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Cimarron Rose [Mass Market Paperback]

James Lee Burke
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 1998 Billy Bob Boy Howdy
Texas attorney and former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland has many secrets in his dark past. Among them is Vernon Smothers' son Lucas, a teenaged boy about whom only Vernon and Billy Bob know the truth. Lucas is really Billy Bob's illegitimate son, and when Lucas is arrested for murder, Billy Bob knows that he has no choice but to confront the past and serve as the boy's criminal attorney. During Lucas's trial, Billy Bob realizes that he will have to bring injury upon Lucas as well as himself in order to save his son. And as a result, Billy Bob creates enemies that are far more dangerous than any he had faced as a Texas Ranger.

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From Amazon

Billy Bob Holland, the protagonist of Cimarron Rose, is an attorney in the dusty Texas town of Deaf Smith. An ex-Texas Ranger (cop, not ball-player) who mistakenly killed his partner during a drug bust, Holland is jolted from his brooding when his estranged illegitimate son is accused of the rape and murder of a party girl. He takes the case, of course, and things get complicated mighty quick. On a hunch only a father could believe, Holland is sure his son is being railroaded. Doggedly pursuing the truth, he runs afoul of sadistic cops, a powerful family, and the euphoniously-named Garland T. Moon, a feral thug with something to hide. Luckily, the folks on his team are just as tough. Burke's book isn't gritty realism--Holland's dead partner visits him often--but the characters ring true in a weird way. They are quirky and appealing, and even the criminals make good company while the whodunit unfolds. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Burke gives the beloved Dave Robicheaux (e.g., Cadillac Jukebox, LJ 8/96) a vacation and shines his talent on the vast, brooding beauty and inbred violence of rural Texas. Texas Ranger-turned-lawyer Billy Bob Holland must defend his illegitimate son, Lucas Smothers, on a murder rap. Billy Bob knows that backwater Deaf Smith, Texas, will eat Lucas for lunch?especially the East Enders, the town's pocket of elite kids. He mounts his defense with sporadic help from sexy cop/possible federal agent Mary Beth Sweeney. Some uniquely Southern weirdos wind up in Lucas's and Billy Bob's orbit, including newly freed and ax-grinding con Garland T. Moon. Along with an evocative sense of place rendered in the Burke tradition, Billy Bob's humanity suffuses every page with a warm, golden glow. Readers will undoubtedly fall for him as he lassos a child abuser in the center of town and argues with the ghost of his slain Ranger partner. Highly recommended.
-?Susan A. Zappia, Maricopa Cty. Lib. Dist., Phoenix
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
My great-grandfather was Sam Morgan Holland, a drover who trailed cows up the Chisholm from San Antonio to Kansas. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Burke begins a new series set in Texas Sept. 12 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fans of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux/cajun cop series now have a new series with Texas lawyer Billy Bob Holland. If this had been the first Burke book for me, I would have rated it higher.
The main plot involves Billy Bob defending his illegitimate son against a murder charge in a fishy-smelling situation involving a rich kid deviant with fetal alcohol syndrome and speed on the brain, a former football hero, DEA officers, and a sociopath named Garland T. Moon.
The inner plot involves Billy Bob wrestling with ghosts and demons from his past, namely private conversations he has with his old partner from their Texas Ranger days. There is also some mystery surrounding the death of Billy Bob's father in 1965.
Burke does an excellent job weaving all of the plot threads together, and the characters are believable. His descriptions are spare and elegant, and he has the ability provide sensory detail in a few short sentences.
One word of warning is that the cast is a rogue's gallery, like other Burke novels, and features a very flawed protaganist, but one we can root for just the same. Still, we're in some dark territory here, and Burke's writing is edgy, graphic and not for everyone.
While the book was well-written, I didn't get enough distance between Dave Robicheaux and Billy Bob Holland, who are essentially the same character. Both are men in their forties who stay in good shape, have father issues, and share similar demons in their past. The same self-righteous attitude was evident in both men. I hope that Billy Bob's voice takes a different shape in future novels of this series.
The other problem is that Burke is starting to recycle some of his details. The wealthy southerners always hold glasses wrapped with paper napkins secured with a rubber band.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-edged, "New West" Western... June 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Former US Assistant DA, and Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland rides his horse into a honkey-tonk, unfurls his lariat and loops it around the deserving torso of a woman-beating thug. He commences to drag the dude out the door for a taste of cowboy keelhauling discipline. Readers Now must be aware--like Dorothy--they're "no longer in Kansas". Courtesy of James Lee Burke's hard-edged,yet superbly literary style, our New West hero essays roles of defense attorney by day and LONE RANGER at night. Burke convinces us Deaf Smith(a town near Austin, combining resort ambience of Lake Travis; working class morphed-Yuppster Round Rock Texas, with generously violent doses of old West Tombstone)exists on planet Earth not a galaxy far away in the Final Frontier. Burke uses flashbacks to Old Frontier days describing how Billy Bob's grandfather dueled-it-out with the Doolan and Dalton gang. In recent New Frontier times, he and Texas Ranger partner L.Q. Navarro dueled-it-out with drug dealers across the boarder in old/new/middle-aged Mexico. L.Q. appears regularly as Billy Bob's mentor. A minor problem is Sr. Navarro is dead. His "ghostliness" factors not only in Burke's narrative technique but as plot detail: best friend Billy Bob accidently shot him to death during an aformentioned, vigilante-style drug bust.
This is only Setting. CIMARRON ROSE evokes old West and the New (Drug Thug)West. Billy Bob finds himself legally defending his unacknowledged son Lucas in a gruesome rape/murder case which is enhanced by a battle-array of drug dealers; bent DEA; feckless FBI agents; a formerly abused-child now border-line psychopath bent on revenge against the Bobster; some repugnant nouveau rich whose adopted son--at very least--is a sociopathic punk and (perhaps) prime candidate for the murder Lucas is framed-for.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Trapped In A Country Song Feb. 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
James Lee Burke temporarily put his New Orleans bayeaux hero Dave Robicheaux on hold to introduce a new series featuring Billy Bob Holland, the haunted ex-Texas Ranger, now defense attorney in the small Texas town of Deaf Smith.
Holland is a hero in the same mold as Robicheaux, the amalgamation of the strong, silent John Wayne stereotype, with enough contemporary angst to place him firmly in the present. Holland is haunted, literally and figuratively, by L.Q. Navarro, his partner in the rangers, who he accidentally shot and killed while battling drug smugglers in Mexico. This could understandably put a strain on most friendships, but Navarro doesn't mind being dead. It's pretty restful to sit around and swap lies without having to bother with mundane facts like earning a living. His role in the book is less avenging spirit and more amiable sidekick.
Rounding out the setup is a son Holland's never acknowledged, a fine boy named Lucas Smothers whose mother died when he was an infant. He's being raised by a harsh and hostile stepfather who's sharecropping on Holland's land.
Unfortunately for Lucas, he was found passed out near the body of his raped and murdered girlfriend, and Holland works to dig out the truth. Arranged against Holland and Lucas are an array of corrupt, evil and just plain psychopathic characters: the son of the town's most powerful family who may or may not be involved in the murder, the corrupt sheriff and his deputies and Garland T. Moon, a wandering psychopath dying of cancer, who came back to Deaf Smith on a mission of his own.
Weaved among the contemporary story is the tale of Holland's great-grandfather, a drunken gunfighter who has since taken the pledge, and his true love, known mostly as the Rose of Cimarron.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!
I have read every novel and short story by James Lee Burke and by far, I believe is is the best novelist, hands down. I wish he had published another 20 books!!
Published 5 months ago by maddy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Novel
If you want a good mystery with Texas flavor and a touch of darkness - this is a great read.
Published on Jan. 28 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars But Bitterroot is better!
I liked part two (Bitterroot) of James Lee Burke’s Billy Bob Holland saga so well that I gave this first part a listen on unabridged audio. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2002 by TundraVision
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Author's Standards
This is the eighth James Lee Burke book I have read. It may well be the last. Unhappily, Mr. Burke has adopted the "cookbook" approach to his novels, and I, for one,... Read more
Published on May 21 2001 by Larry W. Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Distinctively Burke, for better or worse
Having read several of James Lee Burke's novels now, I have come to see that his approach to weaving together a story is intriguingly unorthodox. Read more
Published on April 2 2001 by Douglas A. Greenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, Terrible Ending
Having never read a James Lee Burke novel before, I gobbled up Cimarron Rose, enjoying meeting all the colorful characters, two of whom was Pete and his PI sidekick.... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Baring the Soul
Burke describes characters who are as incongruous as the landscape. The heat, the rain, and the desolation make the reader mighty glad not to live anywhere near Mr. Holland. Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2000 by P.J. Powers
4.0 out of 5 stars Biblical, dreamy,violent, Burke at his best
James Lee Burke is a master at setting the scene and creating a feeling with his stories. His novels are so heartfelt and deep, that even if the story is a bit familar as the above... Read more
Published on July 19 2000 by John J. Raspanti
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong, deep writing. Ranks with other masterworks
All right, for some reason I haven't been familiar with Burke's writing up to now. Nobody e-mailed me about him. Read more
Published on June 30 2000 by Peter A. Kimball
2.0 out of 5 stars Same story different setting
If you have never read a Burke novel then you may like this. If you are familiar with the Robicheaux novels, then pass this one up. Read more
Published on April 16 2000
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