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Bourbon Street is Back… With a Vengeance

The noir thriller that broke all the rules is back in print: the second edition of Alex Moreau burning down his white father's house in 1958 New Orleans.

Dick Adler of Chicago Tribune says:

"From James Sallis, Robert Skinner and Dick Lochte to Barbara Hambly, Julie Smith, and of course, James Lee Burke, New Orleans has long been a streetcar straight to a mystery lover's heart. Now comes a debut book by Leonce Gaiter that deserves a place on that map."

John Broussard of I Love a Mystery says:
"'Bourbon Street' is a surreal novel deriving much of its bizarre quality from the truly surreal setting of New Orleans during Mardi Gras… Gaiter manages to keep the reader guessing up to the last... a riveting tale of inter-racial hatred and its effects on both blacks and whites."

African-American Literature Book Club says:
"It has been a long while since I read a book as complex and gorgeous as Bourbon Street... a sheer joy to read from beginning to end."
(Read the review.)

Kirkus Reviews says:
"The ensuing cycle of Mardi Gras violence is set forth in prose by turns as grandiloquent as Faulkner and clipped and stylized to a fare-thee-well."

In 1958, gambler Deke Watley leaves the comfort of Texas for the toxic chiaroscuro of Mardi Gras New Orleans. He smells the chance of a lifetime. But from the moment Deke enters the plush world of blinded, but still powerful business magnate August Moreau and his half-black son--the mercurial, angry, wildly inventive Alex--no one that Deke encounters is quite what he seems. Not the desk clerk, who hides half his face behind a black silk sheath; not the well-spoken black bellhop who totes a gun in his expensively tailored suits. Not the cunning, insatiable Stacy or her timid husband, Pritchett. And certainly not the elusive, beautiful Hannah: She once killed a man, although that was some years after Deke knew, almost loved, and abandoned her in a small town back in Texas.

Amid the noise and the frenzy of Mardi Gras--drunken crowds, streamers flying like electric currents, bejeweled costumes glittering--Deke stumbles through this foreign, lurid town, seeking a return to the innocence he turned his back on long ago. However, time is running out and old debts must be paid before Deke--or any other hustler--leaves Bourbon Street alive.

"The past crawled all over the city like insects on a carcass." In this unimaginable world, Deke's destiny is talking him, and it often does not wear a mask.

"Bourbon Street" explores the dark side of the sad, notorious city called New Orleans.