REVIEW: Rising Moon by Lori Handeland

Dear Ms Handeland,

Despite the fact that I’ve had some problems with this series and gave the last book a C grade, guess what my little hand reached for in Waldenbooks the other day? But of course, it was this book. But after reading it, I really am going to have to try and discipline myself when the next book, Hidden Moon, comes out. Two C grades in a row means I need to wait for other opinions before plunking down any more of my hard earned cash.

PI Anne Lockhart arrives in New Orleans desperately hoping that the picture she received in mail will help her locate her younger sister. Katie has been missing for over three years and Anne has put her own life on hold while she tries to find her. It doesn’t help that their last conversation was an argument and that Anne has felt steeped in guilt ever since. The photo of Katie in front of a French Quarter jazz club is the first real lead in ages and nothing will stop Anne from following up on it. Not even the warnings from NOPD Detective Conner Sullivan who tells Anne that he’s been looking into dozens of missing person reports that all have one thing in common: all the victims were last seen at the Rising Moon club.

With Mardi Gras filling the city to capacity, the only place Anne can find to stay is in the room offered as part of the waitressing pay for working at the club. The fact that this will help her follow up on these missing person cases is a helpful. That she will be around the club owner, sexy jazz musician John Rodolfo, is a bonus to good to be ignored. But when things start happening that shouldn’t be happening and Anne starts seeing things that shouldn’t exist, she finds she’s dealing with far more than a missing sister.

My problems started early with this book. For instance, would a NOPD officer turn over information on missing persons to a PI he’s just met? Or any PI for that matter? Or ask for a PI’s help in solving these cases? Granted, police work isn’t my area of expertise but I just don’t see it.

Then there’s the fact that Anne appears to want to “save” hero. She even mentions one time that she’s not sure that hero isn’t just taking the place of the sister Anne vowed to save. Is this love? Or just need? Or just hot sex? The two don’t interact much beyond cryptic conversations and body banging. I never really saw love building between these two, just need for both of them.

Another problem is how the heroine leaps into situations which are questionable at best. Yes, she admits while she’s heading into the dark alley or racing out into the night after someone who looks like her sister that she’s acting foolishly but then she goes ahead and does these things anyway. She’s in a city she doesn’t know, dealing with weirder and weirder things, with no gun, no taser, not even a set of brass knuckles but off she goes! I had this problem with the last heroine and despite the fact that you’re writing your heroines as strong characters, they sure don’t act intelligently at times.

The first part of the story drags too much while last part goes too fast. There’s too much background info dumped at once, even for those of us who’ve followed the whole series, and I think it would be way too much for a newbie.

Anne swings back and forth as far as believing in John’s redemption. One minute she’s horrified at what he is and what he’s done then in the next breath she’s defending him against people who’ve known what he’s capable of for years. I found myself rolling my eyes at this, “Yeah, like she’s going to just “know” John is good/saved now.” And poor Conner Sullivan. Jeez, the man spends two and a half books investigating the nightcreatures and then what happens to him happens to him. I don’t know if you have future plans for him as a hero but it’ll be a long time before I forget him in this book.

I got really annoyed with Adam Ruelle’s cajun accent. I’m glad he wasn’t in the book much. Remember how I talked about the deus ex machina aspect of Midnight Moon? Well I think that by lying about King and and John, you turned them into this book’s deus ex machina. Suddenly information you gave us in the beginning means nothing any more. Though it pains me to say it about a series that started so freshly, it’s getting old and wearing thin at this point. Just how many Jager-Sucher couples will we end up with? I do appreciate the fact that you don’t feel the need to drag each and every one of them into subsequent books though.

Wow, there’s a lot that didn’t work for me here. More than I realized until I started to write this review. Yet, (just as with the last book) I bought it immediately and read it straight through so you must be doing something right. I’m just not sure it’s right enough anymore to get me to buy the next book without lots of people chiming in on how wonderful it is. C-


By Jane Litte

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