In Rumble on the Bayou by Jana DeLeon, Deputy Dorie Berenger gets called to the home of Maylene Thibodeaux where an alligator has taken up residence in Maylene’s swimming pool and shows no interest in moving. With a backpack hanging out of his mouth, they have extra reason for concern, and poking him doesn’t even make him stir. So Dorie and Deputy Joe Miller snatch the bag out of the gator’s mouth, and with it comes a finger. They soon figure out why the reptile isn’t responding to their nudges to make him move: The backpack is filled with money and bags of heroin. This alligator is stoned out of his mind!
Dorie and Joe get their suspicions about the finger validated when Richard Starke, DEA agent, sweeps into town, expecting to take over the town of Gator Bait. But Dorie has other ideas, leading to a show-down with the sheriff, who happens to be Dorie’s father and lives in a retirement home, paralyzed from the waist down. Told to stop being children and cooperate with each other, Dorie and Dick have to learn to work together. She learns that Dick has been chasing the elusive Roland, one of the top importers of drugs into the States, for years and that the man is truly desperate and dangerous.
What follows is plenty of action, both as law enforcement and the personal interactions between Dorie and Dick. There are several unique twists and turns.
This is the first of Jana DeLeon’s many successful books, and it is a good start, but it doesn’t come close to the amazing writing that makes her books so delightful. I give this book three stars.
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