Disclaimer : I was provided a free copy from Adam at Astor + Blue in return for an honest review
Part of the Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn Mystery series, but can be read standalone.
During an Ebola-like viral outbreak in New Orleans identical to the one chronicled in the best-seller The Hot Zone, Chief Medical Examiner Andy Broussard and criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn find that the lethal epidemic is not the only killer stalking the Big Easy.
When Kit Franklyn receives a mysterious invitation to Grandma O's famous Cajun restaurant along with one long-stemmed yellow rose, she can't resist the urge to discover the identity of her suitor. At the restaurant, she approaches a table where an older gentleman is waiting with another rose. He stands, speaks her name, and keels over dead. Who is this stranger? And why do her parents seem to be holding something back when she tells them the story? Broussard's autopsy of the dead man uncovers the presence of a deadly virus that causes its victims to bleed to death in a matter of days - a virus for which there is no known cure. While conducting an investigation into the dead man's identity, Kit and her long time boyfriend, Teddy LaBiche, disappear. Another corpse shows up in the early stages of the same disease as the first victim, but with ligature marks around his neck and bearing a clue to Kit and Teddy's whereabouts. Broussard's race to save Kit and Teddy and stop the spread of the virus results in a chilling confrontation with a brilliant, extremely violent psychopath deep in the Louisiana bayou, revealing the lengths to which a family will go to keep its dark secrets.
This book is a unique read, especially for myself I do not often read medical thrillers or thrillers. It is always good to step out your comfort zone and try new things. So when I was offered a chance to read and review I thought why not?
From the minute you start reading your interest is captured and you are in for a adrenaline roller coaster ride, It is fast paced from the start and the author's writing style adds to this with short, direct descriptive sentences. He also writes with such detail that you can picture everything in your head so clearly. He uses his medical knowledge to make the medical facts and autopsies realistic and detailed. Which is always an interest to readers. It adds another dimension to the readers experience, however I would advise a strong stomach. There was a lot of moments where I was left feeling unpleasantly queasy.
Even though I have not read any of the books prior to this one in the series, I did not find it hard to get attached to the main characters. It was obvious there is history between them although i feel that both underwent a great deal of growth and development throughout the book. They were realistic and both became endeared to me, even to the point where I did start to worry over them. However as realistic as realistic as i found them, I did get frustrated with them. I found the way they dealt with certain situations a little contrived and the ending was slightly disappointing especially Kit's attitude/behaviour.
The stand out thing for me in this book was the author's way of giving the virus, its own sort of personality/being. The way he gave us an insight into it was one you would expect of a serial killer novel. The use of sections from it's viewpoint was genius.
This is a good read, however I did struggle a bit. It was in no way an easy read for me. I often found myself needing a break not from the story but from the medical jargon and graphic details. However I do think that was a personal thing and not a reflection on the author or his book. I would recommend this book to fans of mystery, thriller novels especially those of medical thrillers.
My Rating :
Louisiana Fever is going for 99 cents on the e-format all through October. So are 3 others of the author's books (Sleeping with the Crawfish, Bad Karma in the Big Easy, and New Orleans Requiem, which are part of the Broussard & Franklyn series).
About the Author
D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.
He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.