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Jan 2012

Down & Out Books to publish “The Devil and the Diva” by David Housewright and Renee Valois

Clarisse Dufresne is blessed with an astonishing voice. Unfortunately, it’s a blessing the struggling Twin Cities nightclub singer shares with internationally renowned pop diva Sheila Lews. So similar are their singing styles, in fact, that Clarisse is often accused of mimicking the famed singer.

When the legendary Lews dies under puzzling circumstances, Clarisse is approached by agents of a shadowy international crime syndicate with a proposition – “What if, after a period of time, say five years – yeah, make it five years – it was discovered that Sheila had left behind some unmixed tracks, songs she had been working on before she died but didn’t release? What do you think a find like that would be worth?”

Clarisse refuses to participate in the fraud and an attempt is made to silence her voice forever. She is rescued by a mysterious man named Maurice Crevier, who conceals both his face and his intentions behind a black, obsidian mask. He spirits her away to his seductive mansion on St. Paul’s famed Summit Avenue – “for her own safety.”

But the savior soon becomes Clarisse’s tormentor when she learns that she is not his guest as he professes, but his prisoner – using computer sleight of hand and other elaborate tricks, he makes Clarisse virtually disappear in such a way that not even her friends miss her.

“You will be safe only as long as you remain in the mansion,” she is told.

Yet, even that is a lie. Clarisse soon discovers that the man in the black mask arranged the earlier attempt on her life in order to secure her trust. Later, as part of an elaborate and brutal scheme to lure the leaders of the crime family into his clutches, he allows Clarisse to be kidnapped in a terrifying encounter that brings the formerly carefree woman to the verge of death.

Despite it all – and against her better judgment – Clarisse feels a growing fascination and affection for her jailer, as well as his odd henchmen – a voodoo-practicing Haitian and a young chef who is haunted by the ghost of her mother. Until a second attempt is made on her life. And a third.

David and Renee have written a great story which is not easily classified. It has mystery, chases, gun battles, murder, sex…we’re calling it a gothic suspense novel.

Click here for more information about David and here for Renee’s bio.

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