The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans by Rick Geary (US) - (Canada)
A Treasury of XXth Century Murder, #3
Finished: Feb. 25, 2012
First Published: Aug. 1, 2010
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Genre: graphic novel, true crime
First sentence: "The city of New Orleans was born from the swampy wilderness at a spot where, for uncounted centuries, native hunters found a portage between the great river ("Misi sipi") and the big lake ("Okwata") to the North."
Publisher's Summary: "Nights of terror! A city awash in blood! New Orleans right after the First World War. The party returns to the Big Easy but someone looks to spoil it. Grocers are being murdered in the dead of night by someone grabbing their axe and hacking them right in their own cushy beds! The pattern for each murder is the same: a piece of the door is removed for entry, the axe is borrowed on the property, and the assailant aims straight for the head! Why? How could he fit through that piece in the door? The man is never found for sure but speculations abound which Geary presents with his usual gusto!"
Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.
It has been over a year since I last read a book in this series and I was very eager to settle down with my favourite graphic artist once more. Unfortunately, I found the book rather mediocre. Geary's artwork, as usual is wonderful. No one does b&w like he does and his artwork is simply perfect for the mood and atmosphere of murder and the macabre. So I had no complaints in that department but I found the actual story and how it was written rather disappointing. First, the book begins with Part I which is simply the history of Louisiana in general and New Orleans specifically. Though somewhat interesting it felt like filler possibly added later to make the book the right number of pages. What I usually enjoy about these books is admittedly the gory details and in the case of unsolved crimes, Geary's thorough presentation of possible identities of the killer. I found the story went very fast, briefly touching upon each murder quickly in a row, then dwelling on the last one where arrests were made, and followed by a quick two page summary of the puzzles still unanswered and giving no presentations of who the possible killer may have been. This case is new to me and I feel that if there just wasn't that much information available, it was a poor one to choose to focus on for a book. Whatever the reasons, Geary has left an unsatisfactory presentation and conclusion to this tale of murder.