Calling The Dead by Ali ValiCalling The Dead by Ali Vali is set against the backdrop of a devastated New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It’s the story of a serial killer and the cop who needs to stop him.

Detective Sept Savoie is a cop who is not all that interested in relationships and nightmares of her sister who died during Katrina haunt her. She is a good cop and her life revolves around her work. When a body is found outside one of the most famous restaurants in New Orleans she is thrust into a case that  will see her terrorise and personally targeted by the killer but it might also be the reason she finds love.

Keegan Blanchard cannot believe that the cop investigating the murder of her chef suspects her as a killer. What kind of Detective is Sept anyway, questioning her like a common criminal? And yet, there is something about the sexy butch cop that makes Keegan want to get to know her better.

Add in a motley cast of family members, a young prostitute and a ton of action and you have a book that will pull you in for a thrilling ride.

The Narration

Paige McKinney did a great job with this one. I liked her take on the various voices and her pacing and delivery made for a great listen.

The Pros

I can honestly say that this is my favourite Ali Vali novel. I have read a couple and I like her character work and her stories are unique and interesting, but there is something that makes this one stand out for me. This one gets it all perfectly right.

I also love the dog in this book and am thrilled that he was included.

The Cons

I am not a huge fan of the cover. It’s not awful but I suspect it hasn’t endeared readers who are looking for a good romantic suspense.

sheena's favouriteThe Conclusion

You absolutely need to read / listen to this book. I would recommend listening because it’s a fantastic audiobook, but if you prefer reading then go forth.

The story is fun and intense. The characters are endearing and the families on both sides deserve tons of hugs. Vali combined a great cast with a killer story (see what I did there) to get a wonderful balance between finding love and finding a killer.

This book is so good. And you absolutely need to get it if you love a romantic suspense.

Excerpt from Calling The Dead by Ali Vali

Sept concentrated on Keegan’s hands and noticed the bandage on each of her knuckles on her right hand. “We’ve almost finished outside, but we have some questions for you. Can someone take over for you?” Sept asked, meaning the ducks.

“You can ask me whatever you like right here.”

“Okay.” Sept dragged out the word. “How long have you been sleeping with the victim?”

“What?” Keegan screamed, clearly outraged. “I was not sleeping with him,” she hissed, before she stormed out through the swinging doors that led to the first-floor dining room.

“Is your nickname Subtle Savoie?” Nathan asked as he studied more carefully the knife Keegan had left behind.

“Is that your way of begging me to pop you in the face again?”

Keegan was sitting at the center table, tapping her foot. “Did you think of some less stupid questions?”

Before Sept answered, she unclipped her phone from her belt and answered it. “Savoie.” She wrote a few things in her pad. “What’s your best guess on the time?”

Sept hung up, then asked Keegan, “Where were you last night between ten and midnight?”

“I was having dinner with my grandmother, mother, sister, and our business advisor at Le Coquille D’Huîte in the Quarter. We had dinner at eight, then talked about business until eleven thirty.” Keegan fell silent for a moment, then scowled. “You think I had something to do with this?”

Sept figured she could play Keegan one of two ways, and if she picked wrong, the Blanchard family would quickly put a team of attorneys around Keegan that the Pentagon couldn’t break through. If that happened, the next time she’d see Keegan was in court wearing a designer suit and a smug smile, but only if she was lucky enough to build a case against her.

“I didn’t say that, Ms. Blanchard. We eliminate people until we find someone we can’t.”

“I suggest you start canvassing the neighborhood, then, because no one here is the killer.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll do our jobs.” Sept flipped to a new page in her pad. “Could you tell me why Mr. Bisland was here so late? Granted, it was Wednesday night, but it was still kind of late.”

“Do you moonlight as a chef?”

The question made Sept smile. “If I did that, I’d have more than one lawsuit pending.”

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781602820371
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Narrator: Paige McKinney

Ali Vali Online

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Note: I received a free review copy of Calling The Dead by Ali Vali. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

About the author

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born