With 13 ½, Nevada Barr, New York Times bestselling
author of the award-winning Anna Pigeon novels, has written a taut
and terrifying psychological thriller. It carries the reader from
the horrifying 1970s murder spree of a child --- dubbed
“Butcher Boy” by a shocked public --- in Rochester,
Minnesota, to Polly, the abused daughter of Mississippi
“trailer trash,” to post-Katrina New Orleans.
In Jackson Square in the French Quarter a tarot card reader told
Polly Deschamps she would be a success. Thirty years later, Polly
is a respected professor of literature with good friends and her
own home --- a safe life for her and her two daughters.
Butcher Boy, released on his seventeenth birthday, shook the
snow from his boots and headed south.
New Orleans, a Mecca for runaways then and now, offers
sanctuary but never forgiveness.
When Polly falls in love with Marshall Marchand, a restoration
architect who is helping to rebuild her adopted city, shadows of
the past rise out of the poisoned ground of New Orleans as thick
and deadly as the toxic waters of the flood.
Like history, some crimes are doomed to repeat themselves. Evil
stays the same, only the victims’ names change. As two broken
pasts collide in an uncertain present, Polly is determined that her
children’s names will never be on that list.
13 ½ © Copyright 2011 by Nevada Barr. Reprinted with
permission by Vanguard Press. All rights reserved.