“Another body was found in the French Quarter, throat slit. The report was void of much detail except for one fact that made Broussard’s stomach turn. The victim held a crude wooden cross in his hand and had “XXX” carved in his forehead. The reporter wrote that it was the mark of the so-called Bayou Slasher, New Orleans’s name for its latest serial killer.”
When a third murder in the French Quarter forces New Orleans police to confront the fact that they have a serial killer on their hands, Captain Raleigh Broussard puts his top detective on the case. The last two murders have led to dead ends, without any DNA evidence and only a loose connection to Voodoo to work from. While Detective Rebecca Simone and her team are investigating the third murder the killer strikes again, this time killing two victims at once. With DNA evidence finally found at the newest scene, all signs point to a local man who quickly becomes their top suspect. Between the forensic data and Voodoo trinkets found at his apartment, Simone is certain they have the right guy.
Farther north, however, it seems the FBI has been keeping close tabs on this case from their offices in Washington D.C. Enter Special Agent Christopher DiMeglio. Fearing Simone and her team have arrested an innocent man, he packs his bags and heads for uncharted territory.
What DiMeglio lacks in familiarity with the culture of New Orleans, he makes up for in knowledge of serial killers. Combined with Simone’s local expertise, the two form a tentative rapport under the common goal of keeping the city safe. With doubt about their initial suspect’s guilt mounting, it’s a race against time to either prove his guilt or find the real killer. After all, if they do have the wrong man, the Bayou Slasher can, and will, strike again.
The latest thriller from Douglas J. Wood, Blood on the Bayou (Plum Bay Publishing, March 2022, ISBN: 9781734884869, Trade Paperback), showcases his ability to build a suspenseful and thought-provoking story. With a mix of complicated characters and insightful commentary on the state of policing, Wood brings the reader right into the difficult world that public servants must navigate. Dealing with pressure from the public, internal corruption and racism, and the constraints of the legal system, Wood allows for a glimpse into the frustrating conditions police often find themselves working under. Rather than shying away from difficult topics, Wood fully and rightfully explores them through the narrative of a gripping murder mystery that will leave readers dying to know what happens next.
“And how do you do that? How would you take care of the racists?’
“Another good question that haunts us every day. Education is one way. But dealing with racists under our laws is a challenge, including those among our fellow officers. Look at Guidry. He’s as racist as they come and he’s the top cop. We all too often give him and others like him embedded in society rights beyond what they deserve, even electing them to office.”
“You sound frustrated.”
“Find me a cop who isn’t.”
About the Author
Douglas J. Wood is the award-winning author of many books, both fiction and non-fiction. Blood on the Bayou is his sixth novel. He lives in North Carolina with Carol Ann, his wife of 48 years. They are blessed with three grown children and four adorable grandchildren.
Blood on the Bayou
By Douglas J. Wood
Plum Bay Publishing
Publication Date: March 2022