The Levee: A Novel of Baton Rouge

$16.95 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $5.05   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Shuman (Burial Ground ) works the familiar plot of an older man returning to his childhood community to resolve an old crime with limited success. True-crime author Colin Douglas is still haunted by his memories of a pale white form he and his teenage companions saw on a 1959 camping trip outside Baton Rouge, La. Douglas later learned that this ghostly apparition coincided with the brutal murder of Gloria Santana, the Spanish teacher at his high school. The father of one of Douglas's friends, the local doctor, who'd been having a fling with Santana, was arrested and released after the authorities concluded that one of two obvious suspects (with heavy-handed Dickensian names, Rufus Sikes and Darwin Drood) was responsible for the murder. Officially, the case was never solved. Douglas's return stirs up bad memories for those he left behind. The solution may shock some readers, but the surprise element comes at the expense of plausibility. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Years after the fact, a true-crime writer revisits the scene of a crime to discern the truth of what he'd witnessed. Colin Douglas is 15 when it happens. With three friends, he's gone camping a few miles south of the city, near a once-lush plantation, a Mississippi River levee and a very scary cemetery. Typically hormonal, they've been bragging about their fictional successes with actual young women. When an argument breaks out, one of the boys leaves. Once he's gone long enough to cause even 15-year-olds to become less self-involved, the others go looking for him. No luck. Instead, Colin encounters . . . a ghost? A restless spirit disgorged from an ancient grave? Or something just as horrible but of more recent vintage? It's so dark, and Colin's so frightened, that he can't see or think straight. The following day everyone is shocked to learn that Gloria Santana, the lively, lovely high-school Spanish teacher, has been stabbed to death. His brush with the frightful something leaves Colin more baffled and traumatized than he can possibly understand. Forty-five years later, he returns to Baton Rouge-to research a new writing project, he tells himself, but actually to expel a nightmare. Shuman (Past Dying, 2000, etc.) presents an absorbing, well-written story undermined by one of those too-little-too-late visits from a deus ex machina that will leave many a reader grumpy.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897335836
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporate
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 1,444,390
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2009

    Loved it

    I stumbled upon this book the other day at my public library and I'm so glad I did. I read it in 24 hours and couldn't put it down. It was reminisent of Pat Conroy's writing with the ability to really bring the south, in this case Baton Rouge, to life. I felt I was there with the characters, experiencing what they were experiencing. And the ending was one I never saw coming which is wonderful, since I have a tendency to guess the ending and end up disappointed. This did not disappoint. Mr. Shuman has a lyrical writing style. It immediately pulls you in. This is the first book I've read of his and will definitely pick up his others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Entertaining, easy read.

    I always love a mystery story. We recently moved to Baton Rouge and I work down near LSU. It was intriguing to visualize in my mind the descriptions of the area then compared it to now. I found this to be a very enjoyable read that portrayed the relationships as very realistic and possible.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2008

    A fantastic read!

    An absolutely wonderful book, I could not put it down. Being that I'm from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it was neat reading about places that I'm very familiar with. This is the sixth book I've read by Mr. Shuman and I have enjoyed each and every one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)