Publication Date: May 10th from Caffeine Nights
Source: Review Copy
New York, and the world, have been transformed by an unexplained global catastrophe now known as ‘the Dark. Once a modest researcher, has now become an involuntary detective. He is recruited by her elder sister to find the missing daughter of a local gangster in a city in chaos where anarchy and violence are just a step away. He soon discovers the case is anything but straightforward and compellingly close to home. Compromising photographs and the ambiguous assistance of a young woman with ties to the criminal gangs lead him to New Orleans, which has seceded from the rest of America in the wake of the Dark. A perilous journey down the Mississippi river, murderous hit women and sidekicks, and the magic and dangerous glamour of the French Quarter become a perilous road to nowhere and to madness in his quest for the amoral daughter, his own lost love and his sanity. Will he find the missing women or lose himself?
The Louisiana Republic is a darkly engaging read with a speculative world building that is genuinely compelling. A very different read to anything I’ve had recently which always appeals.
I want to call it speculative noir – the heart of the plot is very old school but with a modern twist – the further you get into The Louisiana Republic the more insane it gets, Our main protagonist, on the hunt for the missing Cherise, which ties into his search for his own girlfriend missing since “The Dark” occurred, gets entangled with Vienna, an enigmatic character and together they go on a danger fueled “road trip” towards New Orleans and answers…
This is not the first novel I have read where the author plays with the idea of what would happen in a world without internet and technology – but this author puts an interesting mythical twist on proceedings and the storytelling becomes surreal and more than a little creepy as you move further down the trail. The descriptive sense of it is beautifully done, with strong erotic undertones and a strangely hypnotic prose.
I have to say I loved the idea of a world were libraries were fiercely guarded, as the only real source of information and a world where print media once more is king. The Louisiana Republic of the title is a strange and somewhat arcane setting, the characters are divisively unexpected and overall this is a compelling if often very disquieting read.
If you want something a little different, a little crazy, then The Louisiana Republic is a book for you.
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