100 Books in 2011 challenge: Voodoo River

I’m way behind on the 100 books in 2011 challenge, so I’m picking short, easy reads to try to catch up. Robert Crais is an easy read, and Voodoo River comes in at less than 300 pages.

Elvis Cole is hired to find out about the birth parents of an adopted woman, who is a TV star born in Louisiana. He finds out that her father was black and that her mother’s father killed him, facts known to a local private detective and a local crime lord. The mother and her husband know about the murder and that it was covered up. They’re being blackmailed and the husband, the sheriff, turns a blind eye to the crime lord’s human trafficking business.

It’s a pretty complicated plot to be wrapped up in a short book. It never feels like anything is being revealed too quickly, whilst at the same time, everything is there to make it all add up. It is well done and this is probably the best of Crais’ that I’ve read.

Characterisation is handled well and most characters are reasonably fleshed out. The dialogue got on my nerves a little. Cajun dialect was indicated by dropped letters and phonetic spellings rather than by cadence and word choice. It often felt heavy-handed. Other than that I enjoyed it.

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