By DJ Donaldson
Once again I was given the privilege to follow Andy Broussard and his oh-la-la sidekick Kit Franklyn on one of DJ Donaldson’s New Orleans adventures in New Orleans Requiem. Although one of his older books, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m still looking forward to picking up Louisiana Fever to complete the first three of his books. I truly love the partnership between the two main characters just like I enjoyed Benson and Stabler for so long on SVU – albeit a completely different type of relationship, but one I’d continue to follow.
As I said in my first review of Donaldson’s first book I read – Sleeping with the Crawfish - I love the way he makes you a part of the city. This book differs in that there is a conference in town of the Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences that have both Broussard and Kit tied up as hosts. Of course as everyone knows, that doesn’t stop the bodies from dropping around those two as they prepare for and take part in the event. And I can say the event as the backdrop of the case definitely adds to the complexity for a number of reasons.
The first body is found a day or two before the conference gets started, the other two during the conference. One precise stab wound to the chest. The weird part is the missing eyelid on each of the victims. So the questions becomes compounded now with the conference in town…is our killer a New Orleans resident or one of the many trained in forensics and the art of killing from all over the world?
As per typical, Kit runs the foot game in New Orleans Requiem. It never fails that the girl is out on her own in the streets of New Orleans chasing down one lead or another. She’s a small-town girl who is definitely street-smart and comes off pretty tough – whether it’s true of her or not. I have to admit that she terrifies me the way she puts her life on the line. I keep thinking, well she’s done it now. There she goes. No more Kit.
And of course that leaves us with typical Broussard, working everything from the angle of what the body tells us. This case was more difficult than most for him seeing as how the majority of the suspects were men and women who not only shared his profession, but that he had known for years and years. I think this case took on a personal aspect for him that most don’t. I’m not sure it would have mattered who had done it. If it were one of the conference members he would have taken it quite personally.
As I have said before, I thoroughly enjoy Donaldson’s writing and think anyone who loves a quick detective novel would feel the same. They’re such quick reads because they keep you so involved. Although there is a medical background, Donaldson doesn’t leave you in the dark as far as taking it too far where the reader gets lost. I love the way Donaldson writes with love in every keystroke about New Orleans and these two characters. And I think the reader knows it when they read it, the time and care he’s put in to the characters and the setting.
Donaldson definitely has another top rated review from me. I still plan on reading anything else I come across of his, or that I am asked to read, Louisiana Fever will be the next one. Again, these are his older books but I hope you’ll take a shot on them. The strangest part is the lack of some technology you might have come accustomed to reading about in current books, like cell phones and such. I implore you to check out all of Donaldson’s New Orleans based books because they really are great.