In Randisi’s satisfying conclusion to the trilogy that began with Upon My Soul and continued with Souls of the Dead, former contract killer Sangster appears content to live out his life playing chess on the front porch of his New Orleans home, a cold bottle of Blackened Voodoo beer at his side. But has he really given up his life of crime? His position is explained by this exchange between Sangster and a sexy wannabe hit woman. “So you’re not a hired killer, but you’re still a killer,” she says. Sangster replies, “We can’t completely change who we are. But I don’t kill anyone if I don’t have to.” When Father Patrick, a Catholic priest and one of Sangster’s chess partners, confides that his own life is under threat from a Philadelphia-based organized crime family, Sangster steps up to help. The tale bubbles along, a veritable gumbo brimming with gangsters, bitter mothers, cold-blooded killers, alligators, and a touch of voodoo. The whole shebang is permeated with New Orleans atmosphere that’s as tantalizingly fragrant as a freshly baked beignet from Cafe Du Monde. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Feb.)
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