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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: CRESCENT CITY KILLS!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: CRESCENT CITY KILLS!

O’NEIL DU NOUX

(POSTING UP EARLY THIS WEEK)

I’ve written several Forgotten Books posts in the past on tomes written by current or ex-police officers. As an ex-New Orleans Police Department homicide detective, with an impressive record of case clearances, Du Noux’s novels are among the best from this genre. He clearly knows both the city and the dark side of police work, presenting them in the honest, harsh lighting only somebody who has investigated on those streets can achieve.

Crescent City Kills is the fourth book in Du Noux’s series about New Orleans homicide detective Dino LaStanza.

LaStanza, a Sicilian-American, born of immigrants into a city whose culture is still dominated by ancient families.  Like Du Noux himself, Lastanza, 'The Leopard,' carries an unbroken string of solved homicide cases (Du Noux solved all 15 homicides where he was the lead investigator - an amazing record).

Married to money, La Stanza flaunts his Maserati, which was stolen in a previous novel because he was cocky enough to drive it around the wrong parts of town.

LaStanza’s wife is not only smarter than him, she’s also a sexual fireball. This grates a little sometimes, a new author still finding his way, but Du Noux makes the overall character of LaStanza work very well.

In later books, Du Noux gets a firmer grip on these types of conceits and goes with his strengths, his knowledge of New Orleans, assured plotting, and his investigative expertise.

CRESCENT CITY KILLS

Bay City Blues

New Orleans has its share of steamy pleasures, but nothing could compare to the sights in the dangerous section across the river called Algiers. Overrun by pimps and drug dealers, it was a place where even thrill seeking tourists knew that a few minutes of fun could cost them their lives. So when the two junkie prostitutes washed up brutally murdered along the river walk in Algiers, even the police didn't ask questions and no one seemed to care.

No one except hardworking homicide detective Dino LaStanza. Defying his chief's orders to stick to solving high profile crimes, LaStanza hit the dirty streets of Algiers with his sexy new partner as bait for the killer. The two dedicated cops worked the nights, putting the right kind of heat on the wrong kind of people for the answers that lead to a deadly manhunt that could cost them their careers – or their lives!

The streets of New Orleans come alive on De Noux's beat. His view of cops is uncompromising, his gallows humor natural, and his eye for the inside details is unerring.

A number of Du Noux’s works are available as e-books. I’ve recently downloaded and read several of his short story collections and enjoyed them immensely.

THE DINO LASTANZA NOVELS:

GRIM REAPER (1988)
THE BIG KISS (1990)
BLUE ORLEANS (1991)
CRESCENT CITY KILLS (1992)
THE BIG SHOW (1998)

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