Bound By Blood
St. Martin’s, Feb 2008, $24.95
In Louisiana, attorney Neil Gross calls New Orleans Police Detective Jack Brenner with intriguing information although the source is unreliable. Neil’s client “redneck scumbag” Emmett Graves on death row claims he has information pertaining to two homicides three decades ago in Bon Terre; one of the victims was Jack’s cousin David who along with another civil rights advocate was murdered. Graves insists Brenner visit him at Angola if he wants to know more.
Unable to resist, Brenner learns from Graves that he was in Bon Terre when the murders occurred. He implies town martinet businessman Avery Hammond was involved. In the town, no one will talk to Brenner. However as he and his temporary partner Keisha Lundy work the drive-by shooting of a high school athlete; they also investigate the Grave’s claim with the help of reporter Willow Ashe, who was the now married Brenner’s long ago first girlfriend in an atmosphere where someone is willing to kill cops and a TV journalist to keep the 1972 homicides a cold case.
This is an entertaining Big Easy police procedural although the two cases at times slow each other down. Still Brenner is a fascinating lead character as he tries to do what he believes is right for his late cousin, but not only has someone trying to kill him, his family and his boss are upset with him. New Orleans police procedural fans will enjoy this suspenseful tale.