D.J. Donaldson,
New Orleans Requiem
(Astor + Blue Editions, 2012)

This is an intricately plotted murder mystery, with some interesting and nicely-drawn characters. However, the resolution to New Orleans Requiem, by D.J. Donaldson, just made me say "Huh?" rather than being satisfied with the end.

These are harsh words, I know. But -- and I will try to avoid spoilers -- once All Becomes Clear ... well, it just didn't seem to make any sense to me. Yes, it covered all the clues, so that's fair -- but HUH? The motive did not, in my opinion, explain pretty much any of the intricacies of plot, which once the motive and murderer were revealed, made NO sense and were basically a waste of time.

I was disappointed in the setting, too. Although billed as a New Orleans novel, there was nothing in the setting that made it vital that it happen in NOLA, rather than, say, Minneapolis. Any local atmosphere was cursory at best.

But the worst part was the plot. There was just no reason at all for the murderer to go to all that trouble, when he could have made his point much more efficiently. I'm willing to suspend disbelief -- but not infinitely.

Not recommended. No particular sense of place (if you want a Big Easy, I recommend Poppy Brite's NOLA novels, such as Liquor) and a really implausible plot.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

27 September 2014

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