Merrimon Book Reviews

Early Creole musicians playing an accordion and a washboard in front of a store, near New Iberia, Louisiana (1938). Zydeco music originated from Creole music—today's rubboard or frottoir rubbing the washboard is a stylized version of the early washboard.


From Merrimon Book Reviews
Touch of Evil
Touch of Evil by Colleen Thompson
by Colleen Thompson

One suicide seems to change the face of a small lakeside border town between Texas and Louisiana.  When not one but three members of a zydeco band turn up dead with nooses around their neck, Sheriff Justine Wofford doesn't believe the deaths are suicide.  Justine has her hands full enough as it is but she can't help but go against her.  Serving out her late husband's term, she butts head with other law enforcement officers and she herself is under investigation for corruption matters.  Her personal life is not much better,  She worries about her autistic son and an old flame, Doctor Ross Bollinger is back in town.  Ross Bollinger's cousin Laney Thibodeaux
is the sole surviving member of the zydeco band.   A break-in at Laney's house complicates the case.  Once a suspect, now possibly in danger, Laney brings together Justine and Ross in an uneasy relationship.  Together they ignite the passion that once was but life and this case has a way of complicating matters.  As Justine investigates the case, suspicions turn to her as the guilty party, but somewhere out there a killer still threatens.  Will that danger bring Ross and Justine back together or separate them forever?  Will they discover the identity the murderer before it is too late?

In TOUCH OF EVIL, Colleen Thompson revisits the community of Bone Lake, a book that first introduces Sheriff Justine Wofford to readers.  A TOUCH OF EVIL can most definitely be read as a stand-alone novel or even in reverse order.  However, to feel the full effect of the effect of Colleen Thompson's innovation, this reader recommends reading both TOUCH OF EVIL and BENEATH BONE LAKE.  Justine Wofford is surely a fascinating character in both books, but Colleen Thompson fans will find a special delight in seeing the development of Justine from the previous novel into a heroine of romantic suspense in A TOUCH OF EVIL.  Colleen Thompson is an innovative writer, a writer who takes chances -- chances that work.  Each book provides something new, something daring, something exciting.

Quotes about hanging begin each chapter, ramping up the eerie, emotional dimension of the suspense and deaths of the Zydeco band members.  At first glance, Sheriff Justine Wofford seems an unlikely heroine with all the issues pressing down on her, and yet Colleen Thompson brings a richness of character to her.  Despite all the hecticness of her life, Justine is quite alone inside.  She doesn't love easily.  Ross is an admirable man.  The passion between them was intense in the past.  Why did he disappear?  Colleen Thompson adds a touch of mystery to the romance as well as the exhilarating hunt for the answers to the case.  Colleen Thompson's flawed characters make for one exciting thrill ride.  When physical passion between her and Ross turns to love, the romance feels all the richer and complete.  TOUCH OF EVIL is edgy fast-paced romantic suspense with chilling twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats.  The passion is exciting, the romance full of depth, and the race to catch the mysterious killer keeps the pages flying. 

Publisher: Love Spell (February 23, 2010)

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