City of Masks [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Superb...A thoroughly satisfying, disturbing novel." -Cleveland Plain Dealer
In City of Masks, the first Cree Black novel, parapsychologist Cree and her partner take a case in New Orleans's Garden District that leaves them fearing for their own lives. The 150-year-old Beauforte House has long stood empty, until Lila Beauforte resumes residence and starts to see some of the house's secrets literally come to life. Tormented by an insidious and violent presence, Lila finds ...
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City of Masks

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Overview

"Superb...A thoroughly satisfying, disturbing novel." -Cleveland Plain Dealer
In City of Masks, the first Cree Black novel, parapsychologist Cree and her partner take a case in New Orleans's Garden District that leaves them fearing for their own lives. The 150-year-old Beauforte House has long stood empty, until Lila Beauforte resumes residence and starts to see some of the house's secrets literally come to life. Tormented by an insidious and violent presence, Lila finds herself trapped in a life increasingly filled with childhood terrors. It takes Cree's unconventional take on psychology and her powerful natural empathy with Lila to navigate the dangerous worlds of spirit and memory, as they clash in a terrifying tale of mistaken identity and murder.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hecht's New Age ghost story introduces Cree Black, a psychologist of renown transformed years ago into a hyper-empathic ghostbuster by a spectral visit from her beloved husband. Lured from her upscale Seattle offices to a spirit-infested mansion in the heart of decadent New Orleans, she immediately identifies with the haunted socialite Lila Beauforte. This allows reader Fields to showcase her skills, as Cree's somewhat brusque, unaccented speech subtly shifts into a quavering southern drawl. The actress also uses an impressive variety of bayou accents to distinguish the other New Orleanians-from the good ol' boy gruffness of Lila's worried husband to the cultured, iron magnolia locutions of her aristocratic mother. The novel has its share of spooky suspense-courtesy of anthropomorphic furniture, disappearing snakes and a pig-faced man-ghost with rape on its mind-and is filled with enough scientific rationale to make these sinister shades seem surprisingly credible. But the source of the ghosts isn't difficult to discern, and the many repeat analyses of the case elements will lead restless listeners to agree with Cree's assistant Joyce Wu when she complains (in Fields's amusingly on-target Long Island accent), "The metaphysics he-ah are a complete no-brain-ah, and I'm sick `a goin' over it and over it." Based on the Bloomsbury hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 6). (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This is a genuine creepfest--a contemporary ghost story blending parapsychology and the steamy exoticism of New Orleans. Cree Black is something of a professional empath; her uncanny ability to identify with people (and the ghosts who were once people) and her degree in parapsychology help her to get to the root of hauntings. And "haunted" exactly describes her subject, Lila Beauforte, who has become increasingly disturbed and frightened by revenants populating her once-prominent family's ancestral home. Cree, acting as part psychic, part psychiatrist, and part sleuth, struggles against her own demons as she roots around in the secrets of the Beauforte past. Despite overabundant internal dialog, this is both more compelling and more mysterious than Superstition by David Ambrose. Anna Fields gives the smart, crisp dialog a spirited reading, seamlessly shifting between "N'Arluns" yokels and "Noo Yawk" locals. Highly enjoyable; recommended for all public libraries.--Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The first in a series featuring an intrepid ghostbuster who uncovers the mystery behind a haunted house, by the thriller author of, most recently, The Babel Effect, 2001). If there's one place where a ghostbuster shouldn't have to scrounge for work, it's New Orleans. Old, atmospheric, irremediably corrupt, it's the sort of town where the closets have so many skeletons that grave-robbers can work without spades. In the 150-year-old Beauforte House, Lila Beauforte Warren claims that a ghost with the head of a pig is regularly attacking her in her sleep. The Beaufortes think Lila is just crazy, but Paul Fitzpatrick (the psychiatrist they brought in to examine her) suggests that they retain a parapsychologist. Enter Lucretia ("Cree") Black, a Seattle ghostbuster. Cree believes that powerful emotions set off electromagnetic "broadcasts" that can appear as ghosts, and she researches the history of the house to find out what outrages from the past could be responsible for such present disturbances. Working with Paul, she digs up the usual New Orleans stuff (masters who abused slaves, etc.) but can't detect any of the typical broadcasts she finds in true hauntings. There had been an unsolved murder in the Beauforte House some years earlier, but the victim (a local newscaster) didn't in any way resemble the apparition now tormenting Lila. Is it possible Lila is seeing something real? Or can we be dealing with a case of suppressed memory, something that happened, not in the house, but in Lila's past? One clue comes to Cree on Mardi Gras, when she notices costumed marchers wearing pig heads similar to the one described by Lila. New Orleans is a city of masks, after all, and they can cover up somevery ugly realities. Sharp, fast, and deft, a gripping story that with the skill of a Wallenda walks the tightrope between the real and the supernatural.
Tulsa World
"A ghost story readers won't soon forget...You are taken on the ride of your literary life."
Denver Post
"A gripping and fully realized mystery set in an unfamiliar world that the author makes palpable...creating characters that go far beyond the cookie-cutter."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Superb...A thoroughly satisfying, disturbing novel."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596918047
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/17/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 383,081
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Daniel Hecht is the author of two previous novels, Skull Session and The Babel Effect. His most recent novel is Land of Echoes, second in the Cree Black series.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2009

    Don't understand why this great series is not better known!

    I found City of Masks after reading Hecht's terrific and completely original Skull Session, a book not in the series but very good too. City of Masks is the first in the series about parapsychologist/intuitive Lucretia (Cree) Black. I disagree with the previous reviewer that this drags - it doesn't for me at all. Set in New Orleans, Hecht creates a wonderful sense of place, evoking both the beauty and darkness of that city. Cree is a wonderful character and I went quickly after this one to find the next in the series. Highly recommended! I don't understand why these aren't better known or already made into a miniseries or movie.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    It's all in the details...

    Hecht did a bang-up job of researching the world of a paranormal researcher, but this was a double edged sword as it drowned out whatever suspense the story might have had.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2005

    My First by Hecht but..

    not my last. This was a very good book. I must say that in some places it did drag just a bit but as a whole the book was very good and the 'who done it' was surprising. I will read the next Cree Black adventure for sure. By the way I picked up this hardcover book at my Barnes and Noble store for 5 bucks. Check them out. They often have some very good books at rock bottom prices.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Interesting read

    This was a very good read. A little wordy at times but worth it
    . Hecht made you feel like you were there. Would recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Ridiculous

    Couldn't get past my instant aversion to the protagonist and ber entirely inappropriate airs. Call some skanky paranormal hack "Ms Black"indeed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Sooo Scary!

    Loved this book. I too looked for the others in the series. Loved them also - but this first was the BEST! If you love to be scared - this is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    wonderful

    aside from several gramatical mistakes, itt is a good read. a good storyline even if it is a bit one sided. i couldnt put it down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 15, 2011

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    Posted February 14, 2012

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    Posted November 5, 2011

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    Posted February 3, 2012

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