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   Dead Above Ground

Dead Above Ground
by Jervey Tervalon

Category: Fiction / General
226 pages; ISBN: 0671034693

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


During the Great Depression and the subsequent war years, New Orleans Helen “Mama” Du Champ ruled the family roost with an iron glove. Mama’s oldest daughter Adele married some low life and is rumored to be playing with the devil Lucien Faure. Mama’s seventeen-year-old daughter Lita wants her freedom from the great female dictator who she loves even as she loathes her seemingly always drunken father.

However, Lucien has a motive for gallivanting with Adele. He seeks vengeance against Mama, the one woman who burned him even though decades have passed. Knowing he cannot hurt Mama directly, he chooses her weak daughter and hopes to score two aces with Lita next. Lita, the heir apparent to Mama, will do anything to rescue her older sister from the devil.

DEAD ABOVE GROUND is an exciting historical fiction novel that shows once again that Jervey Tervalon has a peculiar yet realistic and charming way with characters (see UNDERSTAND THIS). The story line works because the key female cast and Lucien appear as genuine individuals though the remaining male ensemble are stereotyped and written off by the strong women and the reader. The plot moves quickly forward as Lita struggles to save her family with each ensuing page making her more desperate. Mr. Tervalon provides his audience with a taut terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner


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