Dr. Samantha Leeds is a psychologist and a radio talk show host in New Orleans. She returns to the city after a disastrous vacation with her ex-boyfriend only to find troubling and ominous messages on her answering machine. During her Midnight Confessions show that night, she receives a call in from the same voice, “John,” and she has serious reason for concern. Meanwhile, Detective Rick Bentz, who’s assigned to Samantha’s case, is also teamed with Detective Reuben Montoya on a disturbing murder of a young prostitute that has some ominous elements. When another similar murder happens, they must face the possibility that they’re chasing a serial killer, one who may be tied to Samantha’s caller.
As if the calls from John weren’t bad enough, Samantha also receives a call from someone who resurrects a horrible incident from her radio days in Houston. I couldn’t help but think the two were related but had no imagination for how. Her new neighbor, Ty Wheeler, inserts himself in the mystery and becomes close to her, adding further intrigue. I wasn’t sure what to make of him. Everything about the calls, the murders and the setting just felt creepy and that feeling remained throughout the story. Even Samantha’s house, located in an adjacent parish, was old and slightly sinister despite its lakeside site.
I listened to the story and the narrator delivered a good performance, handling lots of dubious characters. There were quite a few potential suspects but the heart of the mystery was understanding why Samantha was the focus and the motivation of the killer. That kept me engaged as the layers lifted very slowly towards the ultimate revelations. I couldn’t have guessed the outcome but some of the clues were there, just not enough. The romance, however, was the weakness for me as I found it hard to connect with Ty and Samantha. The mystery overwhelmed everything, which isn’t a bad thing. The series focus going forward will be on Detectives Bentz and Montoya who were introduced here but not well developed. However, I learned enough to be interested in discovering more about these two.
- Release Date: August 21, 2009
- Series: New Orleans #1
- Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan
- Audio Length: 15 hours, 34 minutes
- Publisher: Recorded Books