Title: Trivial Victims
Author: T. Beatrice Lewis’
Release Date: Available Now
Reviewer: Victoria Kurr
T. Beatrice Lewis’ Trivial Victims is an engaging novel set in 1943 just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. In the late summer months, a string of horrific crimes breaks out across a few neighboring towns. That September, the violence escalates with more arson, missing people and floating bodies. Lewis features a varied and diverse cast- religiously (there are deacons, reverends, pastors and priests), racially (African-Americans, Caucasians, Creole, Native Americans) and economically (maids, lawyers, doctors, mayors). But she handles each character with distinction, so they never blur together. Lewis reveals more and more about the Gown Men – and their terrifying role and motives in the recent spree of violence. It’s a riveting read with a plot that snakes along in some truly shocking directions.
Booksellers may have a hard time shelving this one, though. Lewis’ intended audience remains unclear. Despite a high body count, there isn’t enough guts and gore for horror fans, nor is there enough of a mystery for thriller lovers. The historical detail which nicely augments the story isn’t central enough to be the main focus. With more polish and a firmer emphasis on editing, this engaging read will be much stronger.
As it stands, Lewis expertly handles the tensions, the time period and the region. The setting feels fully developed and her ear for naturally flowing dialogue is apparent. Readers who enjoy exploring the South- especially during tumultuous times will eagerly keep the pages turning. And with an absolutely chilling final chapter, they are sure to be anxious for the sequel!