Mystery & Crime

BLOOD PARISH

By

This book will launch on Apr 1, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Worth reading 😎

A refreshingly legal thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end!

Synopsis

How does the disappearance of nineteen high school baseball players remain a mystery for thirty years?

Angel Blondeaux had been taught since birth to never betray family, only to escape the clutches of home to become an FBI agent. For generations, Blondeaux has been the name to respect in Moreau Parish, and the name to fear. Crime is no longer a part of life, but a lifestyle, woven into the fabric of the parish. So, when Angel Blondeaux had graduated Quantico, she was rejected by the family like a bad organ.

The matriarch of the Blondeaux clan is Angel's grandmother Paulette. Paulette's successor was to be Angel's Aunt Lorna until her mysterious death places the role of heir up for grabs. The FBI forces Angel to return home for her aunt's funeral, only to discover a new will has been drafted, leaving Angel the house and an immense plot of land, along with the buried secrets of years past.

E.J. Findorff graduated from the University of New Orleans and served six years in the Louisiana National Guard before wanting to explore outside of his beloved hometown. He met the woman he would marry in Chicago and stayed.


“Welcome to the family, boys.”


Angel is an FBI agent living in New Orleans. But her past won’t stay behind her. Her superiors want to send her on the most dangerous mission of her career and possibly her life: they want Angel to go home and reconnect with her family. Angel’s family, the Blondeaux clan, is a small, influential group of individuals with all the right connections. Going home could be the last thing Angel ever does. 


This is the first novel I’ve read by E.J. Findorff, and I found it fascinating. I think this novel concept is quite good, and I think the characters all have many potentials. I enjoyed the theme of family versus right and wrong and the power of choice within this book. 


Angel is a tough character. She grew up knowing there was something different about her family. Think The Godfather, but in the bayou. The Blondeaux family is matriarchal, which I loved, and the men know their place. They do what they are told, and they do not ask questions. 


I would have liked this story even more if it was told from the patronne perspective. I enjoyed Angel as a character, but I love the idea of a tough female calling the shots and making things happen.


I found this story very original and very unique. I liked the setting and the way the parish was described. It was easy to visualize. The characters were all impressive, and I found myself curious about their backstories. There is room for the author to revisit the characters within this book if he ever wanted to expand on this family.


I do wish there had been some more explanation about the ending and the things leading up to the epilogue. That felt slightly rushed to me, but overall I am happy with how the book played out. I would have liked knowing the characters' fate in the end, but it was a nice ending.


The pacing in the book is pretty quick, which I enjoyed. There is a lot of information and many things going on at once, so I never found myself bored or lacking a reason to continue reading.


There were a few grammatical issues in this book, but nothing too crazy. A couple of missing words from some sentences and a couple of wrong terms used in sentences. Easy fixes for the author before he officially publishes.


Published: May 1, 2021

Neutral Ground Publishing

I revived a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Reviewed by

I read about 300 pages a day. I love the written word, and I really enjoy writing reviews. Connecting with authors is pretty incredible and so rewarding. I have been reading since I was four, and I have not slowed down! I love thrillers, suspense, romance, true crime, fiction, and non-fiction.

Synopsis

How does the disappearance of nineteen high school baseball players remain a mystery for thirty years?

Angel Blondeaux had been taught since birth to never betray family, only to escape the clutches of home to become an FBI agent. For generations, Blondeaux has been the name to respect in Moreau Parish, and the name to fear. Crime is no longer a part of life, but a lifestyle, woven into the fabric of the parish. So, when Angel Blondeaux had graduated Quantico, she was rejected by the family like a bad organ.

The matriarch of the Blondeaux clan is Angel's grandmother Paulette. Paulette's successor was to be Angel's Aunt Lorna until her mysterious death places the role of heir up for grabs. The FBI forces Angel to return home for her aunt's funeral, only to discover a new will has been drafted, leaving Angel the house and an immense plot of land, along with the buried secrets of years past.

1

A serious vibe hung in the air as if circulating from the vents. Special Agent Angel Blondeaux strode with purpose along the New Orleans FBI field office's main hall, ignoring the pain in her toes from breaking in a new pair of short-heeled pumps. 

Donald Lester had summoned Angel to the important conference room. Many of the state's most significant operations were born and strategized from the table in that room. Just the NOPD alone had been the target of concurrent investigations for decades. Those chairs launched many careers.  

Angel straightened her fitted blue jacket over a shoulder holster. Her fingers reconfigured a loose ponytail. Someone must have complained, or a bad decision came to light. This meeting was probably about a misstep coming back to bite her in the ass. It wouldn’t be her first suspension. 

Two men and a lady saw her approach from inside the encased glass box. Each had water within reach. Donald Lester stopped speaking mid-sentence, waving Angel in. The three agents were positioned on the same side of the square, lacquered table, which was large enough for twenty. Next to Donald was John Belcher, the Executive Assistant Director, or EAD from Quantico. 

Angel kept her eyes on the third person, a serious black woman with a light touch of makeup. The way her thumbnail flicked under her manicured fingernails betrayed her calm, reserved appearance. The name badge was too small to read.

“I was told there’d be cake.” Angel stood across from Donald, her case handler. 

Donald pressed a button on the table’s embedded control panel, and the glass walls instantly frosted over so no one could see inside. He looked at his watch. “Thanks for coming on short notice. This is Special Agent Gail Ruby.”

“Okay.” Angel waited.

“Just left White Collar Crime to join Human Trafficking.” She stood, reaching to shake her hand.

Angel reciprocated. “Trafficking, Donald? I told you…”

“Just hear us out,” he cut in.

Angel stemmed her concern. She accepted a seat opposite this tribunal, near a pen, paper, and water. Her feet immediately slipped from their patent leather bindings.

“Is someone bringing the cake?” Angel looked around.

John’s posture turned rigid. “Don’t mind her, Agent Ruby. She’s actually behaving.”

“I’ve heard you can be a handful.” Ruby’s chair swiveled left and right. She hadn’t learned to hide her nervous tells yet.

“A handful? Guess I’m not trying hard enough.” Angel’s eyes darted between each of them. “This feels like the principal’s office.”

John waved his hand. “This has nothing to do with any of your current operations.”

“Then, it’s about my family and that damn bus. You know they hate me, John.”

Ruby said, “We were hoping to get another shot before your grandmother’s secrets are lost forever.”

“You mean before she dies. And you want me to ask her what happened? Hey maw maw, did you sell those boys on the black market? Can I see your receipts?”

“Look,” Ruby continued, “We know it’s a long shot. But, if any of those boys were sold into slavery, there’s a slim chance we can track at least one of them down if we get a name. A location. Anything. What about your grandmother’s brother, Earl Blondeaux? He was sheriff at the time. He moved away from the family like you did. Lives in Brockton now.”

"I've talked to him on three separate occasions, and he's told me to screw off every time. They let him retire, which means he's keeping his mouth shut."

Ruby still pushed. "He's old and living alone. At some point, he's going to want to unload."

Angel squinted. “Thirty years, Agent Ruby. Considering a case goes cold after forty-eight hours, you’re a real optimist.”

“You’re always so quick to refuse.” John’s jaw muscle twitched.

“My relatives won’t crack. How do you think they manage to launder money for the past hundred years?” Angel fiddled with the pad of paper. “Remember my Uncle Doug Blondeaux’s murder investigation seven years ago?”

“Of course,” John admitted. “We had high hopes during that time.”

“I was talked into going then, too. I accomplished nothing. They froze me out. The Blondeauxs are literarily the law out there.”

“You obviously haven’t heard the news from home yet.” Donald leaned forward. 

My home?” Angel’s hand touched her chest. “Lemon Twig?”

Donald soothed his tone. “We received word that your Aunt Lorna passed from an apparent overdose.”


About the author

I write character driven mystery/suspense/crime that mostly takes place in New Orleans. I was born and raised in New Orleans, but currently live in Chicago. I graduated from the University of New Orleans and served six years in the Louisiana National Guard. view profile

Published on May 01, 2021

80000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Mystery & Crime

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