The People’s Police by Norman Spinrad

Synopsis: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Martin Luther Martin is a hard-working New Orleans cop who has come up from the gangland of Alligator Swamp through hard work. When he has to serve his own eviction notice, he decides he’s had enough and agrees to spearhead a police strike.

Brothel owner and entrepreneur J. B. Lafitte finds himself in a tight spot when his whorehouse in the Garden District goes into foreclosure. The fat cats responsible for the real estate collapse after Katrina didn’t differentiate between social strata or vocation.

MaryLou Boudreau, aka Mama Legba, is a television star and voodoo queen—with a difference. The loas really do speak through her.

In the television studio, Martin, hoping for publicity for the strike and support from the people, calls for them to make a stand against the banks, corporate fat cats, and corrupt politicians. And his question, “What will it take?”, changes everything in the Big Easy.

Review: I was very curious about this novel when I heard about it. I’m a fan of stories set in New Orleans and what about the mention of voodoo? Yes, I was really excited to discover this book.

The author makes us discover a world full of imagination set in New Orleans and it was interesting to discover what Katrina had done with this place. Indeed, the city is no longer directed as it was and people are all evicted little by little, whoever they are. Alas, it is now the turn of our hero, Martin Luther Martin, to receive this order and he is determined to fight against it. Martin is a cop and he thought he was above all this but it seems that it’s not the case. Helped by his father-in-law, he will foment a strike which will become while he try to associate with the queen of Voodoo to go on TV and share his message. But this rebellion will also change the life of this woman who is now asked to participate in the elections to become governor.

There are many descriptions and explanations so the reader can understand in which society the characters evolve. I sometimes struggled to really get into the story because these bases take a big place and it is true that there is not as much action as I thought. We find a satire of the society which is pushed to its extreme and it was interesting to see the ideas of the author on this subject. I think I was expecting something else but it was still an interesting novel bit maybe not one for me. I enjoyed discovering all the characters, be it Martin, Mama Legba or even JB Laffite.




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