In the folklore of the Deep South, bottle trees catch evil spirits. But in the tiny town of Bayou Dernière, Louisiana, the bottle-covered tree at the edge of the cemetery belongs to l'Abatteur. Cajun French for "slaughterer," when you go to his tree, you save the last swig of whiskey for him, the last sip of beer. Better still, if you kill a pig or a deer, you fill a bottle with blood and hang it from the tree. You give him a little so he doesn't take it all.
Of course, nobody believes that stuff any more. Or maybe Julie does. Just a little.
Julie Heyes really wants a do-over. In fact, she needs a do-over. Badly. Her husband left her for another woman. Her alcoholic father is missing. Broke, grieving, her life unraveling, she drops out of college and returns home to the dilapidated shotgun house on the bank of the bayou.
But as Julie begins to put her life back together and piece together the circumstances surrounding her father's disappearance, she learns the truth about the creature that haunted the bayou so long ago. L'Abatteur is no folktale. The stories are true. Now, l'Abatteur is coming for her.
Monique Monnier-Jones grew up in a tiny town along Bayou Lafourche and is a graduate of Nicholls State University with degrees in English and Biology. When not tapping away at her keyboard, she can be found mountain biking, gardening, tending her small farm and wandering the woods. She lives with her husband, children and a menagerie of rescued animals in the middle of the swamp in South Louisiana.