The Blue Garou (Detective ‘Cadillac’ Holland Mystery Series Book 1)
The investigation ultimately turns up Federal investigations into a rap music label and a cache of missing firearms, a dog fighting ring, the blackmailing of a famous actress, and exposes far more things about Cadillac's background than William Avery, NOPD’s Chief of Detectives, ever wanted to know when he assigned the Detective to find a solution to the case which would “reach a conclusion in line with everyone’s perception of justice”.
The mystery involving Cadillac's father's death (The nickname is clever and appropriate) as well as the investigation of a hip hop mogul's murder open a can of worms in after-Katrina New Orleans.
The plot is ingenious and the characters are comfortable within their crafted skin. Occasionally, books in the genre offer an absurd explanation to the mystery and a good book ends laughable. The Blue Garou is the opposite. You don't feel pressed into believing nonsense. I could trust the characters to do exactly as the author imagined they would; their personalities are a perfect match to their behavior.
The high purpose to me was the importance given to a dog which kills a man. Shooting the creature is discussed, but it stays alive. If you want my cynical understanding, Taz, a pit bull, killed a convicted fellon, and it interferes with the generous decision which starts a comprehensive investigative effort. In the end, Cadillac proves the pit bull a victim of maltreatment and illegal exploitation.
I am content the ending gives everyone what it should. Good to the good and bad to the bad.
I choose to believe good triumphs over evil. If you like the same, the Blue Garou is a 5 star book for you.
We learn that New Orleans “is far less of a place to live than it is a way to live. It’s history and culture creep into your soul like a kudzu vine.”
Like New Orleans, protagonist Cooter Holland also creeps into the reader’s mind. Cooter lives above a New Orleans bistro that he owns with his close friend, Chef Tony. As the story unfolds we learn that Cooter served with the Green Berets in the Middle East and was involved with secret ops. After his service, Cooter returned to NOLA to investigate his father’s mysterious death during hurricane Katrina. Cooter is a jaded, dark, but brave and talented man.
Cooter or “Cadillac” is a State Trooper and he also has an informal relationship with the city police. He witnesses a horrible crime and gets drawn into the gritty side of New Orleans. It appears that a pit bull is the murder weapon. Cooter heads the investigation, basically on his own, and we get to accompany Cooter as he meets a variety of characters and suspects- some beautiful, some unsavory.
Cooter unravels the mystery of the pit bull and the blue garou, as well as mystery of his father’s disappearance in a way that makes sense after many suspenseful twists and turns. The writing is clear and the story is fast-paced. Cooter Holland is a multi-faceted character, the flawed and lonely hardened detective. His sister Tulip is an appealing counter-foil.
Author Hiller shows us that there are many flawed parts of New Orleans. While hurricane Katrina was responsible for much of the destruction, the raw lifestyle of the city is also hard on the residents’ souls. I was intrigued by this book. I would have preferred more action and less talk, but there is plenty of tactical excitement that will thrill most fans of detective crime novels.