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“Voodoo Heart offers a solid blend of supernatural horror and hard-boiled detective fiction, and should appeal to horror devotees as well as mystery buffs.” — Booklist When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearanc “Voodoo Heart offers a solid blend of supernatural horror and hard-boiled detective fiction, and should appeal to horror devotees as well as mystery buffs.” — Booklist When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearances. All across New Orleans, on one night each month, people are vanishing, leaving behind nothing but a pool of blood on the bedsheets… and an abandoned heart. Ribaud doesn’t believe in voodoo, but he soon finds himself moving through the underbelly of a secret society of snakes, sacrifices and obscene rituals in search of the mysterious Black Queen … and the curse of her Voodoo Heart. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.


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“Voodoo Heart offers a solid blend of supernatural horror and hard-boiled detective fiction, and should appeal to horror devotees as well as mystery buffs.” — Booklist When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearanc “Voodoo Heart offers a solid blend of supernatural horror and hard-boiled detective fiction, and should appeal to horror devotees as well as mystery buffs.” — Booklist When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearances. All across New Orleans, on one night each month, people are vanishing, leaving behind nothing but a pool of blood on the bedsheets… and an abandoned heart. Ribaud doesn’t believe in voodoo, but he soon finds himself moving through the underbelly of a secret society of snakes, sacrifices and obscene rituals in search of the mysterious Black Queen … and the curse of her Voodoo Heart. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

30 review for Voodoo Heart

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Wow! What a creepy, suspenseful, tension filled ride this book turned out to be! A little backstory for you readers: Detective Lawrence Ribaud has his hands full as he tries to figure out his latest case as this case is more personal when his wife has become one of the victims. Beds are saturated in blood but no bodies and the only thing left of the person is their heart. Welcome to New Orleans. Ribaud knows that this is no ordinary crime and that to find the truth he will have to go into the Wow! What a creepy, suspenseful, tension filled ride this book turned out to be! A little backstory for you readers: Detective Lawrence Ribaud has his hands full as he tries to figure out his latest case as this case is more personal when his wife has become one of the victims. Beds are saturated in blood but no bodies and the only thing left of the person is their heart. Welcome to New Orleans. Ribaud knows that this is no ordinary crime and that to find the truth he will have to go into the underground of the city. As he digs deep into the case he enters the world of voodoo and the more he learns the worse off he is as now the tables have been turned on him as things happen to him to warn him of not going any further with the case. When you poke a stick in a hornets nest you are going to get stung or in this case when you poke a stick in a snake pit you are going to get bit! What happens to Ribaud? Who or what is stealing bodies and leaving the hearts? Does Ribaud find the person or persons responsible for the crimes? No spoilers here as you will just have to read the book! Thoughts: This book literally kept me awake nights as I just could not put it down. I told myself that I was just going to read a couple of chapters, but the more I became involved in the storyline the more hours I stayed awake! The author, John Everson, obviously did some research on this book as there is quite a bit of the voodoo lore within these pages. Lots of twists and turns along with some blood splatter throughout the book as I made my way through the storyline. Giving this book five "blood soaked" stars! My thanks to Netgalley and Flame Tree Press for letting me review this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    Horror At It's Best! Detective Lawrence Ribaud (Cork to his friends) in New Orleans is called to an apparent murder scene where there is a blood filled bed with a heart lying right in the center of the mess but no body to be found. The spouse had been sleeping right next to the supposed victim and never heard a thing. This is personal for Ribaud because the same crime happened to his wife several months prior and these same crimes have been occurring every month since his wife went missing but mo Horror At It's Best! Detective Lawrence Ribaud (Cork to his friends) in New Orleans is called to an apparent murder scene where there is a blood filled bed with a heart lying right in the center of the mess but no body to be found. The spouse had been sleeping right next to the supposed victim and never heard a thing. This is personal for Ribaud because the same crime happened to his wife several months prior and these same crimes have been occurring every month since his wife went missing but more bodies keep disappearing each month and the numbers keep increasing. There is no evidence at the crime scenes and no apparent breakins so the police department is completely stumped. Detective Rimbaud has a few friends in the Voodoo business which he is a complete sceptic but it wouldn't hurt to investigate some of these practices since New Orleans is overloaded with believers of white and black magic. Could this be helpful to his caseload or will it lead Cork on an empty journey down a very dark and dangerous road where if he doesn't solve these cases soon he could also soon disappear. This was a wonderfully written horror story that was a a non-stop page turner. I have read several of John Everson's books but this was my favorite so far. I could visualise the nightlife and the shops in New Orleans and also the murky swamps in the backwoods of Louisiana. The writer captured essence of all the surrounding environments of where he traveled and where people and bodies could possibly disappear. The characters were well detailed and extremely interesting. I loved the mystery intertwined with the supernatural while trying to figure out how the story would play out. Whether you are believer or not this was a very scary and creepy book that makes you think about all the people who do practice voodoo. This was not a kiddie novel. There was a lot of violence, gore, some explicit kinky sex but it all plays out well within the storyline. So horror readers I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read another one from John Everson. I want to thank the publisher "Flame Tree Press" which continues to publish terrific horror books and thanks to Net galley for the opportunity to read this ARC and any thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone! I am giving a rating of 4 1/2 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌠 Dark Magic Stars!! Publishing Date is October 20, 2020 Publisher Flame Tree Press

  3. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Rolfe

    Another terrific story from John Everson. Voodoo Heart follows Detective Lawrence Ribaud as he tries to discover what's behind all the missing bodies in New Orleans. Every full moon bring more vanishings, leaving only beds of blood and a human heart. Looking for help anywhere he can find it, Ribaud goes deep into the world of voodoo witnessing sacrifices, sexual rituals, and more on his way to uncovering the truth. This one felt a bit different for me from Everson, but I loved it anyway. The trad Another terrific story from John Everson. Voodoo Heart follows Detective Lawrence Ribaud as he tries to discover what's behind all the missing bodies in New Orleans. Every full moon bring more vanishings, leaving only beds of blood and a human heart. Looking for help anywhere he can find it, Ribaud goes deep into the world of voodoo witnessing sacrifices, sexual rituals, and more on his way to uncovering the truth. This one felt a bit different for me from Everson, but I loved it anyway. The traditional Everson flares show up in just the right places and the mystery was done well. I give Voodoo Heart 4 stars! Definitely recommend this one. If you're a fan of the author, New Orleans, or swampy voodoo stories check it out!

  4. 5 out of 5

    peggy

    After reading the title of this book I knew I had to read it. The case of the bloody beds. Imagine going to bed with your partner then waking up and finding a pool of blood and in the centre of the pool is a human heart. That was it I was hooked and devoured this book in one sitting. The hero of this story is Detective Lawrence Ribaud he woke up one morning to find a bloody pool with a human heart at it's centre where his wife should be. Set in New Orleans, amongst Voodoo Queens, curses, rituals After reading the title of this book I knew I had to read it. The case of the bloody beds. Imagine going to bed with your partner then waking up and finding a pool of blood and in the centre of the pool is a human heart. That was it I was hooked and devoured this book in one sitting. The hero of this story is Detective Lawrence Ribaud he woke up one morning to find a bloody pool with a human heart at it's centre where his wife should be. Set in New Orleans, amongst Voodoo Queens, curses, rituals and so much more. Atmospheric, chilling and so gripping. A real thrill ride, I have found a new author and I can't wait to read more of his work. A very happy reader and a perfect read for this season. Thanks to Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    What can I say? I again enjoyed John Everson and his newest novel VOODOO HEART. I dove right into the story of voodoo and the detective that comes to regret looking for of his missing wife. Set in New Orleans the author delivers a well-written, character-driven piece that quickly becomes atmospheric and chilling as you go along. Of course the blood eventually hit the fan, involving rituals and sacrifices, not to mention all that 70s-like satanic pulp that I adore so much. Oh yes, I had fun with What can I say? I again enjoyed John Everson and his newest novel VOODOO HEART. I dove right into the story of voodoo and the detective that comes to regret looking for of his missing wife. Set in New Orleans the author delivers a well-written, character-driven piece that quickly becomes atmospheric and chilling as you go along. Of course the blood eventually hit the fan, involving rituals and sacrifices, not to mention all that 70s-like satanic pulp that I adore so much. Oh yes, I had fun with this one and I have no doubt that you will too if this subgenre is indeed your cup of tea. My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    John Everson's novel Voodoo Heart certainly started well. People are waking up to discover that their partners have gone, leaving only a blood soaked bed & the missing person's heart. Detective Lawrence Ribaud pounds the street of New Orleans trying to solve the mystery & finds himself caught up in a world of voodoo & a rapidly increasing body count. While the first half of Voodoo Heart gave us some interesting characters & situations the second part just didn't deliver for me. At times I found it John Everson's novel Voodoo Heart certainly started well. People are waking up to discover that their partners have gone, leaving only a blood soaked bed & the missing person's heart. Detective Lawrence Ribaud pounds the street of New Orleans trying to solve the mystery & finds himself caught up in a world of voodoo & a rapidly increasing body count. While the first half of Voodoo Heart gave us some interesting characters & situations the second part just didn't deliver for me. At times I found it hard to suspend my disbelief, but I kept on reading in the hope of a good ending. Sadly, I never found one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Horror Bookworm Reviews

    Taking place in New Orleans, Detective Lawrence Ribaud has been dispatched to an unusual violent crime scene. Upon further investigation the detective begins to slowly uncover what seems to be a connection to an underground voodoo ridden society. Published by Flame Tree Press, author John Everson has awaken the voodoo mythos with his most recent novel Voodoo Heart. Easing the reader into a sense of calm security with his appealing characters and pleasant locations such as Bourbon Street and Th Taking place in New Orleans, Detective Lawrence Ribaud has been dispatched to an unusual violent crime scene. Upon further investigation the detective begins to slowly uncover what seems to be a connection to an underground voodoo ridden society. Published by Flame Tree Press, author John Everson has awaken the voodoo mythos with his most recent novel Voodoo Heart. Easing the reader into a sense of calm security with his appealing characters and pleasant locations such as Bourbon Street and The French Quarter within The Big Easy, make for an alluring setting. His work of fiction quickly turns into a menacing chase towards evil. Missing bodies, dark rituals and black magic governed under a supernatural environment quickly become the forefront of this intense novel. Unfolding into a twisted morbid plot of manifested dark arts, the power held over it’s victims and sacrificial rituals substantiates a fine line between fiction and nonfictional true crime that make the story believable and all too real. Because of the subject matter and Everson's talented writing skill one can't help but have the uneasy feeling of exploring the unknown and treading on sacred hollowed ground. It's certainly an uncomfortable thrilling ride, what horror and being scared is all about. The constant evolving twists and turns will no doubt leave the reader with a desire to seek out their own local mambo priestess for any spells or potions that could aid their ailment and ward off any evil spirits and curses that might linger upon finishing this book. You too will find yourself dredging the swamps for a release of any ritualistic hold this novel will have on you. A strong ceremonious recommendation from The Horror Bookworm. For more recommendations please visit https://horrorbookwormreviews.wordpre...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    This book is an interesting mix....a blend of hard hitting detective novel and occult horror Voodoo style. Set in New Orleans, the story has a lot of rawness about it -- sex, blood, human sacrifice, pure evil.... Although I enjoyed the story, I just couldn't get away from the thought that I'd read so many stories like this before. There are 10000000 New Orleans Voodoo blood and guts everywhere books out there. And this is really just another one on the stack. I didn't particularly get into the ch This book is an interesting mix....a blend of hard hitting detective novel and occult horror Voodoo style. Set in New Orleans, the story has a lot of rawness about it -- sex, blood, human sacrifice, pure evil.... Although I enjoyed the story, I just couldn't get away from the thought that I'd read so many stories like this before. There are 10000000 New Orleans Voodoo blood and guts everywhere books out there. And this is really just another one on the stack. I didn't particularly get into the characters, the action or the horror edge. This is a well-written story....and I did enjoy reading it for the most part. In the end, I think it's just a matter of the story not being for me. I've read too many jaded-detective-gets-embroiled-in-evil stories before,and just didn't get lost in this story like I wanted to. But that is just my opinion. It didn't work for me....doesn't mean others won't absolutely love it. It's a miss for me this time. I do look forward to more by this author though. The next book might be something I really love! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book by John Everson. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura Johnson

    Been a big fan of John's work for years. This is a very welcome addition to my collection. Very interesting characters with a great plot and unexpected ending. Highly recommend! Been a big fan of John's work for years. This is a very welcome addition to my collection. Very interesting characters with a great plot and unexpected ending. Highly recommend!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Coco Carré

    Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this ARC (in unedited proof form) in exchange for my honest review. Genre: Supernatural horror Pages: 256 pages Star Rating: 4.5/5 (rounded to 5) John Everson’s newest novel feels like a 1970’s giallo wormed its way into the grime and booze-soaked charisma of New Orleans. Its troubled protagonist, Detective Ribaud (also known as “Cork"), investigates a string of late-night disappearances in which the victims leave behind a blood-soaked bed and intact heart. Al Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this ARC (in unedited proof form) in exchange for my honest review. Genre: Supernatural horror Pages: 256 pages Star Rating: 4.5/5 (rounded to 5) John Everson’s newest novel feels like a 1970’s giallo wormed its way into the grime and booze-soaked charisma of New Orleans. Its troubled protagonist, Detective Ribaud (also known as “Cork"), investigates a string of late-night disappearances in which the victims leave behind a blood-soaked bed and intact heart. Although his wife was the first to vanish, the case becomes more and more personal as he gets closer to the heart of the mystery. I love horror and thrillers set in the South, and New Orleans is a city steeped in things that make for a great atmosphere: poverty, liquor, French romanticism, a cruel history, and of course, voodoo (alternately spelled Vodou). Vodou and a similar Southern practice, hoodoo, have always fascinated me for a reason that I rarely talk about: my family’s history and escape from an extreme Pentecostal/evangelical faith, which made the lives of my mother and her sisters a living hell. My mother and her sisters once went away to a parishioner's farm for a weekend, where a chicken was butchered and served for dinner. The chicken feet were found stashed under my aunt’s bed later, bound with string to some other items, and my mother and her sisters were gravely punished for what was judged as a grisly prank. I heard this story several times until, as an adult, I found out via research that the feet were likely to be a talisman of protection in the hoodoo faith, and that one of the workers at the farm likely knew what my grandfather was up to, and risked quite a bit to try to help my mom and aunts. So, what does this have to do with horror? Too often, Vodou and associated practices are portrayed as devious, near-Satanic practices in film and other media. The 1987 film Angel Heart is a great example, in which the rituals are used only to harm, and to depict Lisa Bonet’s character as exotic, dangerous, and untrustworthy. Voodoo Heart handles this much more sensitively—the novel shows the light and dark side of practices found in New Orleans and distinguishes more serious practice from the shtick of tourist shops. There is also much more of the history of Vodou practice and popularity than you would find in the average novel that includes it as a plot point. The imagery in the book is as striking as you could expect from its cover, and it’s balanced by the emotional impact of the disappearances as well. Everson’s Detective Rimbaud isn’t the stone-cold detective that you see in bestsellers; his doubts, guilt, and horror are like a fruit expertly muddled into the liquor that is the blood-soaked, swampy, disturbing images of its plot. I never really found Rimbaud likable—the one sour point in the novel, for me, was his propensity to sleep with women in precarious or abusive situations, ignoring how much danger it could bring them. Still, the book is so well-written and beautifully atmospheric enough that I solidly recommend it – especially if you enjoy media like True Detective's first season, HBO’s Sharp Objects, or Jim Thompson’s work. Read-alikes: Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Sara Gran Nightfilm, Marisha Pessl Content warnings: mind control, gore, alcohol abuse, mentions of domestic violence and sexual assault

  11. 5 out of 5

    James

    All across New Orleans, on one night each month, people are being snatched from their beds, their hearts left on their bloody sheets. Their family and loved ones are at a loss to explain how it happened right under their noses; even partners sleeping next to the victims aren’t woken when the victims are stolen away into the night. Detective Lawrence Ribaud’s wife is one such victim and this makes the investigation very personal to him. It soon transpires that the disappearances are occurring on All across New Orleans, on one night each month, people are being snatched from their beds, their hearts left on their bloody sheets. Their family and loved ones are at a loss to explain how it happened right under their noses; even partners sleeping next to the victims aren’t woken when the victims are stolen away into the night. Detective Lawrence Ribaud’s wife is one such victim and this makes the investigation very personal to him. It soon transpires that the disappearances are occurring on the night of the full moon and that voodoo, or at least a belief in voodoo, is in play. Ribaud is a cynic and doesn’t believe in the power of voodoo, but many of the people he interacts with do and as the investigation unfolds, he finds his scepticism challenged. Voodoo Heart is an excellent book. It has a great sense of place and while I’ve never been to New Orleans myself, the author appears to know the city well; I really enjoyed how he took us behind the touristy kitsch that most visitors will only see. It is also full of a creepy atmosphere and is not for the feint hearted. Ribaud comes across some horrific things in this novel and there’s a lot of blood and guts. If I have one criticism of Voodoo Heart, it’s that Ribaud’s police colleagues never mention his wife. This is a man whose wife is a victim of these horrific crimes, yet none of his colleagues, nor his boss, ask once about his wellbeing. Now one asks how he’s holding up. And would he even be allowed to work the case, seeing as he’s so personally invested and thus maybe not thinking straight? Again, this is never addressed. That said, this is a really good slice of Southern Gothic horror and is well worth a read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Wow! I very much enjoyed this voodoo thriller. Interesting characters from Detective Ribaud to the Black Queen, Charlaine Marie. Secret societies, voodoo dolls, and mutilated bodies. Most of the action takes place in and around the French Quarter of New Orleans. This story would make a great movie. Highly recommended

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (Oracleofmadness)

    This was a thrilling ride through the heart of Voodoo country. This story takes place in New Orleans and has all the perfect details that made me feel I was actually there. Follow Detective Ribaud, also known as Cork, as he becomes immersed in a case involving missing bodies, and yes, some Voodoo. This was suspenseful and intense. I really feel like it's the perfect fix if your looking for a supernatural thriller full of twists and turns that will keep you reading. This was a thrilling ride through the heart of Voodoo country. This story takes place in New Orleans and has all the perfect details that made me feel I was actually there. Follow Detective Ribaud, also known as Cork, as he becomes immersed in a case involving missing bodies, and yes, some Voodoo. This was suspenseful and intense. I really feel like it's the perfect fix if your looking for a supernatural thriller full of twists and turns that will keep you reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zen Ghost Bookworm

    ::SPOILERS:: I am very torn on how to rate this book!! There are some excellent qualities, and I definitely got what I came for when choosing this title. However, there were a few things that bothered me to the point of almost ruining this for me. First, a quick read of the description was enough to get me excited. A detective in New Orleans dealing with killings related to voodoo? YES, please. And this doesn't disappoint. Our main character is like one of the old time noir private eyes, taking o ::SPOILERS:: I am very torn on how to rate this book!! There are some excellent qualities, and I definitely got what I came for when choosing this title. However, there were a few things that bothered me to the point of almost ruining this for me. First, a quick read of the description was enough to get me excited. A detective in New Orleans dealing with killings related to voodoo? YES, please. And this doesn't disappoint. Our main character is like one of the old time noir private eyes, taking on the city by himself (more on that in a bit). We have priestesses, sacrifices, midnight rituals, and everything else you would expect in a voodoo tale. I also enjoyed the story here. The curse and the methods used in the killings are unique and descriptive. There are plenty of surprising events that will keep you entertained! It is a fun, quick read. On to the bad qualities. The killings all happen on the night of the full moon. We focus on it so much that the author titles his chapters with phases of the moon. However, come full moon night, our lead detective on the case is NOT even working. He's off in bars and hooking up with people and wandering through the woods. At one point he even says something like "Oh, is that tonight? I forgot there was a full moon." Dude, your whole case is based on this. I think you would know, or at least show up at work that night. . Our main character kicks off the story by telling us he lost his wife in one of the first voodoo killings, which kicks off the investigation. True, she was cheating on him, but he seems to not show an ounce of sadness or remorse over his wife. Even though he wants to solve the case, she seems to have little to do with his motivation. And he certainly doesn't let his new widow status get in the way of his very successful love life. Which brings us to his choice in women. I'm not a prude, and maybe we don't all ask for a history from our perspective partners, but this guy takes unsafe sex to the next level. He witnesses a woman having sex with a demon in a coven's group ritual. The next time he sees her, they have sex. Then he witnesses another woman having sex with a snake during a group ritual. The next time he sees her, they have sex. I think these rituals would give some men pause? He acts like it is nothing at all. Don't all women do this? Or is this just his type? We won't even get into the incident with the voodoo priestess. Let's just not. Poor relationship skills aside, for a detective, this man has NO regard for police procedure. I know authors are not always versed in that kind of thing, but if your main is a detective, you should at least try. He shows up at crime scenes, touches everything, takes things with him, loses evidence, goes to most interviews and follows leads completely alone, and more. My breaking point was (SPOILERS here) when he found a mutilated body on an alter, AND multiple bodies in the trees at the same site, AND two policemen he is with go missing. His response? He goes home and goes to bed, then goes to work in the morning. Like it was nothing!! We never talk about any of that again. WHAT??? I'm mad just typing this. When I think of only this one element, I want to give the book a one-star. Ok, that last one really gets me. BUT, I still can't give it less than a three, because god help me, this still has all the fun elements I wanted it to have: voodoo, curses, rituals, killings, New Orleans, voodoo, and voodoo. I mean, how can that be less than a three, right??

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janine Pipe

    There were a couple of things which made Voodoo Heart appeal to me, synopsis aside. I saw the words New Orleans and even more importantly for myself, it came highly recommended by one of my own favourite (and fellow Flame Tree) writers, Glenn Rolfe. I was already sold. And then I saw this. When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearances. A There were a couple of things which made Voodoo Heart appeal to me, synopsis aside. I saw the words New Orleans and even more importantly for myself, it came highly recommended by one of my own favourite (and fellow Flame Tree) writers, Glenn Rolfe. I was already sold. And then I saw this. When Detective Lawrence Ribaud wakes alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing, he knows this is more than just a mysterious case of murder. His wife is the latest victim in a string of bizarre disappearances. All across New Orleans, on one night each month, people are vanishing, leaving behind nothing but a pool of blood on the bedsheets… and an abandoned heart. Ribaud doesn’t believe in voodoo, but he soon finds himself moving through the underbelly of a secret society of snakes, sacrifices and obscene rituals in search of the mysterious Black Queen … and the curse of her Voodoo Heart. So, what did I think? I bloody loved it. This was actually the first Everson book I have read but I will be searching more work out from him for sure. I had heard that his work can be a little risqué and let’s just say there are bits that are not for the faint-hearted, but I lapped it up. I find anything to do with NOLA fascinating and although I have never been, Everson’s use of description had been right there in the French Quarter. The characters were interesting and had depth and I felt fully invested. The MC isn’t all that likeable but I still had fun getting to know him. He was flawed but aren’t we all? I also felt like there had been a lot of research in regards to the voodoo and lore side of the story. I am not an expert but either Everson did his homework or he is such a good story-teller I believed it regardless. There was mystery and horror and shocking revelations, and it was fantastic. 5/5

  16. 4 out of 5

    Traveling Cloak

    Voodoo Heart is a paranormal thriller that includes elements of New Orleans culture, voodoo, and detective work to tell a story of murder and fear in the swamps of Lousiana. This book had a lot of interesting elements to it. The narrative starts of quite mysterious with a series of murders and extracted hearts left behind. There are no witness and no one knows why. Detective Ribaud catches the case, which creates a bit of tension because his wife is one of the victims. The detective work was inte Voodoo Heart is a paranormal thriller that includes elements of New Orleans culture, voodoo, and detective work to tell a story of murder and fear in the swamps of Lousiana. This book had a lot of interesting elements to it. The narrative starts of quite mysterious with a series of murders and extracted hearts left behind. There are no witness and no one knows why. Detective Ribaud catches the case, which creates a bit of tension because his wife is one of the victims. The detective work was interesting with Ribaud being so personally invested, because the reader gets to see him waver back and forth between personal and professional goals. This is exacerbated because the detective has deep ties to the community, and seeing him deal with the fact that many of the people involved in the case are people he knows well. This fact puts the detective in a lot of interesting situations. The bread-and-butter of this book is the involvement of the voodoo community. The story is murderous and bloody, and it is written that way to give it a tone of fear. I think author John Everson accomplishes this pretty well. The stage is set with victims’ bleeding hears being left behind, and continues with magic jewelry, potions, spells and sacrifices. I do not know much about voodoo myself, so I cannot comment as to how well the practice was represented; but as far as being a thriller I think it hit a lot of the right notes. This book does have its flaws, and you have to have. a strong stomach to be able to deal with the gore. I would also be remiss if I did not warn of the depictions of rape, and at least one scene of sexual assault. If these are triggers for you, proceed with caution. I was glad to have read this book during the spooky season. Between the setting and the tone of the story, it gives off chilling vibes and keeps me in the Halloween mood. If that type of book sounds interesting to you, I recommend giving Voodoo Heart a shot.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angela Maher

    A horror novel set in New Orleans involving voodoo? Yes please! I had been wanting a read like this for a while and rather enjoyed it. The lead character comes across as a bit shallow at times, but he is who he is, and it all ties in with the story. Plenty of mystery to go along with the horror, and a refreshingly modern treatment of witches and witchcraft, all while maintaining an air of menace.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I’d never heard of the author before but the blurb sounded like something I’d really enjoy and I’ve been impressed by other work from the publisher. I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. I don’t think I’ve read voodoo fiction before. The main character is not easy to like, he’s a serial cheater and a bit lazy for a detective. I usually need to get behind a character to engage with a book and although I disliked him a lot he was strangely appealing and I https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... I’d never heard of the author before but the blurb sounded like something I’d really enjoy and I’ve been impressed by other work from the publisher. I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. I don’t think I’ve read voodoo fiction before. The main character is not easy to like, he’s a serial cheater and a bit lazy for a detective. I usually need to get behind a character to engage with a book and although I disliked him a lot he was strangely appealing and I had a bit of a soft spot for him. The book is so well written and engaging I forgave characterisation flaws. It’s quite gory at times but never gets too much or OTT. The most enjoyable aspect of the book is the voodoo lore in the book. It seemed to ring true and I’m sure the author did his research. Overall, I had a great time with this which was a bit different for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Voodoo Heart was a weird body horror novel that I didn't want to end. I would happily read many more novels in this world. Once again I tore through the work of John Everson. I'm already looking forward to his next book. The black queen is quite the cool villain. Very highly recommended. Voodoo Heart was a weird body horror novel that I didn't want to end. I would happily read many more novels in this world. Once again I tore through the work of John Everson. I'm already looking forward to his next book. The black queen is quite the cool villain. Very highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    John Everson’s new book is another treasure to read that fits within the universe of his other works but is slightly different from his horror output. This does not make the book any less pleasurable but it does show the diversity in the amazing style of Everson’s work. The characters are very well constructed and interesting from the small cameo to the main characters. Lawrence Ribald, the main character, tells the story in the first person and he finds himself in the middle of an investigation John Everson’s new book is another treasure to read that fits within the universe of his other works but is slightly different from his horror output. This does not make the book any less pleasurable but it does show the diversity in the amazing style of Everson’s work. The characters are very well constructed and interesting from the small cameo to the main characters. Lawrence Ribald, the main character, tells the story in the first person and he finds himself in the middle of an investigation that has horrifying aspects that starts our hero down a rabbit hole that may not bring him back to reality. He has his faults and they work very well within the confines of the story and make him extremely human which is an asset to this detective thriller novel. The subsidiary characters are very well defined and helps the readers enter the voodoo world in New Orleans. Some of them become victims and there is an emotional strength when this happens that it makes you yearn for Ribald to solve the crimes. All characters play a part in the overall mystery and they do help push the plot forward. The plot is well constructed which makes this a real page turner with very little room for the reader to catch a breath. The setting and pacing are above par and drives the reader to its ultimate conclusion. There are some very interesting voodoo rituals and I am not versed in voodoo rituals but these are quite the head turning. This is an exciting read and as a horror novel probably will not be for the hard-core but as a mystery thriller novel it does exceed. Everson’s novel always turns the normal tropes on their heads to give the reader a very unique experience with the confines of each genre that he tackles. This is an exceptional novel and one that I thorough enjoyed and highly recommend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dogdaysinaz

    That was a wild ride. I inhaled it. There is some suspension of disbelief required as you might expect from a horror story with "voodoo" in the title, but the pacing is great, and I was always ready to know what was coming next. Well, I really wasn't ready for some of that craziness, but it was an interesting read. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a digital review copy. I would definitely read something else by this author. That was a wild ride. I inhaled it. There is some suspension of disbelief required as you might expect from a horror story with "voodoo" in the title, but the pacing is great, and I was always ready to know what was coming next. Well, I really wasn't ready for some of that craziness, but it was an interesting read. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a digital review copy. I would definitely read something else by this author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Splatter Geist

    Voodoo Heart takes a deep-dive into the occult world of New Orleans and its famous, yet also infamous, voodoo culture. While the author makes it clear that voodoo is often mistaken for being considered bad juju and something that immediately has a negative association, the thorough research made on the topic also brings to light that there are as many positive things about voodoo as well. Mainstream society unfortunately only clings to the bad shit because happy endings don’t really sell, do they Voodoo Heart takes a deep-dive into the occult world of New Orleans and its famous, yet also infamous, voodoo culture. While the author makes it clear that voodoo is often mistaken for being considered bad juju and something that immediately has a negative association, the thorough research made on the topic also brings to light that there are as many positive things about voodoo as well. Mainstream society unfortunately only clings to the bad shit because happy endings don’t really sell, do they? As great a detective novel as any other, I will admit that after finishing Voodoo Heart, this book will hold a special place in my digital shelf of favorites. Obviously, it’s because of voodoo and New Orleans, but also because Everson has written a novel full of acute observations about the place (the kind of people who live there and their beliefs) that he has created an enthralling world of its own not many people are aware of. Heck, some of us can’t help but to associate New Orleans with voodoo because it’s such an integral part of that specific society (myself included). Detective Lawrence Ribaud is thankfully not a close-minded individual and it’s a relief to read a detective story that breaks away from this mindset. Initially he is dismissive about all the voodoo nonsense in the beginning as any believable person would be, but gradually opens up to consider every angle, doing what he can to ultimately ‘solve the case’. In this regard (don’t worry, you’re not getting any spoilers) Everson did a great job about his character’s development and for that I applause him. Ribaud uses what he knows and proves to be a quick thinker, therefore making him as good as any of the other well-known detectives that exist in fiction today, especially when handling supernatural cases.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Don Gillette

    Absolutely riveting tale that combines a detective novel with elements of the supernatural brilliantly. While it seemed to be a bit of a departure for John Everson, as soon as I put his other work out of my mind and approached this without that baggage, I was immediately drawn in and stayed in until I'd finished. Yes, there are dozens of treatments out there that involve voodoo, rituals, murders, etc. but make no mistake about it--this isn't "Angel Heart" or "Serpent and the Rainbow." This is ori Absolutely riveting tale that combines a detective novel with elements of the supernatural brilliantly. While it seemed to be a bit of a departure for John Everson, as soon as I put his other work out of my mind and approached this without that baggage, I was immediately drawn in and stayed in until I'd finished. Yes, there are dozens of treatments out there that involve voodoo, rituals, murders, etc. but make no mistake about it--this isn't "Angel Heart" or "Serpent and the Rainbow." This is original, captivating, and well worth a read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jacque Stengel

    This was an entertaining read. I was able to learn more about Voodoo through the eyes of the main character and that was a great benefit. There were some scenes that made no sense as he is a detective and should have known better. It wasn't as scary as I was led to believe and would be good for those dabbling into horror. Trigger warnings include: graphic sex and violence as well as sex with non humans. Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy. This was an entertaining read. I was able to learn more about Voodoo through the eyes of the main character and that was a great benefit. There were some scenes that made no sense as he is a detective and should have known better. It wasn't as scary as I was led to believe and would be good for those dabbling into horror. Trigger warnings include: graphic sex and violence as well as sex with non humans. Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

    Maaaan, I really wanted to love this! Voodoo - good! New Orleans - good! Witches and demons and spells and snakes! - good!!! But it just didn’t come to together well for me. My main issues, without spoiling anything; Cork had woken up a few months ago to find his wife missing, her side of the bed soaked in blood, and a human heart in the middle, but while he SAID he was heartbroken and would have her back in flash, he’s pretty quick to move on and doesn’t seem overly traumatised by this event! A Maaaan, I really wanted to love this! Voodoo - good! New Orleans - good! Witches and demons and spells and snakes! - good!!! But it just didn’t come to together well for me. My main issues, without spoiling anything; Cork had woken up a few months ago to find his wife missing, her side of the bed soaked in blood, and a human heart in the middle, but while he SAID he was heartbroken and would have her back in flash, he’s pretty quick to move on and doesn’t seem overly traumatised by this event! AND the police are treating the cases as missing persons not murder because there’s no body. Can they not DNA test the hearts??? Pretty sure if my heart is on my bed and I am not, then I am dead and I didn’t do it to myself..... It wasn’t a bad book, just a meh book. Three stars is probably generous, it’s more of a 2.5. I just needed to believe in Cork more and he just felt like a bit of a randy jerk instead of a grieving widow Detective. I received a free ARC from Netgalley in return for a fair review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carole Knoles

    Well, what can I say about Voodoo Heart? I wanted to read it because the story takes place in New Orleans one of my favorite places in the world. There should be a classification of a book like this referring to male readers like a guy version of chicklit. It's got snakes and tattoos and sex and booze and Voodoo Queen porn. What it did not have was a properly appreciative audience in me. Well, what can I say about Voodoo Heart? I wanted to read it because the story takes place in New Orleans one of my favorite places in the world. There should be a classification of a book like this referring to male readers like a guy version of chicklit. It's got snakes and tattoos and sex and booze and Voodoo Queen porn. What it did not have was a properly appreciative audience in me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Inkslinger

    ARC provided by Flame Tree Press and John Everson via Random Things Tours. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 10-20: 'Voodoo Heart' is a supernatural thriller set in the heart of New Orleans. Written by Bram Stoker Award Winner, John Everson, it follows the story of Detective Lawrence 'Cork' Ribaud. After waking alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing and an even more ominous piece of evidence sitting amidst the still wet stain, Cork realizes ARC provided by Flame Tree Press and John Everson via Random Things Tours. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 10-20: 'Voodoo Heart' is a supernatural thriller set in the heart of New Orleans. Written by Bram Stoker Award Winner, John Everson, it follows the story of Detective Lawrence 'Cork' Ribaud. After waking alone in a bloody bed with his wife missing and an even more ominous piece of evidence sitting amidst the still wet stain, Cork realizes she has just become the latest victim in a growing list of those who've gone missing under the same circumstances. Across the city, at some point during the night.. once a month, people are disappearing mysteriously. Though he doesn't believe in voodoo, the bizarre crime scenes make him think that someone who does might be involved. Nothing left behind of the missing except a pool of blood on the sheets and a heart, presumably from the victim, his investigation turns toward the idea that someone may be conducting rituals of some kind or hoping to make it look that way. The story itself is well put together and the mystery seems to hold up. I have far too much experience consuming this type of content probably, so I definitely saw some of the conclusive reveals coming in the early pages of the book.. but there was still a surprise or two along the way. Everson does dialogue unusually well. The conversations all felt incredibly natural, rather than carrying with them forced emotion and posturing in an attempt to portray a certain image of a character. Their personalities aligned seamlessly with who they were as people. There is a tendency to overuse a specific phrase, but thankfully it's all in one area of the book and doesn't reoccur later.. as long as you don't count the incessant need to keep calling attention to NOLA Hopitoulas IPA. Like, I get it.. it's his drink of choice.. and it's a local favorite, but a couple shout-outs are plenty. Also, I don't mind sexual situations in books.. with or without purpose.. I don't care how crassly it's referred to.. but the "the long tube of flesh that was growing even longer" made me laugh hysterically and that was unfortunate, because it was actually a pretty intense scene that could have had more of an affect on the reader if it had been worded differently. I had some minor issues with details regarding New Orleans, but other than that, the story is richly tinted in darkness.. both that of very human impulses and potentially disturbing, even controversial moments. This book is definitely not for the squeamish, anyone wishing to avoid themes of black magic rituals, or those who are uncomfortable with very taboo sex.. but for me, those were probably the most interesting elements. My favorite part of the story was actually the way Everson set up the regional.. let's call it disbursement of territories.. and the concept of how that was all developed from its origin to the modern design. I really enjoyed the idea and the way the parties were distinguished.. and actually would have liked to have seen more done with it. If you're looking for a quick horror read and don't mind an unintentional laugh or two, you might give this a try. As for triggers, in addition to those above, the violent acts are on the extreme side, there is mention of domestic abuse, and even some non-consensual situations. PURCHASE LINKS: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSAMILLION | GOOGLEPLAY BOOKS | INDIGO | KOBO | WATERSTONES

  28. 5 out of 5

    -RadioactiveBookworm-

    I haven't read a ton of scary stories this October, but the ones I have gotten my hands on, I've really enjoyed, and this one is no exception. Though I do have to say that there were a few parts that I was too immature to read and had me laughing harder than I should have, I did really like reading this, and I'm happy to have a copy for my bookshelf. If you're looking for a New Orleans Detective style murder mystery novel with a ton of magic and voodoo mixed in, than you might want to check this I haven't read a ton of scary stories this October, but the ones I have gotten my hands on, I've really enjoyed, and this one is no exception. Though I do have to say that there were a few parts that I was too immature to read and had me laughing harder than I should have, I did really like reading this, and I'm happy to have a copy for my bookshelf. If you're looking for a New Orleans Detective style murder mystery novel with a ton of magic and voodoo mixed in, than you might want to check this out next. Check out my full review here! https://radioactivebookreviews.wordpr...

  29. 4 out of 5

    4cats

    Set in New Orleans, this is a hard boiled detective novel mixed with the culture of Voodoo. Detective Lawrence Ribaud finds himself investigating a series of disappearances where people go missing in the middle of the night and only their ripped out hearts are found in their beds in the morning. Ribaud suspects Voodoo is at play and although a non believer he begins to realise there may be more to it than shops selling charms and potions to tourists. If you are looking for a procedural read then Set in New Orleans, this is a hard boiled detective novel mixed with the culture of Voodoo. Detective Lawrence Ribaud finds himself investigating a series of disappearances where people go missing in the middle of the night and only their ripped out hearts are found in their beds in the morning. Ribaud suspects Voodoo is at play and although a non believer he begins to realise there may be more to it than shops selling charms and potions to tourists. If you are looking for a procedural read then this isn't the book for you. However, if you want an entertaining crime/horror with lots of Voodoo then this is the read for you. Easy to read that keeps you turning the page to the end.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aiden Merchant

    Now that I know what John Everson is capable of, I will be tracking down more of his work. You see, Voodoo Heart does something I love, but haven’t come across much yet - it blends crime and horror seamlessly. I love a good detective novel, especially when it has a strong grasp on suspense; incorporating elements of horror makes the mystery all the more desirable. Voodoo Heart tells the story of a New Orleans detective that has recently lost his wife to horrific and curious circumstances - she’s Now that I know what John Everson is capable of, I will be tracking down more of his work. You see, Voodoo Heart does something I love, but haven’t come across much yet - it blends crime and horror seamlessly. I love a good detective novel, especially when it has a strong grasp on suspense; incorporating elements of horror makes the mystery all the more desirable. Voodoo Heart tells the story of a New Orleans detective that has recently lost his wife to horrific and curious circumstances - she’s vanished from their bed, leaving nothing but some blood and her heart. Before Lawrence can get to the meaning of it all, more alerts are sounded throughout the city. All over, people have disappeared the same way. This continues for weeks before Lawrence gets any kind of leg up on what is possibly behind it all: a terrible voodoo curse. And if he doesn’t hurry, others he loves will be next. I was entertained throughout this novel. I especially enjoyed the bizarre dances and meetings Lawrence experiences in his search for answers. How much of these acts are based on reality, I don’t know - but it all sounds well researched. So, if Everson made it all up, kudos to him! There is some strange and wicked shit at play here. My issues really just came in the final act. Like with other Flame Tree titles, the ending seemed rushed and sudden. Some things weren’t rightfully explained in the process, while other things were provided in an annoying bad-guy-spills-their-secrets-in-a-long-monologue sort of scene. I also had trouble with the fact that the national news never came into play, nor any outside force. In reality, if this many people were going missing (and assumed dead), the FBI or someone would have gotten involved. New Orleans would not have been left high and dry with tens of people dropping hearts on their beds every few weeks. Issues aside, I really had fun with Voodoo Heart. I definitely recommend it, and definitely intend to read more of Everson moving forward. ** Highlights: Strong crime backdrop, but supernatural and mysterious at the same time … moves with ease and suspense Shadows: The lack of explanation as to “how” things were committed within the homes without raising awareness or showing signs of entry … somewhat rushed ending … mass murders/disappearances of this nature would have brought about national news coverage, if not the FBI as well For fans of : Crime and horror blends ... witchcraft and voodoo ... cults and demon worshipping ... spells and curses Takeaway: Voodoo Heart is an exciting and bloody treat that expertly combines the genres of crime and horror. Would I read this author again? Yes Review by Aiden Merchant → www.aidenmerchant.com Contact: [email protected] Social Media: Instagram (AidenMerchant.Official) and Twitter (AidenMerchant89)

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