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Three moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover), ISBN 0-312-24271-3
Voodoo Moon starts like a house on fire -- make that, it starts like a mental institution on fire. After the fire dies down, the firemen sifting the ashes discover gnawed human bones with strange markings. The bones seem to prove voodoo and cannibalism existed in the institution. The doctor/voodoo master dies, or does he? Twenty-five years later, a young man claiming to be possessed by the doctor murders his estranged girl friend.  

Book: Ed Gorman, Voodoo MoonTandy West, psychic and friend of Robert Payne, asks him to come to the small town in Iowa and help her prove the boy's innocence or guilt. Payne, formerly a psychological profiler for the F.B.I, agrees, but only because his dealings with her evoke pleasant sexual memories. Once in town, Payne meets the usual -- and some very unusual -- suspects. Dead bodies appear in unlikely places like motel closets, motel beds and things of that ilk. It doesn't take long before Payne's in bed with Tandy, at odds with her sister, shot at from ambush, and meets a beautiful but scarred sheriff who excites his libido. 

Book: Ed Gorman, The Day the Music DiedThe fourth book in a series starring Robert Payne, Voodoo Moon occasionally refers to happenings in the previous books. I found that a little confusing but not enough so that it marred my enjoyment of the book. The plot and characterization entwine, each enhancing the other. Intelligent and well-read, Payne's first-person narration tends to wander into the esoteric at times, but that adds to rather than detracting from the tale of murder, deception and more than a bit, of madness.  

The flawed characters, the meandering plot, the increasing sense of danger, the secrets that come slowly to light, combine to produce a first class mystery. And, yes, I am going to go back and read the first three -- I liked the protagonist, thinning hair and all. 

Patricia White

Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the contemporary PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books . The Wandering Troll, an electronic magazine, began serializing her novel Prophecy Be Damned in April 2000.

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