cover image Fever Moon

Fever Moon

Carolyn Haines, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 (294pp) ISBN 978-0-312-35161-8

Haines acknowledges her debt to James Lee Burke in this atmospheric historical (after 2005's Penumbra ), set in New Iberia Parish, La., at the close of WWII. Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux (sounds like Robicheaux) battles his own wartime demons as he tries to find the person responsible for the gruesome killing of wealthy landowner Henri Bastion. Fragile Adele Hebert confesses to the crime, but because she believes herself possessed, Thibodeaux assumes she's not the culprit. Superstitions lie as thick and menacing as the morning fog over the bayou, and word quickly spreads that a werewolf has overtaken Adele's body. Haines's greatest strength is her powerful sense of place: here the miasmic swamp is as alive and as threatening as any villain. Despite a predictably happy ending and an irritating tendency to repetition, Haines has created an engaging, memorable story. (Feb.)