The Bottom Line: Dripping with grisly spells, wry humor and a distinctly southern brand of magical realism, you’ll be quickly mesmerized by this magnetic paranormal thriller. A home run for author Kathryn Rogers.
Memphis Hoodoo Murders is a home run, thanks largely to the chilling secret kept by the geriatric couple author Kathryn Rogers has placed at the center of her novel. The Jacksons are simultaneously cranky, warm-hearted, God-fearing and blissfully naive (Grandma insists that the bible’s Golden Rule is “Do Under Others…”). That’s why we get chills when we get occasional glimpses into their power, such as when Mr. Jackson tells an intruder what happened to the last two people who broke into their home: “One wrapped his car around a tree and left the crash scene in a coffin. The other wound up at the bottom of Pickwick Lake. So, how do you expect things to turn out for you?”
Told in the first-person, we experience Memphis through Addie’s eyes as she navigates a world of witch doctors, corrupt police officers and hoodoo devils. The tone maintains an element of levity, however, as her friend Keisha gently questions her sanity, and characters like Hoodoo Helen employ bizarre spells (at one point, Addie is told to urinate and spit in a sack to “personalize” her potion’s mojo).