Fat Tuesday
by Sandra Brown
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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Burke Basile is not a happy man, The jury has just returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" against Wayne Bardo. Basile knows Bardo is responsible for the death of Kevin Stuart, even if he didn't fire the fatal bullet. Bardo is a crook, and he got off because his defense lawyer was none other than the infamous Pinkie Duvall.

Though his high-profile career appears clean, the good cops at the New Orleans Police Department know Duvall is as crooked as they come. Unfortunately, Duvall is always one step ahead of the NOPD and is still a free man. In reality, Duvall is truly evil, running a drug ring, and ordering hits on whoever makes him angry.

Basile has a hard time returning to the department. He feels he is to blame for putting his partner is the line of fire. They we part of a drug bust that went very wrong. The crooks had been tipped off and were ready when the cops arrived.

Basile and his wife split up shortly after the verdict. With his marriage shot and an overall feeling of disgust for corrupt cops, Basile abruptly quits the force. Colleagues are baffled by the action, but Basile won't divulge his real reason for quitting. He wants to erase Bardo and Duvall, both men responsible for the death of Kevin Stuart. As a cop, Basile would have to follow the rules. As a civilian, Basile is free to seek revenge.

With an ingenious plan of action, Basile kidnaps Duvall's most prized possession: his young, beautiful trophy wife, Remy. Basile expects Duvall to come find his wife, and he'll be waiting with gun in hand. Duvall, as well, wants Basile dead.

Fat Tuesday chronicles the clash between good and evil. The battles take place all over New Orleans, from Duvall's exquisite mansion to the maze of swamps just outside town. Once the kidnapping happens (early on in the book), there is not a dull moment on any page.

Both Basile and Duvall are not afraid to kill and nobody around them is safe. On top of all that, there is a corrupt leak at the NOPD. Basile can't trust anyone, not even his friends. With so much happening in this book, and without giving anything away, I can safely say that not everybody makes it out alive.

The thrilling climax arrives on Mardi Gras, the biggest holiday of the year in New Orleans. The real question is.in this ultimate battle of extreme revenge, who lives to see Ash Wednesday? The hitmen working for Duvall? The good and bad cops at NOPD? Remy? Bardo? Duvall? Basile?

Will good prevail over evil? The answer is found in Fat Tuesday.

One unique characteristic about this book is that its main character is male. This is nothing new in the fiction world, but it is unusual for Ms. Brown. I have to commend her on her writing, though. The character of Burke Basile is very believable. He reminded me a lot of the Lucas Davenport character in the Prey series of thrillers by John Sandford.

I am giving the book five stars, but in reality it should be about 4.75 stars. There are some teeny annoyances, like the obligatory sex scene. However, these items weren't enough to take away a whole star, so I rounded up to five.

I wholeheartedly recommend Fat Tuesday to readers. It is fast paced and interesting. The New Orleans setting is a nice change, since the thrillers I have been reading lately are set in New York or Washington D.C. Also, with the main good guy being male, I feel men might like this book as well.

So if you have a little extra time, pick up a copy of Fat Tuesday. Reading a book with such interesting characters and a great setting, it would be hard to feel anything but satisfied.

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