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13 1/2by Nevada Barr
Synopses & Reviews
IN 1971, THE STATE OF MINNESOTA WAS rocked by the a oeButcher Boya incident, as coverage of a family brutally murdered by one of their own swept across newspapers and TV screens nationwide.
Now, in present-day New Orleans, Polly Deschamps finds herself at another lonely crossroads in her life. No stranger to tragedy, Polly was a runaway at the age of fifteen, escaping a nightmarish Mississippi childhood.
Lonely, that is, until she encounters architect Marshall Marchand. Polly finds him attractive, charming, and intelligent. Marshall, a lifelong bachelor, spends most of his time with his brother Danny. When Pollya (TM)s two young daughters from her previous marriage are likewise taken with Marshall, she marries him. However, as Polly begins to settle into her new life, she becomes uneasy about her husbanda (TM)s increasing dark moods, fearing that Danny may be influencing Marshall in ways she cannot understand.
But what of the prediction by a New Orleans tarot card reader, who proclaims that Polly will murder her husband? What, if any, is the Marchandsa (TM) connection to the infamous a oeButcher Boya multiple homicide? And could Marshall and his eccentric brother be keeping a dark secret from Polly, one that will shatter the happiness she has forever prayed for?
In New Orleans' French Quarter, a tarot card reader told Polly Deschamps — runaway daughter of trailer trash — that she would be a success. Thirty years later, Polly is a respected professor of literature with a safe life for herself and her two daughters. Butcher Boy, so dubbed by a horrified community in Minnesota following a 1970s murder spree, was released on his seventeenth birthday, shook the snow from his boots and headed south. New Orleans, a Mecca for runaways then and now, offers sanctuary but never forgiveness.When Polly falls in love with Marshall Marchand, a restoration architect, shadows of the past rise out of the poisoned ground of New Orleans as thick and deadly as the toxic waters of the flood. Like history, some crimes are doomed to repeat themselves. Evil stays the same, only the victims? names change. As two broken pasts collide in an uncertain present, Polly is determined that her children's names will never be on that list.
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