By V. L. Towler
A small Louisiana town’s police department receives a box with a severed finger. Enter Lula Logan, forensic anthropologist. With the help of the police department, she investigates a series of severed fingers and murders. What does a film producer and a politician have to do with the case?
I thought this would be a gritty, dark murder mystery. Instead it turned out to be a study into black life with the mystery as a small print second billing.
Lula Logan: black, dark brown hair, maroon eyes, 5’5”, forensic anthropologist, works at a university
Nate Padgett: captain of the Criminal Investigations unit, blut-grey eyes, black hair
Devon Lemonde: Junior police detective, Creole black, attended Nakadee University, married with children
Aggie Shear: auburn hair, forensic pathologist, divorced
Wally: Knights of Columbus member, former military
There are a few other characters: Bebe, Melvyn, Richard included. I think the author did a good job of providing a lot of background info on the important characters. I think the characters are well-rounded. I don’t know what Wally is. Part of the police department? Homeless? An eccentric who occasionally provides the cops with information? I just don’t know.
Good voices and accents and phraseology. I thought some of the dialogue went on too long and the conversations tended to delve into extraneous matters.
Book was separated into Parts. Titled Chapters. Chapters headed by date and time, scene changes headed by time
Okay, let me discuss this next part for just a bit. When I read a book, I expect the story to be something related to the back cover blurb. When it falls short of my expectations, I lose interest. As mentioned above, I thought this was going to be a good dark murder mystery. When Lula and Bebe spent page after page after page in the first part of the book discussing life for blacks in general, in Louisiana, their own lives, I lost interest in the story. I perked up whenever there was another finger or corpse and I could get back to the mystery, but for the most part, I lost interest. The scenes with the politician, although the topic related to the story, were a sideline that I didn’t care about. The mystery, as mentioned, was simmering, but never very action-oriented. A lot of interrogation, a lot of talking.
There was a videotape discovered. Writing page after page of the dialogue on the videotape was fine, but a repetition of this wasn’t needed.
I felt the tension was low, the ending climax was too long and mostly dialogue and the Epilogue wasn’t an epilogue but rather a “Hey, this is the end and stay tuned for the next mystery featuring Lula.”
I’m giving this a Green Belt because the grammar, punctuation, and spelling were okay and the voices were better than a lot of books. The story and plot, as a whole, wasn’t exciting for me.