A sinister figure is disturbing the peace in the small college town of Nakadee, Louisiana. Chopped-off fingers are popping up at conspicuous locations, taunting police but hidden from residents. Meanwhile, the city is preparing to host and attend the city’s second-largest event to Mardi Gras, the annual Hot Sauce Festival.
The Police Department’s Head of Criminal Investigations Unit, Captain Nate Padgett, is determined not to lose jurisdiction of this case to the Feds. So he enlists the expertise of the town’s only Forensic Anthropologist, Lula Logan, Ph.D. He hopes she’ll determine if the fingers belong to the deceased or kidnapped victim.
Dr. Logan already has a lot on her plate:
- lecturing at national conferences,
- teaching at the local university,
- working on her research project,
All while she’s extracting herself from a dead-end love affair with the CIU’s Junior Detective Devon Lemonde. Did I mention she’s also testing the waters of a budding romance with the republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Ambrose Girabeaux (R-LA), representing the Nakadee district?
Adding insult to injury, the Police Chief, Allouicious Broussard, who has political aspirations, wants the case closed immediately. Instead, officials are preparing to finalize a deal that will bring to town a multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline project expected to run from Brazil.
There are quite a few characters in this mystery, but be advised not to get too attached. Some seem to serve to enliven the atmosphere to help the reader soak up the vibrant gumbo mix of French Creole-Cajun-African-Native Indian-European culture.
In the end, we learn that this small town may have more suspects than you have fingers on two hands.
Severed is a subtle crime thriller rich with allusion, innuendo, and clues. You must pay attention to detail while reading this novel. That is if you want to unmask the Unsub before the last page.
Severed, the novel is available on Amazon.
Novelist VL Towler’s website is at severedanoveldotcom