New Orleans Beat
Detective Skip Langdon, New Orleans homicide, is given a case four days after the victim died. He fell from a ladder, apparently an accident. It was only when the autopsy showed that Geoff Kavanagh, "Vidkid", had both a fractured ankle and fractured skull that the death was questioned as more.
As Skip investigates, she discovers that Geoff's father, a policeman, had been killed 27 years before. Is there a connection? Or is the connection the TOWN? The TOWN is a cyber gathering place on the Internet that has a number of members from New Orleans as well as a group in California. Geoff spent a lot of his time in the TOWN when he wasn't working his job at the video store.
Steve Steinman, Skip's significant man, offers her the use of his TOWN name and password. She dips into cyberspace to see if she can uncover what happened to Geoff. She also investigates Geoff's step fathers, the first being his uncle, a policeman like his brother. The second is a computer programmer. He had taught Geoff his love of computers. He, unfortunately, had been out of town when the "accident" occurred.
This novel explores two worlds - the real one of New Orleans and the cyber world that existed in the first half of the 1990's. When comparing the cyberworld she projects then to our one less than ten years later, any user who uses chat rooms and the Net knows they could be subject to danger. Computer skills and hackers skills and sophistication improve practically daily. The New Orleans middle class society and police society are also highlighted here. It is an interesting mix.
New Orleans Beat tends to drag. Jimmy Dee, Skip's landlord, has adopted his niece and nephew. They add to Skip's confused life as they look to her for the female touch they miss now their mother has died. Steve is in California and trying to talk to Skip. Meanwhile, she finds herself attracted to another man. All the pieces are there - a strange murder, odd religious practices, possible police corruption, the cyberworld, and the human context. Yet it never quite meshes. Read this as part of the series. But I don't recommend this one to start this group of books.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
Book Rating System