Oh, Those Werewolves Again
I’ve tried reading Lori Handeland‘s previous novels in her Nightcreature series, but I’ve always stopped after the first two or three chapters and then skimmed. They’re all in first person and for some reason, it felt jarring to me due to the disconnect between the character’s attitude and her situation. I’m not a particular fan of first person POV anyway–I trust very few authors (such as Robin McKinley and Connie Willis) to actually do it right. However, with Rising Moon, I think Handeland finally manages to nail it–as I found myself pulled all the way through to the end.
Private eye Anne Lockheart is obsessed with her sister’s disappearance. It doesn’t help that on the night Katie vanished Anne had a fight with her that caused her to storm off. So when Anne receives a package in the mail containing a photo of her sister standing in front of a club in New Orleans, she immediately takes off, convinced that she’s finally found the trail. This leads her to the Rising Moon, a club owned by the mysterious John Rodolfo. Anne wheedles her way into a job at the club, hoping that she might glean more information on her sister’s whereabouts in the French Quarter, but things quickly get weird.
For a PI, Anne sometimes acts too ditzy although she has the awareness that some of her actions qualify as stupid. Her one-track mind blinds her to all the clues and little indications that things are not what they seem. Rodolfo is suitably magnetic and shady. Anne is reluctantly compelled by his presence even when he disappears at strange times, meets with people who are later found dead, and lures people to his club with his saxophone playing–just like the pied piper.
I thought it was an interesting twist on who was behind getting Anne to New Orleans and in what happened to her sister. However, after finding out exactly who Rodolfo was (especially after looking through one of the previous books in the series), it seemed rather unbelievable–in a character development sort of way. Just as Anne finds it impossible to reconcile the personality swings of one of the secondary characters, I found it difficult to believe that Rodolfo did such a turn around from one book to the next. This is where the first person POV fails–in some circumstances, unless we actually get a glimpse inside another character’s head, the reader is going to come away baffled at some character behavior.