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The journey begins when Charlie Curtis travels to New Orleans on a deathbed assignment from his father. The mission? To find his father's half brother, James Joseph Pelikan, a criminal ringleader of the French Quarter from midnight until dawn in places where tourists seldom venture. Barely off the train, Charlie witnesses the murder of one of Pelikan's cronies at the hand of a woman whose only adornment is a fishhook through her lower lip. And so begins acclaimed thriller writer David Lozell Martin's carnival ride to enlightenment, the ensuing caper revealing just how far a man will go to find redemption.