I'll be honest, this started off slightly difficult for me to get into. First, the prologue set a gory tone that I'm not used to. Then there was the subject matter: Dunny Pollock, a woman that has an interesting appendage with some extraordinary abilities, is asked by her sister for help. Two local children, a seven year old girl and an eight year old boy, have gone missing. It's suspected the children have been abducted from their hometown of Bayou Crow, Louisiana. Having a seven year old daughter myself made this tricky for me especially when I read what was intended to happen to them. I wasn't sure I would be able to stomach it, but, I gave myself a good talking to, realizing it's only fiction, and continued on.
Am I ever glad that I did! Deborah LeBlanc has created some wonderful characters that give substance and humour to the story. Her lush descriptiveness is unlike other books I've read, for example:
"Most of southern Louisiana appeared to be swamp, a giant fertile womb always giving birth. It kept its offspring close, nurturing it with an exotic amniotic fluid that created beauty out of dark and foreboding."
The scene is complete with water moccasins, swarms of mosquitoes, alligators, craw fish and any number of other wild creatures as well as ghostly apparitions that seem to ooze from the swap. I could feel my clothes clinging to me as the humidity sprung to life from the pages and I'll admit, had to sleep with the light on one night (I am a paranoid freak about some things, namely ghosts). After reading Water Witch, there's a very slim chance I'd ever be caught in a Louisiana swamp after dark!
LeBlanc keeps you guessing till the end (at least I was, but I may just be a very bad guesser). I wasn't sure what to expect, but given the author's background, I'm not surprised that Water Witch is quirky and fun, but, at the same time, dark and compelling. Though my initial reactions almost made me set the book aside, I understand now that the disturbing feelings I got were just a sign that Deborah LeBlanc was doing an excellent job of story telling.
Deborah LeBlanc is an award-winning author from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and an active member of two national paranormal investigation teams. Deborah's unique experiences, enthusiasm, and high-energy level make her a much sought-after speaker at writer's conferences across the nation. She also takes her passion for literacy and a powerful ability to motivate to high schools around the country.
She is the president of the Horror Writers Association, the Writers' Guild of Acadiana, Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, and an active member of Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Women Writers, and International Thriller Writers Inc. In 2004, Deborah created the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual national campaign designed to encourage more people to read, and soon after founded Literacy Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy in America. For more information please visit http://www.theleblancchallenge.com/
For more information on Deborah LeBlanc, check out her website: deborahleblanc.com