Critically-acclaimed author Ed Kovacs presents Book Three in his thrilling Cliff Saint James series of murder mystery crime novels set in New Orleans. Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, the Associated Press, and many other major reviewers have given great reviews to this series of private detective cop thrillers. New York Times Bestselling Author Jonathan Maberry said “Kovacs comes out of the gate with a bang.” And Steve Berry called Kovacs a “vivid addition to the thriller genre.”
In BURNT BLACK, Cliff St. James #3, the detective returns along with his partner Honey to investigate a baffling series of ritualistic deaths that may be connected to a bizarre secret society. The 74,000 word novel "has more twists and turns than the streets and back alleys of New Orleans," according to a review in Criminal Element.
New Orleans Homicide Detective Cliff St. James and his partner Honey are still trying to piece their lives together a year and a half after a killer storm decimated the city. St. James is in top fighting form, but physical ability plays little importance in the bizarre case he and Honey are now ensnared in--a succession of baffling deaths tied to a secretive occult group.
The investigation not only proves frustrating, but also drives a wedge between St.James and Honey, putting tremendous pressure on their relationship. As they probe the puzzling, ritualistic deaths, they uncover high strangeness in the freakish New Orleans netherworld of alternative spiritual beliefs.
Pushing forward an investigation fraught with strange occurrences and brutal death, St.James and Honey catch nothing but bad breaks as they struggle to determine which of their suspects is the killer, or perhaps the next victim.
This revised, Second Edition of BURNT BLACK is in the time-honored tradition of works by Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Lee Child, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammet, James Ellroy, and Dennis Lehane.
Outr crime elements compensate only in part for the relatively weak plot of Kovacs's third novel featuring New Orleans PD homicide detective Cliff St. James (after 2012's Good Junk). Sixteen months after hurricane Katrina, while St. James and his police partner and close friend, Honey Baybee, are looking at a house for Honey's mother on a day off, they receive a radio report of shots fired next door. The two cops enter the house in question, which reminds St. James of the French Quarter's Voodoo Museum, with its clutter of fetishes, rattles, and drums. In one room they find the bodies of two naked Hispanic men on a sacrificial altar; the victims look as if they died of fright. The ante gets upped significantly when evidence emerges that the Skulls, "a bloodthirsty, brutally ruthless Mexican drug cartel," may somehow be involved. Kovacs's depiction of post-Katrina New Orleans in this installment isn't as compelling as his work in the two previous books in the series.