HIGHER GROUND is a comic noir novel that begins five months after a hurricane has devastated New Orleans. Nicole Naquin, home for the first time in decades, is living next door to her mother Miss Gertie, an elderly evacuee from Lakeview reduced to pushing pills in a French Quarter gay bar. On the day Nicole's brother is killed in a drive-by shooting, she crashes the car into her high-school sweetheart's FEMA trailer, igniting a sexy romance among the ruins. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Vinnie Panarello works at furious cross-purposes with hippie sleuth Gary Cherry to find the brother's killer, uncovering a murderous cult on Rampart Street in the process. This Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal-winning novel is a darkly satiric romp through a city fighting for its life, from the mayoral election to Mardi Gras, Lakeview to the French Quarter, the Garden District to Parish Prison. It's a classic story of individual redemption amid collective destruction, one in which crooked politicians rule the day, leaving displaced home owners, bereaved mothers, drag queens, drug dealers, and illegal immigrants to band together for survival and justice.