Memphis Hoodoo Murders (2015): Gravedigger’s Book Report.

Memphis Hoodoo MurdersWritten by Kathryn Rogers

Published by Sartoris Literary Group

I’ve been doing an awful lot of reading lately, as it’s been quite a while since I’ve done so.  One of those books being the one I’m about to talk about today, Memphis Hoodoo Murders.  My thanks go out to Kelsey at Book Publicity Services and Kathryn Rogers for the copy of her debut novel.

The story revolves around Addie Jackson, a twenty-year old college student who has spent much of her life living with, and taking care of, her grandparents Louie and June Jackson.  The book is written in the first-person perspective of Addie, so you’ll be better off knowing the grandparents as Grandma and Pop.  The family have a history of being on the bad side of people, and after being attacked by the local gang The Skullbangerz, Addie herself is now not safe.  When Addie is told by the gang leader that he wants her grandma’s ring, this adds on to the already swirling mystery surrounding the senior Jacksons. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Addie has visions of the future; disturbing visions that always seem to come to pass.  Also, she is being stalked by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen.  With local police bewitched by Hoodoo magic, Addie allies are fewer than she would like.  Will she be able to overcome the odds and put and end to the persistent threats looming over her family?

Memphis Hoodoo Murders has some good things going for it.  I enjoyed the characters and wanted Addie to win the day.  She goes through a lot of crap in this story and is a genuinely good person, which is something you don’t see a lot in movies these days.  I felt bad for her when tragedy strikes her, which was a refreshing trait.  The characters surrounding Addie are believable and have realistic reactions to things going on around them.  This realism is because author Kathryn Rogers grew up in Memphis, so she had a good handle of how people spoke, and how they lived.   The book has a fairly consistent pace for the most part, and when things slow down or speed up, it’s for a good reason.  I wouldn’t say the story is anything groundbreaking, but I didn’t find myself getting bored at any point.

Complaints I have are pretty minor.  For one, I kind of expected Hoodoo to play a larger part in the story.  The fact of the matter is while there is a lot of talk about Hoodoo, you don’t really get to see any major Hoodoo practice happen until fairly late in the story.  Another thing involves the character Gavin, who takes up the majority of Addie’s visions until he shows up in person later.  To me he was one of the most interesting characters, and while he had a big part in the book, I felt that I didn’t get to know enough about him or what he was capable of.  If a sequel is ever in the works, i would like to learn more about him.  And finally, it wasn’t really scary to me.  If you’re going in expecting to be scared, you might be disappointed. It’s not really what I would consider horror but if you go in knowing that, you’ll be in a better frame of mind going in.

 Despite my minor complaints, Memphis Hoodoo Murders was a very good debut novel in my opinion.  Kathryn Rogers has a promising future ahead of her, and it’s clear she has a strong love for writing.  I would recommend you check out the novel.  Until next time, rest in peace.

Macabre Rating: 4 out of 5 tombstones

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