Cadillac Jukebox Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 1997
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One of Burke's series of crime stories set in the Louisiana bayou country, this story chronicles the difficult mission of Sheriff's Deputy Dave Robicheaux to confirm the guilt of a redneck named Aaron Crown in the killing of a civil rights leader back in the 1960s, and to find out what Crown's recent arrest has to do with an upcoming gubernatorial election. His task becomes mired in the history and inbred politics of New Iberia and thwarted by a ghoulish hit man who crawls out of the swamps to silence police informants. A wild story with enough oddball characters to make it interesting and worthwhile. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A ripeness of villains, the familiar good guys and some who travel the territory in between comprise the cast of the rich ninth Dave Robicheaux adventure, following Burning Angel. Nearly 30 years after the shooting death of a prominent black civil rights leader, Louisiana redneck Aaron Crown, age 68, is convicted of the crime. Crown, insisting he didn't do it, asks Robicheaux, sheriff's deputy of New Iberia, La., who once found his runaway daughter, to investigate. Meanwhile, others turn the story to their own advantage: Buford LaRose, a wealthy university professor running for Louisiana governor, hopes to ride the sales of his book, pointing to Crown's guilt, to victory; and New York film interests come down to interview Crown. Then in New Orleans, a film writer is brutally executed. Despite a deep reluctance to be involved with the slick LaRose, whose wife he once slept with (and who tempts him still), Robicheaux is drawn into ensuing events. One of three mob-related figures whom Robicheaux suspects of backing LaRose warns him off; Crown escapes; LaRose wins the election; a huge psychopathic hired killer reappears; a mob figure is beaten to death; and a freethinker from the 1960s, now a LaRose family guru, is connected to a Mexican drug operation. Burke delivers more spectacular killings before clearing the 30-year-long thicket of revenge, ambition and blackmail and arriving at the Tara-like ending. The cast's knotted relationships may not always be clear, but Robicheaux's angst and stubborn do-right determination shine as bright as the plastic casing on the replica 1950's Wurlitzer of the title. $250,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Cadillac Jukebox is overall a good read. It's basically a tale of the dark motives that drive people across the line from good to bad. Unfortunately, Burke let the story get too complicated. I wish I had made a chart of the characters as I read the book, because keeping track of who's who got confusing. The storyline also spreads out to the point that staying on top of it becomes a chore.
I thought the story got formulaic at points. The mythological symbolism in the fate of the husband-and-wife antagonists was over the top, like a classical bass drum roll at the end of a Warren Storm tune. But Burke didn't miss a beat with his characters. I was scared by Aaron Crown and Mookie Zerrang, I felt sympathy for Buford LaRose and enmity toward his wife, and I felt like I'd known Batist for a long time. Dave Robicheaux was as polite, resolute, and conflicted as ever.
You can read this series because you like the Robicheaux character. That would be enough.
Or you can read this series for its wonderful treatment of Louisiana and its people. That would be enough.
As someone who has visited this beautiful state and its interesting people many times, I love reading Burke's descriptions so I am especially drawn to the latter reason.
Luckily, you can read it for both reasons, and that is way more than enough to keep you happily entertained.
One caution: The violence can be pretty stomach churning. If that upsets you, this book is not going to please you.
This story is one of those interesting and rewarding ironies that makes reading fun. The story revolves around Dave's efforts to clear Lester Crown of the murder of a prominent black civil rights attorney 28 years earlier. Crown is hardly someone you'd invite home for Sunday dinner, and this helps to establish Dave's character. Who else would put his family and himself in danger for such a creepy guy?
Lots of people start putting roadblocks and inducements in Dave's way, but that only makes him more determined.
The ending will stay with you for a long time.
The characters ring true throughout, and make you glad you're rooting for Dave! He's our last, best hope. In fact, he's irresistible as a heroic figure. Enjoy!
The ending seemed to forewarn of more than an end to this novel, however, perhaps an end to the series itself. Soon James Lee Burke will introduce a new character with a setting in East Texas. Alas for those of us who have come to love the Cajun detective with all of his strengths and failings. Although Burke is such an accomplished writer that his readers will no doubt learn to love the new hero as well, I will miss the people and landscape of Louisiana
Most recent customer reviews
So glad to be able to complete my Robicheau collection in Kindle.
Haven't read his other series, but this one's terrific.
I found four spelling errors in the book and even though they were all typos, I expect all the words in a book to be spelled correctly if I have to pay for it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Waterlily
Well, this was my first Burke book, and to say the least, it probably won't be my last. I was introduced to Detective Dave Robicheaux for the first time, and I enjoyed it. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Wolfe Moffat
James Lee Burke's Cadillac Jukebox is a fine piece of suspense fiction, but it trades on rough language and violent situations. Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by Gary Lehmann
We can see why the readers from the Deep South, especially Louisiana, love James Lee Burke. His prose borders on poetry as he creates mind images for the readers that are close to... Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2003 by Jerry Bull
I've heard such good things about Burke, so I was pretty enthusiastic about reading Cadillac Jukebox. But for all my enthusiasm, this book just didn't do it for me. Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2002 by Nobodymmmmm
Yes, James Lee Burke is a terrific wordsmith who can bring the Cajun backwoods and bayous alive for readers, but this particular work is quite simply, a sprawling, literary... Read morePublished on March 9 2001 by Douglas A. Greenberg
I have read just about everything James Lee Burke has written, but my favorite character by far is Dave Robicheaux. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2001 by C. Cronk
Anyone who reads Burke knows about his narrative style, and almost every fan has heard the "Chandler meets Faulkner" talk. It is all true. Read morePublished on June 28 2000 by Chad M. Supp