Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Review: Rumble on the Bayou

Rumble on the Bayou by Jana DeLeon

3 1/2 stars

Summary: Deputy/game warden Dorie Berenger doesn't see much crime in Gator Bait, Louisiana. Gators get into the shrimp house, Maylene Thibodeaux is usually drunk and not wearing enough clothing, and maybe a few guys get out of hand at Pete's Bar. But when a gator that's high on heroin turns up in Maylene's pool, Dorie knows she's in for trouble. And that trouble takes the form of DEA Agent Richard Starke - uptight, demanding and trying to take over her turf. The folks of Gator Bait aren't about to tell this city slicker anything, so he and Dorie team up (reluctantly) to catch the drug smuggler.

Why'd I pick it up? The title and rather cute gator in the pool on the cover caught my eye.

Favourite scenes: Maylene's horrifying beauty treatment (I won't spoil it for you). The bad-guy-catching climax.

Overall: I somehow ended up taking 2 mystery-romances set in the South with alligators as supporting characters on holiday with me! But that was okay, because this one, like Don't Look Down, was a good read.

The setting plays a big part - Gator Bait, with its small-town folks who look out for one another and the surrounding gator-filled bayous is almost a character itself because Dorie loves it so much ("I can't breathe anywhere else" she says) and Richard comes to love it, too, because the town loves Dorie. I think it would be nice to have such a caring extended family, even if some of them are bordering on crazy.

Despite Richard and Dorie initially rubbing each other the wrong way, the romance blossoms nicely. And just when you think there can't be any more decades-old secrets or plot twists, another one appears.

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