Synopses & Reviews
Cliff St. James returns along with his partner Honey to investigate a baffling series of ritualistic deaths that may be connected to a bizarre secret society, in Ed Kovacs' Burnt Black.
New Orleans Homicide Detective Cliff St. James and his partner Honey are still trying to piece their lives together a year and a half after a killer storm decimated the city. They find themselves probing a succession of unusual deaths that may or may not be homicides.
The investigation not only proves frustrating, but it strains at the very fabric of St. James and Honeys relationship. The puzzling deaths connected to a secretive occult group seem to only lead them deeper into an unsolvable maze fraught with strange occurrences and brutal death.
When their sleuthing uncovers a connection to a ruthless Mexican drug cartel, a complex murder conspiracy emerges, but with shifting suspects. St. James and Honey catch nothing but bad breaks as they struggle to determine which of their suspects is the killer, or perhaps the next victim.
"OutrÃ© crime elements compensate only in part for the relatively weak plot of Kovacs's third novel featuring New Orleans PD homicide detective Cliff St. James (after 2012's Good Junk). Sixteen months after hurricane Katrina, while St. James and his police partner and close friend, Honey Baybee, are looking at a house for Honey's mother on a day off, they receive a radio report of shots fired next door. The two cops enter the house in question, which reminds St. James of the French Quarter's Voodoo Museum, with its clutter of fetishes, rattles, and drums. In one room they find the bodies of two naked Hispanic men on a sacrificial altar; the victims look as if they died of fright. The ante gets upped significantly when evidence emerges that the Skulls, 'a bloodthirsty, brutally ruthless Mexican drug cartel,' may somehow be involved. Kovacs's depiction of post-Katrina New Orleans in this installment isn't as compelling as his work in the two previous books in the series. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Outstanding...powerful prose that evokes a city still struggling to recover its infrastructure and identity elevates this well beyond most other contemporary PI novels." —Publishers Weekly (starred)
"Kovacs maintains a fast pace, and his descriptions of a steamy, seamy, badly managed city that is failing to recover from Katrina are jolting and plausible." —Booklist
"With so many twists and turns, even the most devoted noir fan may wish they had a map. But it's well worth trying to find the way." —Kirkus Reviews
"Fast-paced, gritty . . . [Kovacs's] noir take on the thriller will hook readers."
About the Author
ED KOVACS has worked for many years as a private security contractor deploying to challenging locations worldwide. He is a member of the Association for Intelligence Officers, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. When not on a contract, he splits his time between his home in Southeast Asia and his aircraft hangar home at a Southern California airport.