September 2, 2013

An Excerpt of DJ Donaldson's "Louisiana Fever"

D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.  He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers.

About Louisiana Fever: New Orleans medical examiner, Andy Broussard, and his sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, are about to confront two of the most remorseless killers the city has ever seen. 

The nightmare begins when Kit goes to meet an anonymous stranger who’s been sending her roses, only to have him drop dead at her feet before she discovers his identity. Broussard learns that the man carried a lethal virus similar to the deadly Ebola. Soon, another body shows up with the same bug. “If your skin doesn’t crawl with the step-by-step description of the work of the medical examiner and his assistants, it certainly will when Donaldson reveals the carrier of the fever. ” (Knoxville News-Sentinel). And that carrier is on a quest to find Broussard.

But Kit isn’t safe either. As she searches for more information about her mystery suitor-and the source of the virus-she encounters a human killer every bit as cold blooded as the creature searching for Broussard.

an excerpt of Louisiana Fever
by D.J. Donaldson
Broussard did not like other people interpreting murder scenes for him before he saw them himself. But he always had to weigh that dislike against the relative inconvenience of the time the call came in and the judgment of the detective working the case. Life was too short to throw on your clothes in the middle of the night and dash off to a run-of-the-mill murder that presented no unique or puzzling features. True, he hadn’t eaten yet, but he was already dressed. And if Gatlin wanted him, that was good enough.
“Where are you?”
He jotted the address down on the little spiral pad he kept taped to the counter.
“I’m on my way.”
He tore the page out of the pad, stuffed it in his shirt pocket, and grabbed his bag, which always sat by the back door. He went into the garage, set the timer for the light at five minutes, and paused for a moment on the top step, admiring the sight before him—six 1957 Thunderbirds, all of them in mint condition.
It was a dazzling display—each a different color, their spotless paint reflecting the garage lights like great jewels. The Russians had Faberg√© and his eggs; the English, Grinling Gibbons and his picture frames; the French, Falconet and his bronzes. But the United States had Henry Ford, and Broussard had six examples of his finest work, one for every day of the week . . . well, almost every day. He had long believed that six cars was abundance and that seven would be eccentricity. Still . . . there was room for another.
A few minutes later, he backed out of the garage in the white one and headed for the Mississippi River bridge. For neckwear, Broussard owned only bow ties, mostly because the long kind had a tendency to fall into his work when he bent over. Then, too, there really wasn’t enough clearance between the T-Bird’s steering wheel and his shirt for any extra fabric.
The sun was a cool sphere low in the sky and he reached over and flipped the passenger visor down to keep it out of his eyes. After so many years as ME, he rarely encountered any big surprises, but he still found drama in death and his blood still sang in his veins on his way to a scene. When that was no longer true, he’d retire.
As he turned onto the West Bank Expressway a short while later, his stomach rumbled mightily in protest over his missed breakfast. To calm it, he unbuttoned the flap on his shirt pocket, fished two lemon balls out, and slipped one into each cheek.
If you'd like to get your hands on a copy,

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