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O'Neil De Noux

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In1970, O’Neil De Noux was “drafted into the U.S. Army for service in Vietnam. While awaiting shipment to Southeast Asia, angry at being a second-generation to serve in Vietnam, De Noux was shocked when his shipment was cancelled as the gradual reduction in forces began. From California’s Fort MacArthur, De Noux was stationed at the U.S. Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, AL. His army MOS was Photographer: Combat Still. De Noux took run-of-the-mill army pictures while expressing himself creatively with black-and-white still-life photos, winning several Best Photo Awards.

From 1977 to 1980, O’Neil De Noux was a uniformed patrol officer for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the most rewarding working experience of his life. When promoted to the Homicide Division, De Noux found his calling and finally discovered what he should write about. An exceptional career as a homicide detective followed in which De Noux solved every murder where he was lead investigator (fifteen) and assisted in over fifty other homicide investigations. In 1980 De Noux completed the Homicide Investigation curriculum at The Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville.

Earning seven commendations, O’Neil De Noux was named Homicide Detective of the Year in 1981. Shortly after, he was transferred from Homicide, banished to a quiet police district when a new sheriff was elected. Offered a lucrative position as chief investigator at a private investigative firm, De Noux worked as a P.I. for the next six years.”

After his home was seriously damaged by Hurricane Katrina, O’Neil De Noux re-settled on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain in 2006 and returned to law enforcement.  He is currently a Detective-Sergeant with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety working with the Southeastern Louisiana University Police Department in Hammond, LA.

O’Neil De Noux is the author of Blue Orleans, Grim Reaper, Specific Intent, Crescent City Kills, Lastanza: New Orleans Police Stories, The Big Show, and New Orleans Confidential.

According to the book description of Crescent City Kills, “When the bodies of two junkie prostitutes wash up on the shore of the river in Algiers, La Stanza defies orders and hits the streets to investigate, using his sexy new partner as bait.”

One reader of Crescent City Kills said, “This is the fourth book in a series about a New Orleans homicide detective named Dino LaStanza, who is loosely based on the author, an ex-homicide cop himself. It's also my favorite of the series, although I've bought and read them all. The books are definitely hardboiled, filled with all the warts and scabs of serious police work. I've heard some people criticize the character of LaStanza's girlfriend, Lizette, as being unbelievable. Let me tell you, she's a real person, though not so rich as in the books. There's a rumor that it's her legs that grace the cover.”

Publisher’s Weekly said of Lastanza: New Orleans Police Stories, “DeNoux's series character, New Orleans homicide detective Dino LaStanza, is featured in a collection of gritty noir short stories. (The last novel in which LaStanza appeared was 1988's The Big Show.) Like his protagonist, DeNoux has been a New Orleans police detective, and his years of grim experience in a city with a soaring murder rate are reflected in these dark tales of life on the very mean streets. These stories are not only hardboiled: they are raunchy, violent and filled with obscenities. Each short narrative follows one of LaStanza's cases. The tales are unremittingly bleak: a beautiful young woman commits suicide; a jogger is attacked by a gang; an elderly woman is killed by random gunfire. Unfortunately, DeNoux's prose is labored and stiff, his characters are cardboard and his plots are thin and predictable. The best hard-boiled writing compresses powerful emotion into tight, minimalist prose. While these stories display plenty of tough attitude, there's not a lot of feeling in De Noux's choppy sentences.”

One reader of Lastanza: New Orleans Police Stories said, “I've been in love with O'Neil De Noux's books since I first laid eyes on them many years ago. "Lastanza: New Orleans Police Stories" fills in some gaps in NOPD Homicide Detective Dino Lastanza's career for those of us already familiar with him and gives readers who are new to him a wonderful insight to his character. I've read all of De Noux's books many times over and I never tire of them. This is what homicide is like in the real New Orleans!”

According to the book description of New Orleans Confidential, “Come prowl the lonely, sometimes violent streets of America's most exotic city, the city that care forgot, New Orleans, with a lone-wolf private eye named Lucien Caye. Caye lives and works in the run-down New Orleans French Quarter of the late 1940s. Women float in and out of Caye's life, like the alluring brunette who wants him to bodyguard her while she poses for sexy pictures. Murder is often the name of the game and Caye sometimes leaves town for the gulf coast or the swamps of southern Louisiana in pursuit of the truth, usually aiding a pretty woman in need of help, in more ways than one. Unfortunately, the truth is often ugly, often dangerous and usually resides on the loneliest part of town.”

One reader of New Orleans Confidential said, it “is a mix of noir mysteries and heart-wrenching tales with two common threads: First, the stories are set in the late 1940s New Orleans (with realistic descriptions of that exotic city long before the levees broke); Second is the leading character, Private Eye-Lucien Caye, a tough guy with a heart.

Caye, a WWII vet and former NOPD cop, is now a PI, living and working in the shabby lower French Quarter after the war. He is different from the your typical PI. He doesn't smoke, drinks only on occasion, rarely wears a hat because it messes up his hair and will bend (and sometimes break) the law to mete out his own form of justice.

The cases come to him in classic PI fashion - pretty damsels in distress, jealous spouses, dangerous femme fatales with murder and lust in their hearts, sexy women with an eye for good looking men (like Caye) and precarious situations. The cases come with heartfelt appeal - a little girl looking for her lost cat, a boy looking for his runaway father, a letter from a child asking Santa to take him to the angels because his parents haven't enough food and daddy won't eat, giving his food to the boy and his mommie. Lucien Caye attacks these cases with determination. There's even a ghostly trek into the swamps and a love sorceress. He won't give up and you won't put this book down.  While some of the stories are G-rated enough to have been published in airline magazines, some are violent, profane and extremely erotic.

O'Neil De Noux's talent goes beyond the penning of the stories. This reviewer has learned the photo which adorns the cover of the book was taken by De Noux. It is the photo of the building on Barracks Street in New Orleans where Lucien Caye's office and apartment are located, a building thankfully spared by Hurricane Katrina. It's a the corner of Barracks and Dauphine Streets.”

One reader said of Blue Orleans, “Before Katrina tore up the levees and devastated New Orleans, it could have been called Blue Orleans, especially in the Calliope Housing Project. Murder and mayhem were noticeably daily happenings. This day, when Dino is called out to investigate a murder, he walked down Common Street wondering "where is everybody?" When he turned on Baronne, he ran headlong with panicky people running here and yon in their quest for freedom. The 300 block of Baroone looked like Mardi Gras. A huge crowd was massed all the way to Union Street on both sides of the street.

He sees an elderly lady about 80 years old dressed in her pink chiffon gown with a short fur coat draped over her feeble shoulders watching as another victim of this hoodlum is at the door of the NOPSI building and another body hanging beneath the overhang of that same place. Usually, most of the action takes place late at night or in the early hours while the painted ladies of the night ply their trade. Dino seeks not to impinge on the territory of the gangs, as he wants to survive this day to find more bodies scattered around this sinful town. In downtown area, a berserk gum is rampaging throughout shooting at random. Nobody is safe. One bound corpse is discovered murdered execution-style, bullet to the brain.

He finds a witness who vanishes like a puff of smoke, like Haslam tends to do when he wants to avoid the public. This writer also penned GRIM REAPER soon after this one was published, and two short stories "Maria's Hand" and "Guilty of Dust and Sin." New Orleans is the perfect place to find sin in all the different ganglands and projects. Nowadays, a good many of those are living on the streets of Knoxville, which will soon become known as Sin City with all those liquor stores and drinkers swaying to and fro on the main street of town. The place will be overrun with the homeless and this mayhew Dino is familiar in his hometown will soon be in mine. It's a dirty shame for a rich mayor to allow the poor of New Orleans occupy and tear up the housing while the poor of this town is denied even to apply for the same. Blue Orleans is not for the blues, which was developed in Memphis. New Orleans is a jazz town, with some of the notables still hanging in and avoiding the water moccasins which have taken over the deserted part of town.”


Guilty of Dust and Sin
O'Neil De Noux  More Info
SPECIFIC INTENT
O'Neil De Noux  More Info

Maria's Hand
O'Neil De Noux  More Info
Crescent City Kills
O'Neil De Noux  More Info

Lastanza: New Orleans Police Stories
O'Neil De Noux  More Info
Grim Reaper
O'Neil Denoux  More Info

Mafia Aphrodite
O'Neil De Noux  More Info
The Big Kiss
O. Denoux  More Info

The Big Show
O'Neil De Noux  More Info
Blue Orleans
O'Neil Denoux  More Info

New Orleans Confidential
O'Neil De Noux  More Info

According to the description of Guilty of Dust and Sin, an Amazon Short, “This is a mystery story featuring New Orleans private–eye Lucien Caye, who has appeared in previous stories in Hemispheres In–Flight Magazine of United Airlines and anthologies such as Flesh & Blood: Guilty as Sin and Fedora 2. A Lucien Caye short story is forthcoming in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. A Lucien Caye short story collection, entitled NEW ORLEANS CONFIDENTIAL will be published by Point Blank Press in 2005.”

According to the description of Maria's Hand, an Amazon Short, “"Maria's Hand" is the seventh short story featuring 1890s Det. Jacques Dugas, the lone French detective on predominantly Irish New Orleans Police Department. A brainy investigator, Dugas previously solved 'The Gorilla Murders' as well as the 'Murders Along the Rue Frenchmen' before he is called to investigate a trunk found with a woman's severed hand inside. Dugas's only lead is a thin, gold wedding band with no inscription. During the steamy summer of 1891, Dugas must track down the victim before he can track down her killer.”

According to the book description of The Big Show, “The fifth in the series of DeNoux's acclaimed Dino LaStanza murder mystery series, "The Big Show" follows LaStanza -- a top New Orleans homicide detective -- in his latest case, involving a man horribly burned, a white supremacist leader who may have been involved in the crime, and a parallel case of the Pantyhose Rapist. Fast-paced, realistic, raw and often funny inside look at the day-to-day workings of police in the line of fire.”

According to one reader of The Big Show, “If you want to know what New Orleans is really like, if you want to see how police officers deal with the most horrible crimes, if you want to read about real police officers, then READ THIS BOOK. If you're looking for Hollywood versions of cops, if you're looking for in-depth studies of criminal's minds, if you're looking for Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest or other New Orleans tourist things, then there is no reason to read THE BIG SHOW.

Veteran Homicide Detective Dino LaStanza turns the wrong way down a one-way street and almost runs over a burning man stumbling across a quite uptown street. LaStanza burns his hands putting the fire out. The man dies and for the next 320 pages, LaStanza works relentlessly to solve this heinous crime. Meanwhile, LaStanza and his partner Jodie Kintyre must catch a serial rapist who murdered his last victim. This is life in the big pressure cooker, in the overworked New Orleans Police Homicide Division, the big show of police work.

The streets of New Orleans are never better described than in De Noux's work, a former homicide detective. These books are not for everyone. They are uncompromising in their portrayal of cops who would never win a popularity contest. Years of witnessing violence has effected them. They see life differently than we do. De Noux shows this from the inside. What De Noux doesn't do is glorify the killers. In THE BIG SHOW, we don't get into the killer's heads, we see them only as the police see them. We walk the streets, talk to real New Orleanians, see how cops use gallows humor (which De Noux does better than anyone) to release the tremendous tension that comes with the job of hunting killers.

LaStanza is unique. He's Sicilian-American, born of immigrants into a city whose culture is still dominated by ancient families. Unlike clichéd cops who drink too much or who are down-and-out bachelors roaming the streets like alley cats, LaStanza is not an alcoholic and is married (luckily to a rich woman). He gets to drive a Masera! ti (which was stolen in the previous book on this series, pretty damn funny because LaStanza was cocky enough to drive it around the seedier parts of town). His wife, Lizette, is far smarter than LaStanza (she's a graduate student) and an extremely sexy woman. This may frighten some readers, because Lizette knows the power of her sex. Sometimes, she's too much like a Playboy bunny, but this IS fiction. Few writers can write a sex scene as steamy as De Noux.

What De Noux does here is put a working class cop in a mansion with a beatutiful wife and servants, providing LaStanza with an automatic inner conflict. It bothers him to be rich. He leaves this comfortable life every morning for the bloody streets. It's typical New Orleans, rich vs. poor, uptown vs. inner city, Sicilian-American vs. everyone else.

The other supporting characters are very interesting. Jodie Kintyre, LaStanza's deadly serious partner, is a methodical, committed detectives with great inner strength. Paul Snowood, the cowboy wannabe, constantly provides humorous relief (sometimes annoyingly). Stan-The-Man Smith is even more annoying, a scene-stealer who sometimes lives up to his nickname of Psycho. The killers are chilling because, as in real police work, we only see them briefly, in violent snapshots. We don't get much about the victim's lives either, again because cops don't have time for a biography of their victim. Cops are too busy trying to catch the killer.”

About the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

The first Sheriff of Jefferson Parish was S. Kerner who served from 1866 to early 1867.  Today, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency with an authorized strength of nearly 1600 sworn and non-sworn personnel.  The patrol function of the Sheriff are handled by the operations bureau who are geographically organized into four districts.   Within the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Special Operations Bureau the function of SWAT, Street Crimes, Arson and Helicopter services can be found. The Criminal Investigations Bureau handles typical investigative functions such as crimes against persons, burglary, auto theft, robbery and homicide.

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