Casting Bones by Don Bruns


Casting Bones by Don Bruns
Publisher: Severn House
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Introducing New Orleans homicide detective Quentin Archer in the first of a brand-new mystery series.

When a prominent New Orleans judge is brutally murdered, former Detroit cop Quentin Archer is handed the case. His enquiries will lead him into a world of darkness and mysticism which underpins the carefree atmosphere of the Big Easy. Interrogating crooked police officers, a pickpocket, a bartender with underground contacts and a swamp dweller, Archer uncovers some troubling facts about the late judge’s past. But it’s only when he encounters a beautiful young voodoo practitioner that he starts to make headway in the investigation.

Voodoo queen Solange Cordray volunteers at the dementia centre where her mother lives. When she starts reading the mind of one of her patients, she learns that a secretive organization known as Krewe Charbonerrie may be behind the murder of the judge. And the second murder. And the third . . .

Money–or maybe greed–is the root of all evil. Some people will do anything for their greed for money. Casting Bones examines some of the lengths that people will go to in order to gain wealth.

This is the first book I’ve read by Don Bruns. I don’t know what city he lives in but he surely painted a picture of New Orleans that is vivid and accurate. I didn’t know much about voodoo before but I feel like I do now. The author did his research on voodoo, along with knowing the city life of New Orleans. His observation in human behavior and details are amazing. This combination of details along with his talented writing, combined with a suspenseful plot made this a really great read. I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. The suspense started on the first page and kept me interested through out.

There is something about the writing style that made the story flow so smoothly. The details of the city, the men on the police force, maybe the realness of the main character, Quentin Archer. I felt I knew him; his story could be the average cop’s life. I empathized with him for the loss of his wife. He is a honest man trying to uphold the law, but struggles with his family while searching for answers for his wife’s death. Relocating from Detroit under dire circumstances, to the New Orleans police force Quentin finds himself investigating the case of murdered Judge Lerner. When it seems the suspect is caught and the case could be closed, Solange Cordray, a third generational voodoo practitioner contacts Detective Quentin with information that may show a lot of well known city officials in a bad light. When two more judges are murdered, this really is cause for alarm. What is the killer trying to cover up? Why is Quentin’s boss and partner so set against the information that Solange has revealed to Quentin?

This book has a lot of suspense. Finding out why the judges are being murdered and by who; was Quentin’s wife death an accident? Who on the police force is working on the side, selling information? But, don’t worry. There’s not so much going on that you get lost. Along with the suspense the author adds in the attraction between Solange and Quentin. I like the attraction between the two and that they didn’t act on the attractive impulse. The ending left me with hopefulness that there will be a future book about the two.

The story wraps up nicely and ties all ends but the last chapter leaves me to believe that there will be more of Solange and Quentin working together. This is a full story and I like that the author didn’t water it down making the book much longer than it was. It is just the right length.

This is a great story presented in a masterful style that I highly recommend. This will be a treat for those that enjoy good suspense, with lively characters set in a city that is just as lively.

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