It's Police Detective Dino LaStanza's first week in Homicide and he must handle the horrific murder of Marie Sumner, slashed to death on a quiet French Quarter street. LaStanza and his partners work long, frustrating hours with no results. When another woman is slashed to death along Bayou St. John, the detectives bear witness to the carnage again. LaStanza feels even worse this time, almost useless. The media labels the killer "The Slasher" and when he strikes a third time, murdering the daughter of a wealthy banker, LaStanza meets a young woman who changes his life.
Lizette Marie Louvier is an alluring, intelligent young woman, a dark haired, uptown beauty beyond LaStanza's reach and yet the attraction between the two is undeniable. The unrelenting pressure in the homicide pressure cooker grows as LaStanza and his partners track a monstrous killer through the dark streets of the murder capital of the US, hoping they can catch him before he kills again.
©1988 O'Neil De Noux (P)2015 O'Neil De Noux
I really do love gritty detective novels. James Lee Burke is one of my favorites, and does it get grittier than Dave and Clete? Not much. But those stories are well told, well written, and wonderful to both read and listen to. This was not even on the same planet. Absolutely an epic fail. In the first 30 minutes the main character used the F-word no fewer than 30 times. Sometime 3 or 4 times in one sentence. It reminded me of an ignorant 19 year old trying to sound tough. All it did was take away from what MAY have been an ok story. I love NoLa. I love detective novels. I really love when the two come together. This sounds like the PERFECT book for me. But I just couldn't get past the first hour or so, despite trying no fewer than 3 times to listen to it.
The story, what I could manage to pick up between F-bombs, was probably ok. Although I couldn't get past two major flaws. 1) and this is a special note to the author, learn to write with other descriptive words aside from f@ck. Honestly. I am not a writer, but I love to read. And I can think of a variety of other choices. Your main character can still be "gritty" and "real" and demonstrate a vocabulary beyond using one single word to describe EVERYTHING. And 2) the narrator was AWEFUL. He sounded like a Yankee. Like he was from New Jersey or New York...Really? Come ON, this book takes place in New Orleans! You can not have a Yankee read it. Every word grated on my Southern ears. It was horrible. I bet even folks who are used to a Northen accent would agree; this was NOT the right man for this job.
Did I mention I really really wanted to like this book? I really really did. Maybe if Will Patten read it I would have gotten farther than 90 minutes in... But I doubt it. It was just plain bad.
Red Stick Writer
The author's intimate familiarity with America's most interesting city is evident from the outset. His words transport you to the places, enable you to become awash in the thick gumbo of culture, and enlighten you with knowledge of the The City that Care Forgot that can't be learned on the best of tours. This was not my first experience with De Noux's writing, but it is certainly my favorite. At its core, Grim Reaper is a good story. The characters breathe and rise from the page. You are compelled to have feelings for them, whether good or bad. Ordinarily that would be enough, but I got lagniappe. I did the Audible version. Michael J. McCue's delivery of De Noux's story in a boots-on-the-ground New Orleans dialect was a bona fide coup de grace. I enjoyed the ride so much, i'll be moving on to The Big Kiss pretty damn quick.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this one. You can really tell O'Niel has been there and knows what he's talking about. Loved the back and forth between the detectives and the great detail in describing the Crescent City. Looking forward to the next ones!
I’ve read and listened to my share of books about cops, be it patrolman or detective, and I can tell you that O’Neil De Noux tells it like it is. I have police officers in my family and I know when an author knows what he is talking about or whether he is taking his cues from TV or movies when he creates his characters. De Noux is the real deal, he can really paint a detailed picture of life in New Orleans. He make you feel the heat and humidity, smell the smells as if you are actually there.
Micheal J. McCue makes an excellent Dino LaStanza. He really brings De Noux characters to life.
I can’t wait for the next audio version of LaStanza and all the great characters who come with him.
Gritty, realistic, detailed.
I felt like I was really there, walking side by side with Dino, experiencing what it is really like to be a homicide detective in New Orleans. Not how TV and the movies portray it, but how it really is. Got a real behind-the-scenes look at how murders are solved.
No, I haven't, but I really liked him. I thought he did an excellent job.
I really enjoyed how all the details came together and how Dino discovered who the killer was and how he caught him.
I recommend this novel to anyone who is interest in what it is really like to be a homicide detective in New Orleans. The characters are so real and 3 dimensional, none of your TV and movie cliches here.
I have long been a fan of O'Neil De Noux's novels, so it was great to enjoy this early favorite in audio form. As with all of the LaStanza novels, the story and the characters ring with the authenticity only somebody who has actually worked homicide investigations can bring to a narrative. This was an assured audio performance from Michael J. McCue in the lively style of a great oral storyteller drawing you into the tale. Top notch...
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