Voodoo Season: A Marie Laveau Mystery
Jewell Parker Rhodes. Atria Books, $24 (277pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-8327-8
Medicine and voodoo may seem at odds, but Marie Levant, first-year resident at New Orleans's Charity Hospital, discovers she has a gift for more than one kind of healing. Rhodes develops this theme to full advantage in her second book (after Voodoo Dreams) about this descendant of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen. Strange forces are at work in the humid heat, and Marie is plagued by disturbing dreams and the sense that she has lived this life before. She employs her inner strength and feminist powers in pursuit of the murderer of the gentle and handsome young man who shared her bed one evening, awakening feelings she had too long ignored. Marie's mother fled to Chicago when she was small and cleaned houses to survive. When the mother died mysteriously, the daughter went into foster care. Events intensify with Marie's delivery of a dead girl's living baby. She feels herself the mother and resolves to find the baby's origins. Rhodes's tale of spiritual empowerment and prophetic vision reveals the practice of voodoo as good as well as evil. Nonbelievers along with the initiated will be riveted throughout.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2005