Fever Moon
  • Alternative view 1 of Fever Moon
  • Alternative view 2 of Fever Moon

Fever Moon

3.8 39
by Carolyn Haines

View All Available Formats & Editions

Praise for the Novels of Carolyn Haines

"Penumbra shakes with violence, passion, and, most of all, conviction."

—-The Baltimore Sun on Penumbra

"Haines clearly depicts Southern racial tensions and family eccentricities so typical of the time. While suspenseful and violent, her literary thriller never loses sight of the poignant story


Praise for the Novels of Carolyn Haines

"Penumbra shakes with violence, passion, and, most of all, conviction."

—-The Baltimore Sun on Penumbra

"Haines clearly depicts Southern racial tensions and family eccentricities so typical of the time. While suspenseful and violent, her literary thriller never loses sight of the poignant story at its heart. Transcending the usual mystery conventions, this is highly recommended."

—-Library Journal (starred review) on Penumbra

"Powerful scenes of suspense and a moody evocation of time and place."

—-Publishers Weekly on Penumbra

"Like the heat of a Deep South summer, Ms. Haines's novel has an undeniable intensity; it's impossible to shake its brooding atmosphere."

—-The New York Times Book Review on Judas Burning

"Wickedly funny. Devilishly clever. Scintillatingly Southern. Carolyn Haines is an author to die for."

—-Carolyn Hart, author of Dead Days of Summer

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Haines acknowledges her debt to James Lee Burke in this atmospheric historical (after 2005's Penumbra), set in New Iberia Parish, La., at the close of WWII. Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux (sounds like Robicheaux) battles his own wartime demons as he tries to find the person responsible for the gruesome killing of wealthy landowner Henri Bastion. Fragile Adele Hebert confesses to the crime, but because she believes herself possessed, Thibodeaux assumes she's not the culprit. Superstitions lie as thick and menacing as the morning fog over the bayou, and word quickly spreads that a werewolf has overtaken Adele's body. Haines's greatest strength is her powerful sense of place: here the miasmic swamp is as alive and as threatening as any villain. Despite a predictably happy ending and an irritating tendency to repetition, Haines has created an engaging, memorable story. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This excellent follow-up to Haines's equally oustanding standalone, Penumbra, opens in 1944 New Iberia with the brutal murder of the town's wealthiest man. Beautiful Adele Herbert is found standing over the eviscerated corpse covered in blood. Confessing to the crime, she claims to be a loup-garou, or werewolf. Sheriff's Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux tries to keep Adele safe as panic, suspicion, and dread overcome this small Southern town. Haines has a knack for bringing the deep South to life, and her latest powerful tale will keep readers captivated to the end. Recommended for all collections; fans of James Lee Burke will appreciate. Haines lives in Alabama. [Library marketing campaign planned.]

—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
Myth and murder collide in the bayou. When Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux investigates a sighting of loup-garou, the mythic scourge of Louisiana's New Iberia parish, he finds Adele Hebert ranting in the swamp, her hands twisted in the guts of Henri Bastion, the richest man in town, and blood everywhere. Raymond takes the admitted killer, consumed with fever, to Madame Louiselle for healing. Although his neighbors believe Adele is a werewolf and needs jailing at the very least, Raymond's not as convinced and wonders if she's been set up. Wrestling with her grief over the suicide of her sister Rosa and the death of her own twin boys and his own personal demons concerning the wartime death of his younger brother Antoine, Raymond is bedeviled by flashbacks, rampaging town folk and a shoal of other suspects, including Bastion's malicious overseer, his sometime partner in liquor-distribution shenanigans and the prison convicts working his cane fields. Then a child goes missing. So does Adele. And Raymond is forced to confront the overseer, whom he ends up running over. Two more will die and the plot will meander through several gruesome southern byways before Adele and Raymond find some release. Southern specialist Haines (Penumbra, 2006, etc.) presents a case that's as macabre psychically as it is geographically, with enough emotional turmoil for a whole series.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.09(d)

Read an Excerpt

Fever Moon

By Haines, Carolyn

St. Martin's Minotaur

Copyright © 2007 Haines, Carolyn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312351618

Chapter One The bare pecan trees of the Julinot orchard clawed the sky as Raymond Thibodeaux drove past. The storm had blown in from the Gulf of Mexico without warning, bringing rain and the first promise of winter’s cold. The front passed as quickly as it had come, leaving behind treacherous roads and rising swamps that lapped hungrily at the fringes of land. Raymond gripped the Ford’s steering wheel, feeling the slide of the bald, narrow tires in the slick bog. A full moon broke through the cloud cover and lit the road more sharply than the headlamps of his car as he drove fast toward tragedy. It was always tragedy when he was summoned. Death and loss were his boon companions, met in a land across the ocean, and now he couldn’t escape them. He pressed the accelerator to the floorboards. It was only tragedy that allowed him to burn the gasoline, which was in such short supply with the war on. Folks in New Iberia, Louisiana, didn’t send for the law unless there was no other recourse open to them. As he thought back to the visit that had prompted his drive, he felt a touch of uneasiness. Twenty minutes earlier Emanuel Agee had arrived at the sheriff’s office, breathless, pale, teeth chattering. “Beaver Creek,” he managed to spit out. “Hurry.” The boy haddisappeared back into the night, leaving only the wet prints of his bare feet on the floor of the sheriff’s office. None of the residents of Iberia Parish lingered in the sheriff’s office, especially when Raymond was there. It was true that folks avoided him, made uneasy by his melancholy. Worried by Emanuel’s obvious fear, Raymond had stepped out into the lashing rain. There was no sign the boy had really been there. Some folks might say a banshee or a wild creature had stolen the boy’s spirit and come to make mischief for the deputy. Even though the rain had swept away all traces of Emanuel, Raymond knew the boy had ducked into an alley, not wishing to be questioned. Raymond had gotten his revolver, a flashlight, and his hat and headed the five miles to the small creek that was filled with bream and crawfish in the hot summer months. Beaver Creek was only a bit beyond the Julinot farm, and he began to slow in the sticky mud as he neared the bridge. Much of his work involved pulling vehicles from swollen creeks when the driver was too intoxicated to judge the narrow, rail-less bridges. He dreaded the thought of finding more drowned people. Women and children, the innocent passengers, men at the wheel, the fear of what they’d done frozen into their features. He had no wish to see such things, but it was his job. Joe Como, the sheriff, didn’t like to be disturbed in the middle of the night. Joe, who’d Anglicized the name Comeaux for political aspirations, preferred the coffee shop and conversation. The dead he left to his deputy. As Raymond neared the creek, he could clearly see the bridge, undamaged, in the moonlight. It was October, the Hunter’s Moon. With the storm clouds blowing past, the moon shone with a milky white intensity, casting long shadows on the road. He stopped on the bridge. There was no sign of an accident. Water flowed fast and free beneath the wooden trestles. Puzzled, he walked down the bridge to the bank to check for tracks. He found nothing but the sluices cut into the sandy soil where storm water had coursed. As he climbed the bank, he heard a sound that caused the hair along his neck to prickle. Laughter slipped through the trees, coming from all directions, surrounding him. His hand upon the slender trunk of a cypress, he stopped completely. His body tensed, and he felt the bite of metal near his spine. He brought his gun out of its holster in one smooth motion, gripped it loosely, and listened. Laughter seeped around him again, the sound of madness. He could almost sniff it on the wind, and he followed it back to the road, knowing that at last his past had caught up with him. Walking around a bend, he came upon her. For one long moment he stood and stared at the woman. At what lay at her feet. At the blood glistening in the moonlight on her hands and face and the rivulets of it tracing the path of the rain along the dirt road. At the long, twisted ropes of intestines that had been pulled from the savaged abdomen of the dead man. Raymond’s heart beat fast. In all the horrors he’d witnessed and caused, he’d never seen anything that chilled him this deeply. He moved slowly toward her, and she turned to face him, her body crouched and wary. No matter that she stood on two legs, she had the grace of an animal, a wild thing caught in the midst of feeding. Her dress was torn, revealing the white of her thighs and a flash of buttock as she swung around, keeping the corpse between them. It was her eyes that held him, though. As dark as swamp pools, they burned. “Easy,” he said. “I’m Deputy Thibodeaux. Don’t make me hurt you.” He aimed at her heart. She was very thin, too malnourished to be any kind of threat under normal circumstances. He knew most everyone in the parish, but he didn’t recognize her. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he repeated. He realized, too late, that he’d given voice to his personal curse. He’d never wanted to hurt anyone, yet he was so good at it. The woman laughed, a sound of joy and something else, something indefinable. When he stepped toward her, she dropped to a crouch over the body and growled. “Get away from the body.” He stepped closer, determined to do his duty. In the moonlight her eyes glinted as if struck by some lunar spell. “Get back from him.” He was close enough now to see that the dead thing at her feet was Henri Bastion, the wealthiest man in Iberia Parish. The woman lunged forward, and he sighted on her heart. He’d killed many things but never a woman. She would be the first. “Back away,” he said. “Now!” She straightened slowly. Her hands fell to her side and she lifted her chin to the moon, exposing a long, slender throat that worked convulsively to release the howl that fought its way out. The screened door of her cabin banged in the wind, and Florence Delacroix pulled her robe more closely together and inched up by the fire. The leaping flames danced shadows across her face, hiding and revealing a classic profile with full lips and wide green eyes. A moon-shaped scar followed the curve of her cheek. She turned to the boy, who was huddled beside her in a quilt. “You saw the body?” Emanuel Agee held the cup of steaming chocolate to his lips and nodded. When the screened door banged again, he cut his eyes toward it. “It’s the wind, boy. Nothing but the wind.” She thought that he was a handsome child, black hair and dark eyes filled with intelligence, like his papa. “Tell me what you saw.” “His guts was strowed all over the road. She was standin’ over him, laughin’. She look right at me.” He blinked. “You think she put a curse on me?” “No, cher.” Florence studied him. “There’s no curse on you.” She rumpled his hair. “So Henri Bastion met a devil he couldn’t bargain with.” Florence stood up and went to her dresser. She riffled through a purse and came back with a coin. Handing it to the boy, she caressed his head again, feeling the fine hair slip through her fingers. “You were right to come here and tell me.” “Daddy said to tell the sheriff and then come to you. He say you look out for me.” “Your daddy is a wise man. You can always find safety with Florence.” “It was the loup-garou,” the boy said, his breath so short he almost couldn’t say the words. “It took that woman and turned her.” Florence sat back down in front of the fire. “Henri Bastion was a man with enemies. Someone finally got mad enough to kill him. That’s all.” “She had hair all over her.” Florence examined his face, seeing the fear in his eyes. “Did she now? Hair all over?” He nodded. “She killed him, and she meant to eat him.” “Henri would make a tough stew.” “She meant to eat him raw.” “Did you know this woman, cher?” Florence asked. She’d run through the list of women strong enough to kill a man in Iberia Parish, and she’d come up empty. Henri Bastion was a man in his prime. A man who, rumors told, beat a prisoner working his farm to death with his bare hands. Unless Henri was injured or drunk, no woman would stand a chance against him. Emanuel shook his head. “She didn’t look like no woman I ever seen.” He turned solemn eyes up to her. “Whoever she once was, she’s not her anymore. Loup-garou.” She took the cup from the boy’s shaking hands. “Do you want to walk back home tonight or stay here? I’d drive you but gas coupons are dear.” “I ain’t goin’ home. Not through the woods at night with a demon on the hunt. Likta killed myself gettin’ here.” There were indeed scratches on the boy’s face, neck, and hands where he’d fought his way through briars and vines, unwilling to take his time in case the werewolf was sniffing his tracks. “Then you’d best make a pallet on the floor. Come daybreak you need to be gone. Won’t do for folks to know you stayed here with me.” Raymond never gave the woman a chance to run. She seemed enraptured by the moon, her gaze focused on it. He moved in fast, knocking her legs out from under her. She went down hard, the wind forced momentarily from her lungs. The minute Raymond touched her, he knew she was seriously ill. Her skin burned under his hand. She jerked and quivered at his touch like a wild thing, rolling her eyes and gnashing her teeth. She flipped to her stomach and tried to crawl away, scrabbling in the road and revealing her nakedness without a semblance of shame. “Take it easy,” he said, reaching for her flailing wrist. “I’m trying to help you.” She snapped at his hand, growling. Her voice was gravelly, as if her throat were raw. Talonlike fingers clutched at the damp clay. Raymond twisted her arm, rolling her onto her back. She fought him with a ferocity that was completely silent except for her harsh breathing. He straddled her, trying to hold her down without hurting her. As he sought to capture her wrists, his hand found one firm breast. She writhed beneath him, bucking with a strength that was hard to comprehend. At last, he snapped the handcuffs on her and jumped clear. As he hauled her to her feet, saliva ran in strings from her mouth, mingling with the blood that had begun to dry on her chin. She tried to jerk free, but he held her by the handcuffs. Her dress was torn, her feet bare. Mud and scratches covered her legs. Blood was drying on her face and down the front of what was left of her dress. She panted from the exertion of her struggles, staying as far away from him as the cuffs would allow. Even in her agitation at being confined, she cast a look at the moon that touched the treetops with silver. “You’re under arrest. Come with me.” He pulled her toward the car, setting off another fierce struggle. She was weakening, though. Her body carried no extra fat, and the fever clearly burned with an intensity that concerned him. He forced her into the front seat of the car, cautious of the teeth that snapped close to his face and ears. Normally he transported prisoners in the back, but he didn’t like the idea of her teeth sinking into the nape of his neck while he was driving. At last she tired, and he relaxed the pressure on her. “What’s your name?” She looked beyond him to the moon riding low in the velvet sky and smiled. Her mouth opened, as if she might answer, but she slumped against the seat, her body shaking with chills. He checked her pulse, which was weak and thready. For the moment the fight was gone from her. He left her in the car and took a moment to examine the body. Aside from the abdominal injuries, Henri’s head had been nearly severed from his body. The wound was such a mess he couldn’t begin to determine what might have caused it. There was nothing to do for Henri Bastion but call the coroner. Raymond got behind the wheel, turned the car around, and headed back to town. In the bright moonlight, he studied the woman’s slack face. He thought he might have seen her before, but he still couldn’t place her. Her features were distorted, both by the blood and the fever that raged through her. When she was clean, he might be able to recall her name. Once he’d known all the young women of the parish. He’d danced with most of them, flirting casually, leading those willing to more adventurous activities. The world had been a series of Saturday nights where the pattern of life was simple. The smell of gumbo cooking in a cast-iron pot over a fire, the pulse of a fiddle, a beautiful young woman looking up at him with the promise of a future in her eyes as they danced while the Bayou Teche lapped softly at the bank. He could remember the feel of liquor going down hot, and the taste of kisses under a full moon. But it was a memory that belonged to a dead man. As he drove down the treacherous road, he let the past slip away. Those nights were gone. He’d had dreams then, normal desires and ambitions. The war had changed all of that. Had changed him in ways he couldn’t explain, not to his family or anyone else. The life he’d once expected had been taken from him, replaced with something dark and violent. He had the sense that destiny had led him to this moment on a lonely road with a gruesome murder and a madwoman. The motion of the car lulled her. Her eyes opened sleepily, and she leaned against the seat, looking neither left nor right but straight ahead. “Did you know Henri Bastion?” He tried to block the image of Bastion’s body, the abdomen gutted and the head dangling by a bit of spinal column and muscle. “The loup-garou is hungry.” Saliva dripped down her chin. “I killed him.” Her throat worked. Raymond watched the way she held herself, ready to flee or attack. The legend of the loup-garou was strong among the backwoods people. They believed that the legendary creature was a shape-shifting devil who possessed normal people, both willing and unwilling. Often when children disappeared in the swamps, it was never reported to the authorities. The parents assumed that the child had been taken by the loup-garou. To call the law would bring only shame on the family. One of their own had gone to the side of the devil. It was better to hush it up and forget it. And pray the possessed body of the child never made it home again. “Did you know Henri Bastion?” he asked again. There was a long pause, and he glanced at her. She was awake, her gaze on the moon that seemed to follow them. “What was Bastion doing on Section Line Road?” Her eyes sparked with fever. She sat bolt upright and then slumped against the door. He reached across and felt her forehead. She was burning up. If the fever went much higher, it might cook her brain. She required a doctor. He turned the car south at the intersection, avoiding town and the jail. Since she was already in the car, it would be best  to take her to Madame Louiselle, a traiteur who used herbs and prayers to treat the illnesses of those too poor to afford a doctor. There was no time to drive to Lafayette for a physician, and Doc Fletcher, New Iberia’s resident doctor, was out of town. If Madame Louiselle couldn’t break the fever, the woman beside him would die. Copyright © 2007 by Carolyn Haines. All rights reserved.  


Excerpted from Fever Moon by Haines, Carolyn Copyright © 2007 by Haines, Carolyn. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Carolyn Haines is the author of several crime novels, including Penumbra and the Bones series. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Fever Moon 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
soullygrounded More than 1 year ago
Takes place in rural Louisiana during WWII; the characters are real and the plot and story line encompass so much of the folklore and superstitions held by the native peoples who settled that area. I look forward to read more of her books as she brings her characters alive like a great writer should.
iPodReader More than 1 year ago
Wonderful depiction of a Louisiana bayou town at the end of World War Two. The protagonist, Raymond, is deputy sheriff who is suffering from a form of what we might call PTSD today after returning from the war. He encounters real danger in the form of local superstitions which threaten the life of a woman suspected of murder. Raymond persists in his investigation, along the way encountering villains, the love of a good woman with a shady occupation and support he can barely bring himself to accept from those who know and love him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written thriller that kept me interested to the end. Very descriptive, you feel like you are in the middle of the action
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not care for this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rockport_rocker More than 1 year ago
Fascinating suspense. Darker than her "Sara Booth Delaney, Bones" stories. Excellent writing as always.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't see the end coming, but really just wanted the book to be over. It was well-written, but just not sympathetic characters.
masez More than 1 year ago
Ripping good read! Set in the Louisiana bayou--with all its inherent superstitions & folkore. Great characters, well drawn, fully developed, fully formed. We "know" even the lesser actors in this drama. Thoroughly enjoyable. I will truly read more from Carolyn Haines. If all her mysteries are this enthralling, I will have a new writer to go on my "anytime" list.
Loweva More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the period setting, dialogue, and suspence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book and looking forward to reading more books by Carolyn Haines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mike_C48 More than 1 year ago
With a great story, compelling characters, and wonderful Louisiana-swamp color set during World War II, Carolyn Haines has hit another one "out of the park"! I couldn't put it down, and the only part I didn't like was when I got to the end because I wanted to keep reading. Is a loup-garou, a werewolf, on the loose, or are there man-made causes to the gruesome murders? Deputy Sheriff Raymond Thibodeaux must find out. Raymond, deeply flawed by his battle experiences and the combat loss of his younger brother, must deal with his own demons while peeling back the layers of deceit and corruption in New Iberia, Louisiana.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read. The author does a wonderful job of creating atmosphere and building tension. The Louisiana swamps are alive as are the age old superstitions held by inhabitants of the area!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. The characters are well written and the story kept me guessing till the end. I definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago