Bad Karma in the Big Easy
Review: New Orleans medical examiner Andy Broussard is in charge of identifying the remains in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But three of the bodies, all women in a similar condition, pique his curiosity, so much so that he leaves them until he has time to consider what it is that puzzles him, in Bad Karma in the Big Easy, the seventh mystery in this series by D. J. Donaldson.
The women were all found nude in generally the same vicinity and, he later discovers, having recently borne a child. But not their own. They had been surrogate mothers. And they didn't die as a result of the hurricane; their bodies had been frozen and only thawed after the freezer they were in was dislodged from its location and opened as a consequence of the fury of Katrina. Separately, Kit Franklyn of the medical examiner's investigative service, is drawn into the case of an apparent suicide, a man found decapitated by a rope pulling his head off while driving into a tree.
Bad Karma in the Big Easy is a fast-paced mystery with several interesting facets to it, not all of which work well together but are separately quite intriguing. The most obvious of these is the suicide subplot, which is overly graphic in its depiction but does little else other than to serve as a means to tie Kit's investigation into Andy's case. Indeed, it is hardly mentioned after the opening chapters. It isn't too hard to figure out how the dead women are linked to the most obvious — really, the only — suspect but the path that Andy and his team take to get to the point of figuring it out themselves is as entertaining as it is diverting. The talents of all the principal players are used at one point or another, a not inconsiderable exercise in character development and deployment. A solid mystery overall, but one that requires a (slight) suspension of disbelief to fully enjoy.
Acknowledgment: Astor + Blue provided an eARC of Bad Karma in the Big Easy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Bad Karma in the Big Easy: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Bad Karma in the Big Easy by D. J. Donaldson — An Andy Broussard Mystery
Publisher: Astor + Blue
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2013
List Price: $14.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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