A gripping third chapter for one of the most unforgettable and compelling heroines in crime fiction
"You have a temper, Officer Coughlin, and a propensity for violence . . . You're a bit of a hazard. To others. To yourself."
Maureen Coughlin is a bona fide New Orleans cop now, and, with her training days behind her, she likes to think she's getting the lay of the land. Then a mysterious corpse leads to more questions than answers, and a late-night traffic stop goes very wrong. The fallout leaves Maureen contending with troubled friends, fraying loyalties, cop-hating enemies old and new, and an elusive, spectral, and murderous new nemesis—and all the while navigating the twists and turns of a city and a police department infected with dysfunction and corruption.
Bill Loehfelm is a rising star in crime fiction. And his Maureen Coughlin is the perfect protagonist: complicated, strong-willed, sympathetic (except when she's not), and as fully realized in Loehfelm's extraordinary portrayal as the New Orleans she patrols. The first two installments in this series won Loehfelm accolades as well as fans, and Doing the Devil's Work only ups the ante. It's even faster, sharper, and more thrilling than its predecessors. Taut and fiery, vibrant and gritty, and peopled with unforgettable characters, this is the sinuous, provocative story of a good cop struggling painfully into her own.
ABA IndieNext Selection for January, 2015
Loehfelm's third crime novel featuring the marvelously complex New Orleans police officer Maureen Coughlin (after 2013's The Devil in Her Way) is every bit as good as its standout predecessors, and provides fresh evidence that Maureen merits a long literary life. While Maureen is on routine patrol in a seedy part of town, a sickening smell leads her to the corpse of a white male with his throat slit, in a house that turns out to belong to Caleb Heath, who's the son of a major power broker. Caleb disclaims any knowledge of the dead man, whose body bears a tattoo used by neo-Nazis, and who is subsequently identified as Edgar Cooley, a federal fugitive. The investigation, which may implicate fellow cops, takes several unexpected turns, and Maureen finds herself in morally compromising positions. The often lyrical prose will remind many of the grim, hard-edged style of James Ellroy (e.g., "her empty eyes pointed up at the stars and the wide expanse of indigo sky, her mouth slightly open in surprise."