Good morning, book friends. Today’s Random Things Tours blog post is for Voodoo Heart by John Everson. Read on to find out more about this spine-chilling novel.
When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearances. All across New Orleans, on one night each month, people are vanishing, leaving behind nothing but a pool of blood on the bedsheets… and an abandoned heart. Ribaud doesn’t believe in voodoo, but he soon finds himself moving through the underbelly of a secret society of snakes, sacrifices and obscene rituals in search of the mysterious Black Queen … and the curse of her Voodoo Heart.
Voodoo Heart is a paranormal thriller that includes elements of New Orleans culture, voodoo, and detective work to tell a story of murder and fear in the swamps of Lousiana.
This book had a lot of interesting elements to it. The narrative starts of quite mysterious with a series of murders and extracted hearts left behind. There are no witness and no one knows why. Detective Ribaud catches the case, which creates a bit of tension because his wife is one of the victims. The detective work was interesting with Ribaud being so personally invested, because the reader gets to see him waver back and forth between personal and professional goals. This is exacerbated because the detective has deep ties to the community, and seeing him deal with the fact that many of the people involved in the case are people he knows well. This fact puts the detective in a lot of interesting situations.
The bread-and-butter of this book is the involvement of the voodoo community. The story is murderous and bloody, and it is written that way to give it a tone of fear. I think author John Everson accomplishes this pretty well. The stage is set with victims’ bleeding hears being left behind, and continues with magic jewelry, potions, spells and sacrifices. I do not know much about voodoo myself, so I cannot comment as to how well the practice was represented; but as far as being a thriller I think it hit a lot of the right notes.
This book does have its flaws, and you have to have. a strong stomach to be able to deal with the gore. I would also be remiss if I did not warn of the depictions of rape, and at least one scene of sexual assault. If these are triggers for you, proceed with caution.
I was glad to have read this book during the spooky season. Between the setting and the tone of the story, it gives off chilling vibes and keeps me in the Halloween mood. If that type of book sounds interesting to you, I recommend giving Voodoo Heart a shot.
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