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Gator Aide
     

Gator Aide

5.0 1
by Jessica Speart
 
STOMPING THROUGH THE SWAMP

A failed New York actress, Rachel Porter figured that any new career would be an improvement—until she became a wildlife agent and found herself stuck in the steamy Louisiana bayous, chasing poachers and fending off mosquitoes the size of Central Park pigeons.

Rachel's first major assignment for the New Orleans Fish and Wildlife

Overview

STOMPING THROUGH THE SWAMP

A failed New York actress, Rachel Porter figured that any new career would be an improvement—until she became a wildlife agent and found herself stuck in the steamy Louisiana bayous, chasing poachers and fending off mosquitoes the size of Central Park pigeons.

Rachel's first major assignment for the New Orleans Fish and Wildlife Service has brought her to the infamous French Quarter, to deal with a dead alligator chained to a bathtub—not far from an equally dead stripper. But when Rachel discovers that an o. d. of ingested heroin-stuffed condoms—and not the five bullet holes in the gator's head—was the true cause of its demise, the inquisitive agent finds herself perilously caught up in both murder investigations. And with killers, cops, neo-Nazis, drag queens and crooked politicos on her case, it's take more than Big Apple sass to get Rachel out of the Big Easy. . .alive.STOMPING THROUGH THE SWAMP

A failed New York actress, Rachel Porter figured that any new career would be an improvement—until she became a wildlife agent and found herself stuck in the steamy Louisiana bayous, chasing poachers and fending off mosquitoes the size of Central Park pigeons.

Rachels first major assignment for the New Orleans Fish and Wildlife Service has brought her to the infamous French Quarter, to deal with a dead alligator chained to a bathtub—not far from an equally dead stripper. But when Rachel discovers that an o. d. of ingested heroin-stuffed condoms—and not the five bullet holes in the gators head—was the true cause of its demise, the inquisitive agent finds herself perilously caught up in both murderinvestigations. And with killers, cops, neo-Nazis, drag queens and crooked politicos on her case, its take more than Big Apple sass to get Rachel out of the Big Easy. . .alive.

Author Biography: Jessica Speart has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Omni, Travel & Leisure, Audubon, National Wildlife, Mother Jones, Wildlife Conservation, Earth Journal and any other publications. She lives in Easton, Conneticut.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A disillusioned actress moves from New York to Louisiana to work as a federal Fish and Wildlife agent and finds herself hip-deep in alligators, poachers and murder in this vivid debut mystery by freelance journalist Speart, who specializes in wildlife enforcement issues. Rachel Porter is drawn into the brutal murder of a prostitute when she discovers that the woman's alligator is also dead. Although Rachel's crabby supervisor, another sexy but enigmatic police detective and the entrenched old-boy network seem determined to relegate Rachel to the sidelines, she plunges ahead with her investigationstraight into deadly peril. The writing is palpably atmospheric ("the air, heavy with humidity, broke like a giant sponge that had been squeezed"), and the brooding swamp itself becomes a memorable character. This isn't a whodunitthe identity of the killer is revealed early onbut Speart nevertheless manages to maintain both tension and action throughout. The reader can't help but root for world-weary Rachel and her damaged friends, especially her self-deprecating transvestite landlord, as they struggle to make sense of a capricious world. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380792887
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Series:
Rachel Porter Mystery Series , #1
Pages:
304

Read an Excerpt

One

The marsh air hung hot and heavy, providing the perfect breeding ground for a battalion of mosquitoes that dive bombed my body as if it were a fast-food stop. The wooden seat of the boat added further to my discomfort, biting through my pants and into my skin, while the humidity permeated my shoes and clothing to lodge solidly in my bones. Closing my eyes against the darkness of a lazy overdue dawn, my mind wandered, bringing with it home spun memories of the angry honk of horns, the persistent shriek of fire engines, and the relentless racket of garbage trucks clattering down streets like heavily armored tanks. Taking a deep breath, I filled my lungs with the gas emissions and stench of New York City. But in my heart I knew better. I was stuck in a pirogue in the marshes of southern Louisiana, listening to the demented cries of nutria--fifteen-pound rodents that would have been taken for overgrown rats in New York. Shrieking like women gone mad, they led the chorus as the marsh became alive with the sounds and sights of ducks, egrets, ibis, and herons. It was the start of another steamy day.

Sitting in the small wooden boat, I tried to remember lines from off-Broadway plays, bit parts in soap operas, even the occasional commercial I'd been in that had somehow brought my life around to this, when I finally heard the sound I'd been waiting for. BOOM! The blast of a shotgun in the distance, followed by another volley reverberating in the morning air. Paddling through tall cordgrass, I tried to follow its echo, but a black Labrador saved me the trouble. Crashing through weeds and water, intent on finding its prey, the dog barely gave me a second glance as it picked up the duck inits mouth and, with a dumb smile plastered on its face, headed back to its master, anxious for a few words of praise. I was certain the dog had to be a female.

Hidden away in the intricately woven one-man blind sat Billy Paul Cochrain. We had met under similar circumstances before. Dressed in camouflage fatigues and a duck billed cap, he was just reaching for the duck when he caught sight of my boat and looked up to see me watching his every move. He quickly pulled back his hand.

"Ain't my duck."

Once again I had blown it. Worse yet, Billy Paul knew it, too, as the same stupid grin that the Lab wore now spread across his face. He patted the dog on the head as it insistently tried to ply him with the dead bird.

"Jennifer, I keep telling you to leave them ducks alone.'' He chuckled as he pushed the offering away.

A female. I knew it.

Copyright ) 1997 by Jessica Speart

Gator Aide. Copyright � by Jessica Speart. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Jessica Speart writes about environmental and wildlife issues. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, OMNI, Travel & Leisure, Audubon, National Wildlife, Mother Jones, Delta's Sky Magazine, and many other publications. Unsafe Harbor is her tenth Rachel Porter mystery. Jessica lives in Connecticut with her husband and their two dogs, Max and Tallulah.

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Gator Aide 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love Janet Evanovich and want a funny Nevada Barr. This is the mystery series for you full of plot twists, great humor, a definite thrill ride