"It was the night of a full moon and a total lunar eclipse when a young girl with a weak heart was laid down on the floor amidst a circle of candles in a room of stone."
The Bourbon Street Ripper by Leo King is a dark and thrilling mystery. Set in the New Orleans French Quarter during the 90's, there is a killer on the loose. Horrifically torturing victims before killing them by vivisection, this person is eerily similar to an infamous killer from 20 years previously- the Bourbon Street Ripper- so named for his similar MO to Jack the Ripper and surgical abilities. The question is whether this is a copycat and, therefore, a serial killer. The race is on to find The Bourbon Street Ripper copycat before they kill again.
Heading the investigation is Rodger Bergeron, a seasoned cop who put away the Bourbon Street Ripper, but left him with plenty of trauma, and his partner, Michael LeBlanc, a very intelligent man with little to no social skills. As they try to find evidence and leads, their lives intersect with Sam Castille (the only living descent of the Bourbon Street Ripper and a woman with understandable emotion scars) and Richie Fastellos (an author in town for a book signing, who also has anxiety issues). Together, the four of them try to solve the case, for the sake of their home and themselves.
As the case makes little progress and more women die, tensions run high. Sam and Rodger have past issues that need to be resolved for both their sakes, Michael and Rodger develop problems as the former feels his partner is deliberately keeping him out of the loop, and Richie must decide whether to stay and help or leave and go back to the safety of his home in Pittsburgh.
The four try to figure out where the killer will strike next and who the target will be by revisiting the old Bourbon Street Ripper files. When more of the past is revealed and small clues begin to shed a different light on the past killings and meaning for them, everyone must fight to stay sane and alive in a torrent of gangsters, voodoo and a mysterious Nite Priory leaving messages with dangerous men.
The Bourbon Street Ripper is a dark, gritty and graphic telling of a murder in a place ripe with faith and belief. The line between reality and fiction is blurred indecipherably. Haitian voodoo and worship to the loa (the gods of their belief) keep appearing in the case, without any evidence that it even factors at all in the big picture.
The characters are realistic and each comes with their own set of very real, very difficult problems. Whether they be from guilt, anger or fear. There's also the added uncertainty that any of them are innocent. In fact, for all we know one of them is the actual killer and as this book ends with more questions than answers, we'll have to wait for the next instalment to finally know. I have theories aplenty, but there can only be one answer.
I enjoyed this first part of the Sins of the Father series. There is a second part to come before the final reveal and the end of this first book ends on such a cliffhanger that it will leave you unable to stop reading.
A warning to those of younger age (or those who just don't like it), but there are very graphic scenes and course language is present. If you're okay with those, like mythology (and enjoy whodunits) then this is a great book for you. It's a little longer than most (at almost 500 pages), but the words fly by as the tension builds and the story unfolds. A fantastic first instalment that will leave you begging for more.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author through a giveaway. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.