Crescent Moon
Lori Handeland
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Buy *Crescent Moon* by Lori Handeland

Crescent Moon

Lori Handeland
St. Martin's
352 pages
February 2006
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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When her beloved husband died, cryptozoologist Diana Malone gave up trying to prove the existence of mythical animals to devote herself to fulfilling Simonís dying obsession: proving that werewolves are indeed real. Financially and emotionally exhausted, Diana gets a much-needed boost when a reclusive millionaire hires her to investigate some unusual animal killings in the swamps near New Orleans, the Crescent City of countless secrets.

As the bodies pile up and her hunt takes her deeper into the deadly swamps and haunted grounds of the abandoned Ruelle mansion, Diana reluctantly accepts the aid of ex-Special Forces officer Adam Ruelle. Although the sexual combustion between them is of atomic proportions, Diana cannot trust him completely. Haunted by doubts, zombies and voodoo wherever she goes, Diana can rely on no one but herself as she sets about finding a creature that could make her reputation - if she lives long enough to capture it.

Until now, Lori Handeland had hoovered up countless readers with the paranormal antics of the Jšger-Sucher society and their hunt for monsters, particularly werewolves, that has them dealing with occult villains in various regions. This book presents a completely different aspect of the werewolf scenario. Indeed, the JS society barely puts in a guest appearance toward the end. With its eerie gothic setting and a preponderance of nightmarish creatures, Crescent Moon will appeal to readers on the most primal level. It effectively centers on the dark side of life, the forbidden temptations.

No one personifies this more than sexy Cajun Adam Ruelle. Everyone knows of him, but this charming yet aloof man reveals himself only to Diana. Trying to justify her dead husbandís lifelong search, Diana is at once skeptical and zealous in her hunt for the werewolf. Sucked into the vortex of long-resisted sexual passion, she finds it difficult to separate fact from fiction. The city of New Orleans, with its descriptively captured ambience, locales and characters, adds to the increasing menace. Covering a wider range of paranormal red herrings than usual, Lori Handeland sets the stage for one awesome supernatural read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2006

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