Dear Ms. DeLeon:
This is a book I bought based on Word o’ Mouth. It was billed as fast paced, laugh out loud, police procedure book. It was fast paced and a police procedure book but I wasn’t really sold on the “laugh out loud” part. Humor is a subjective thing. Fortunately, the book does not depend upon the humor aspect to be successful. Instead it relies upon the charm of the main characters and there it is successful.
Dorie Berenger is the de facto sheriff of Gator Bait, Louisiana, a small town whose greatest danger seems from alligators and economic downturn. On a call to assist a local colorful resident, Dorie encounters an alligator strung up on heroin and the finger of the man it was stolen from. Running the fingerprint through the national database brings DEA Richard Starke down to Gator Bait.
“Dick”, as the locals call him, is a city rube in that he has an immediate disdain for all things small town. This sets up Dorie’s back and almost everyone else in Gator Bait. Dick’s arrogance is overplayed which is one drawback of the book. Everyone seems to be drawn over the top. Dick is as much of an asshole as could be written. Dorrie and all the small town folk are as quirky as small town folks are perceived to be. This, I am sure, is where the comedic effect is supposed to be mined, but it felt forced.
The whodunit is fairly well crafted and there is a strong romance included in the story. Dorie and Dick have an instant physical attraction that is in conflict with their immediate personal dislike for the other. The conclusion of the novel includes not only a discovery of the villian but also a resolution to the developing relationship for Dorie and Dick.
Other drawbacks included no condom in the sex scene. I kept hearing the “whoop whoop whoop” sound of the submarine followed by “condom, condom, condom”. Alas, no condom. Even after Dorie and Dick have a discussion about being “clean”, there is no use of a condom. To me, this seems like very dangerous activity by a very smart woman.
At some points, the story lacked authenticity for me. Dick became transformed almost too easily. His opinions and prejudices seemed deeply entrenched (although not based on experience) but were whisked away with a few encounters and his lust for Dorie.
This was a quick read, with a decent suspense story. I thoroughly enjoyed the competent Dorie and the vivid imagery of Gaitor Bait, Louisiana. B-