A feeling of profound sorrow permeates Carolyn Haines’ latest novel, Fever Moon. Set in the 1940s deep in the Louisiana bayou, the story follows Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux as he struggles to prove the innocence of a young woman blamed for the gruesome murder of New Iberia’s richest man, Henri Bastion. Found standing over Bastion’s mangled body, howling at the moon, Adele Hebert is suspected of being that most fearsome of creatures, a loup-garou, or werewolf. Wrestling with his own demons and just home from World War II, where he witnessed his brother’s death, Raymond fights against time as Iberia’s frightened residents go on a witch-hunt for Adele, who is missing.
Lyrical and thought-provoking, Fever Moon captures beautifully the passions of this small Cajun community and the tragedy of war at home and on the battlefield. Love and hate abound. The many characters are various and rich, the swamp threatening, and the story complex with a nice sense of closure at the end. In Raymond Thibodeaux, life’s fragile nature is sharply underscored: wounded on the battlefield, he suffers daily from the shrapnel in his hip and lives knowing that he will be paralyzed if the tiny bit of metal ever shifts.