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BURNT BLACK by Ed Kovacs

BURNT BLACK

By Ed Kovacs

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-250-02029-1
Publisher: Minotaur

A detective must use street sense to suss out the murderer in a secretive occult group even though he lacks the wit to turn his on-the-job friendship into romance.

Although he’s officially employed by the New Orleans Police Department as a detective, Cliff St. James (Good Junk, 2012, etc.) only works cases that are considered to be five-alarm. These high-profile murders come into the department’s purview considerably more than once in a blue moon, and Police Chief Pointer wants to make sure things are kept under wraps when they do. When St. James and partner Honey Baybee are called to an unusual death scene, St. James suspects that there may be foul play involved, but Honey disagrees. The involvement of local professor and world-class occultist Dr. Robert Drake makes Chief Pointer wary that the investigation will be susceptible to bad press, and he orders St. James and Honey to get to the bottom of things fast. Investigating the world of New Orleans voodoo leads the two to what may be the inner workings of a Mexican drug cartel, and the mounting body count adds to their sense that their investigation has been cursed. Worse still, St. James and Honey’s disagreements about the fundamentals of the case begin to affect their relationship with one another, which St. James has always hoped could be more than a friendship.

The vibrant description of occult doings mixes well with the movements of the earthbound characters, making this Cliff and Honey’s best outing to date.