Series: Wilds of the Bayou #1
Published by Montlake Romance on 5th April 2016
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The bones said death was comin’, and the bones never lied.
While on an early morning patrol in the swamps of Whiskey Bayou, Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard spots a man leaving the home of voodoo priestess Eva Savoie—a man who bears a startling resemblance to his brother, whom Gentry thought he had killed during a drug raid three years earlier. Shaken, the agent enters Eva’s cabin and makes a bloody discovery: the old woman has been brutally murdered.
With no jurisdiction over the case, he’s forced to leave the investigation to the local sheriff, until Eva’s beautiful heir, Celestine, receives a series of gruesome threats. As Gentry’s involvement deepens and more victims turn up, can he untangle the secrets behind Eva’s murder and protect Celestine from the same fate? Or will an old family curse finally have its way?
I had ‘Wild Man’s Curse’ on my reading list for the longest time and since Susannah Sandlin was one of the authors whose writing I sort of do remember quite well, I settled in for the ride.
It became a long, long ride somehow, in between weeks, where I had to put it down because of its rather slow pacing (and life’s interruptions) even if I never quite forgot the plot and how it progressed in that time. Sandlin however, does an admirable job of building the suspense, mixing it up a little with bits of esoteric beliefs that run through Ceelie Savoie’s ancestry. Her growing relationship with Gentry Broussard feels like a natural one, though the latter is tortured by his own family history and his own involvement in the unsolved crime that he’s gotten too deep into.
Both Gentry and Ceelie are great characters really, their relationship characterised by a maturity of writing that I really love to see in the RS authors who do sometimes tend to favour action over character development.
Yet ‘Wild Man’s Curse’ turned out to be a bit of a misnomer; in fact, like most crime-stories, the motivation is money and that’s eventually what’s revealed in the entire roundabout chase at the climax. In all, Sandlin’s first book isn’t a bad read but a somewhat nondescript one amongst the many Romantic Suspense titles that have stood out a little more.