Evil is such a simple thing. Insidious. Creeping silently on feet of fog, twisting into the home. The heart. The mind and soul. Evil. Darkness walking, talking. It slips along in the night, struts boldly through the light of day. Christians cry, Muslims mourn… but for the followers of Voodoo? Blood rains. Chicken blood. Human blood. All the same, the same, the same. Voodoo worships life, worships health and wellbeing.
Until the darkness comes.
And with the darkness, Papa changes, turns.
Popular media would have you see Papa Legba as a baby-eating, cocaine snorting monster, American Horror Story style. Nothing could be further from the truth. Papa is the guide, the communicator, speaking to the living and the dead – the guardian of the gates to Heaven. No Lwa Baron Samedi, Papa is kind. Until, as with the Christian Devil, He is twisted, changed, darkened . . .
“We used to know we were stronger than the devil”– Amiri Baraka
The Dark Voodoo reigns in Voodoo on Bayou LaFonte. The swamps have always been dark and dangerous, filled with things that go bump in the night. Things that roar, and grunt, and swallow the unwary. But now, a darker thing creeps about. A ‘thing’ that steals Remy Steinberg’s child. And if Remy, a Houston police officer, is to get her back before the unthinkable happens, he must overcome his (well earned) terror of the swamps.
I am impressed by Susan C. Muller. A Texan, she paid attention to the meanings behind Voodoo, not falling into the “If I don’t understand it, it is evil” mindset. VoBlF has a paranormal bent, but not overwhelmingly so. Instead, it is a study in the ubiquitous banality of evil. Of the monotony of ignorance and inbreeding, and the dreary predictability of avarice. I haven’t read a lot of good books lately, just because I haven’t gotten off my backside and searched them out. (Easily distracted much? Yep.) But Muller has encouraged me to move away from my ‘book slump’ and get back to reading.
If you are at all interested in a good book with a touch of voodoo, a dollop of Louisiana, and a strong insight on just how screwed up being poor in the US can be – read it. I really liked pretty much everything about it.