The Mardi Gras city does have some pretty serious voodoo joints, as well as a beauty to the architecture and a more lassiez-faire perspective on life. But when the Big Easy is full of secrets and death, that beauty and casualness can turn into macabre and creepy, as it does in Madeleine Roux’s Catacomb.
Dan, Abby, and Jordan take a road trip to New Orleans to see Jordan off to his new life with his uncle. As their last summer before parting ways for college and other post-high school endeavors, they are determined to have some fun–particularly as they’ve had a rough previous year. But as they make their way down to the Big Easy, Dan starts getting a strange feeling that they’re being followed and he’s getting Facebook messages from one of their dead friends warning him of the potential danger they’re in. As Abby’s taking pictures for her portfolio project and Jordan is excited to start his new life in New Orleans, Dan is preoccupied with learning more about his biological parents and figuring out the haunting messages from his dead friend.
The narrative is rapidly paced, with plenty of action and intrigue, interspersed with hauntingly beautiful pictures that add to the overall ambiance of the story and the locale of New Orleans. This installment would fare decently as a stand alone piece, as is often a concern of a book within a series; however, it was blatantly part of a series as it doesn’t do a thorough enough job of summing up previous pertinent action and it assumes the reader already has that knowledge based on the wording used to move the current narrative along to the next action point. It wouldn’t have taken much to help clarify for readers who are just now jumping in (as I was), and that small effort helps to broaden the potential, sporadic readership.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.