Five months after a hurricane has devastated New Orleans, native Nicole Naquin is home for the first time in decades. She's living next door to her mother Miss Gertie, an elderly evacuee from Lakeview reduced to pushing pills in a French Quarter gay bar. On the day Nicole's brother is killed in a drive-by shooting, she crashes the car into her high-school sweetheart's FEMA trailer, igniting a sexy romance among the ruins. Homicide detective Vinnie Panarello, himself charged with murder for a shooting after the storm, is assigned to the drive-by case, and works at furious cross-purposes with hippie sleuth Gary Cherry to find the brother's killer. In the process, they uncover much more than either expected.
This award-winning comic noir novel is a romp though a gritty city fighting for its life, from the mayoral election to Mardi Gras, Lakeview to the French Quarter, the Garden District to Parish Prison. It's a classic story of individual redemption amid collective destruction, one in which crooked politicians rule the day, leaving displaced home owners, bereaved mothers, drag queens, and illegal immigrants to band together for survival and justice. The real protagonist-the people of New Orleans-won't be fooled any longer. As Miss Gertie says, "I'm moving to higher ground."