In New Orleans Requiem by D. J. Donaldson, we are introduced to a wonderful medical examiner, Andy Broussard. Plump and proud, he loves his food. His looks deceive even the most wary of fiends, for he is not only one of the best in his field, but he hates murderers. To top it off his helper is psychologist Kit Franklyn, and together they are unstoppable.
When a man is found stabbed with one eyelid removed and four Scrabble tiles on his chest they are both appalled and intrigued. What is the killer trying to tell them? As the killings continue the pattern is obvious, and it does not appear as though he will go away. Can they figure out the clues before he can continue with his macabre game?
Donaldson has given us a wonderful character in Broussard. He is very human and full of fun. He enjoys his food, but he is spot on in his dislike of those who take the lives of others. He is witty and charming, yet also has the degree of toughness to get him through some of the worst of killings. You will find him to be an unlikely hero, yet champion for the dead all the same.
Kit too is an interesting character, and her strength lends solidity to Broussard in a very uncanny way. Together they are as two parts of a whole and they can bend and twist the bizarre evidence into contortions that make sense.
If you enjoy mysteries and the inner workings of medical examiners, you will find this a great read. If you enjoy the whodunit type of mystery, overseen by very human characters then you have found a new type of hero.
Donaldson has given us a grisly killer playing a sick game, and as his characters move forward to find who the killer really is. There is a twist of surprise that keeps you guessing to the very end.