Myth and murder collide in the bayou.
When Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux investigates a sighting of loup-garou, the mythic scourge of Louisiana’s New Iberia parish, he finds Adele Hebert ranting in the swamp, her hands twisted in the guts of Henri Bastion, the richest man in town, and blood everywhere. Raymond takes the admitted killer, consumed with fever, to Madame Louiselle for healing. Although his neighbors believe Adele is a werewolf and needs jailing at the very least, Raymond’s not as convinced and wonders if she’s been set up. Wrestling with her grief over the suicide of her sister Rosa and the death of her own twin boys and his own personal demons concerning the wartime death of his younger brother Antoine, Raymond is bedeviled by flashbacks, rampaging town folk and a shoal of other suspects, including Bastion’s malicious overseer, his sometime partner in liquor-distribution shenanigans and the prison convicts working his cane fields. Then a child goes missing. So does Adele. And Raymond is forced to confront the overseer, whom he ends up running over. Two more will die and the plot will meander through several gruesome southern byways before Adele and Raymond find some release.
Southern specialist Haines (Penumbra, 2006, etc.) presents a case that’s as macabre psychically as it is geographically, with enough emotional turmoil for a whole series.