This taut, vivid first novel about sin, sorrow, and redemption in 1950s New Orleans has enough short-fuse sex and violence for a blockbuster action movie, and more than enough heavy symbolism for Luis Bunuel. In All Saints, three tormented souls — a failed priest, an ex-con racked by guilt and rage, and a white nurse grieving for her black musician husband — stray into one another’s lives and make common cause against despair. Scene after scene is drenched in local color: some ho-hum (a seamy street in the French Quarter), some offbeat and intriguing (a Baptist church in the ghetto, a recording studio deep in Cajun country in the early days of rock & roll). You can just hear the soundtrack throughout — raw, authentic soul. B+

All Saints
  • Music