Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Bad Karma in the Big Easy by D.J. Donaldson

Bad Karma in the Big Easy
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
310 pages, Astor + Blue Editions
Genres: Mystery, Adult

Andy Broussard, the plump and proud New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food. Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, the two make a powerful, although improbable, mystery-solving duo. Among the dead collected in The Big Easy floodwaters after Hurricane Katrina are three nude female bodies, all caught in the same brush tangle, none with water in their lungs. Broussard knows in his ample gut that this was not an act of God, and not the work of Katrina. But Broussard has perhaps the biggest challenge of his colorful career. The city and all its records are destroyed, practically the entire population is scattered, the police force has no offices, and many of the rank and file (who haven't defected) are homeless. Soon, Broussard and his sidekick are on a dangerous journey through the obscenely damaged city, leading them to a kind of evil that neither of them could imagine.

My Review

It’s like Bones, or Law & Order: SVU, or all the other cool crimes shows, just without Bones and Booth and Olivia and Elliot, instead there’s the “plump and proud” Broussard, and psychologist sidekick Kit. Bad Karma in the Big Easy could easily have its own TV show.

First off, I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t read any of the other books in this series. I was contacted to review this book, and I didn’t do my research. *sigh* BUT, you don’t have to read the other books to know what’s going on. It’s like I said earlier, this book could be its own TV show, and generally, you don’t have to watch the previous episode of a show to know what’s going on in the current episode. So that’s a big thumbs up!

At first, I was skeptical going into this. Would I like it? It’s not to my typical tastes. (I’m a YA fantasy reader, in case you didn’t know.) However, once I got about a tenth of the way through the book I was finding myself enjoying the storyline. I learned quite a bit of random medical and various other jargon and factoids. I also laughed out loud intermittently throughout the book.

The characters were great! Broussard had his own unique personality that I could picture quite easily, and Kit Franklyn was an interesting contrast to Broussard. The only thing I wish I could have seen, and felt, more of, was the dynamic between the two. This could also be said of the other few characters that were introduced. Maybe I wasn’t seeing it as much because I hadn’t read the other books? Also, I wasn’t really sure what Kit actually contributed through her profession, to the story. Don’t get me wrong, I liked her character and the plot developments, I just didn’t get a lot of psychiatrist vibes from her points of view.

The book’s plot had me guessing, and making a fool of myself, the entire time I was reading. Murder mysteries always have you thinking you know what the heck’s going to happen, and I had my theories, but what actually happened in the book had my theories looking pretty stupid. It’s definitely a shocking revelation when everything finally comes together in the end.

All in all, I went in to Bad Karma in the Big Easy not expecting much, but I actually managed to enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this book/series to anyone who thinks they might be interested in starting the Murder/Mystery genre, as well as anyone who’s already into it.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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