a population that distrusts anyone wearing a badge, and rightly so. Confronted with macabre crime scenes, diverse political agendas and systemic governmental corruption, Franco is an outsider depending on Fawcett's perspective on the murders, which she freely expresses, as well as her personal views of morality and God's impending judgment on sinners.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting concept, but poorly developed. At various points in the story the hero just "suddenly realizes" multiple key points to allow the story to proceed. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
It has been a while since I read this book but I remember that I liked it a lot. I keep watching for Daniel Blake to write another book. So far I have been unable to find one. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Alice Armstrong
I enjoyed this book. I liked both of the books he has wrote in this series. Would make a good tv series.Published on June 23, 2013 by Amazon Customer
City of The Dead by Daniel Blake
This is another complex mystery by Blake set in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina as a back drop
Franco Patrese is back and... Read more