Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel Hardcover – Jul 17 2012
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“Burke is the reigning champ of nostalgia noir. . . . To be sure, the destruction of a pristine natural environment is a thematic staple of the regional crime novel, but nobody can touch Burke in the lyrical expression of howling grief. . . . [Creole Belle is] a novel that shows how the sins of the fathers poison the ground their children walk on.”—The New York Times Book Review
“I think [James Lee] Burke is the best fiction writer in the country.”—Bill O’Reilly
“All the characters . . . are superbly drawn, and the plot is heart-pounding . . . sure to be embraced by author James Lee Burke's fans.”—The Washington Post
“Burke, 75, creates lyrical mysteries with what can only be described as deceptive ease. Whether it’s Robicheaux, stand-alone novels, or separate series starring Texas cousins Billy Bob and Hackberry Holland, the themes remain constant. Every novel Burke writes delves into moral ambiguity, the menaces of greed and violence, the degradation of people and land, the juxtaposition of natural beauty and man-made horror and, finally, the sublime joy of human love and loyalty.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Burke never goes wrong with his exquisite gift for taking us into the heart of Louisiana, its wetlands, small towns, the glory of old New Orleans and, as always, its checkered history. Combined with some of the finest characters ever to grace a page, that makes any Robicheaux novel a joy to read.” (The Globe and Mail (Canada))
“Like its 18 predecessors in Burke’s series, Creole Belle is a work of dark and radiant brilliance.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Reading James Lee Burke is a religious experience. …Creole Belle may be one of Burke's best; it is certainly one of his most complex. . . . Intense doesn't begin to describe a Burke story . . . Biblical . . . now that about does it.”—San Antonio Express
“The plot is fast-moving and thriller-tough, the bodies mount quickly, and the writing is lyrical and evocative . . . as laced with complications as the canals crosscutting Robicheaux's beloved, threatened wetlands.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
"If all novelists were as thoughtful and nuanced as James Lee Burke, we could finally put to rest those groundless prejudices against genre fiction . . . the [Dave Robicheaux] books are works of dark art. At their unflinching best, they examine the cost of violence, even when it's performed in the name of justice, and the haunted worlds inhabited by those resigned to limping through life with a blood-soaked conscience." (Miami Herald)
“Burke weaves a rich example of his trademark bayou noir. Filled with cruelty and valor, greed and sacrifice, and surprises of the worst and best kind, Creole Belle is a dark but irresistible cruise.”—Tampa Bay Times
“As a crime novel, Creole Belle delivers everything fans of the genre crave, and more: a masterful tale of good, evil, organized crime and the corporate-led destruction of the once-idyllic land of the Gulf Coast. Burke muses along at a steady pace, never hurrying, never stalling. He uses the modern crime novel the way a master chef uses local, organic foods to create a gastronomic feast—in this case, a classical tragedy with all the fixin’s.”—ShelfAwareness.com
“[Creole Belle] is a wild ride of a novel, but the true joys of Burke’s novels are the exquisitely fine writing and his character’s familiarity with great thinkers and theologians. . . . It is fair to say that Burke truly stands with Chandler and Hammett in the pantheon of great American crime fiction novelists.”—Asbury Park Press
“This tale plays out much like The Glass Rainbow—intimations of mortality; melancholic musing on the pillaging of once-Edenic South Louisiana; cathartic, guns-blazing climax—but, as always, Burke brings something new to the table . . . Dave and Clete may still be unbowed, but they are certainly broken—and all the more interesting for it.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Another stunner from a modern master.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Great news for readers who feared that Burke had left Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Robicheaux dying at the end of The Glass Rainbow (2010); Dave and his old friend Clete Purcel are back for an even more heaven-storming round of homicide, New Orleans–style. . . . A darkly magnificent treat for Dave’s legion of admirers.”—Kirkus Reviews
“One of the masters, James Lee Burke, has a new Dave Robicheaux novel just out, Creole Belle. Elmore Leonard famously advises all writers to never write about ‘boring stuff’ like the weather, but Burke’s catalog is a direct contradiction to that advice. He writes about Louisiana and the Gulf with such sensual detail about sights, smells, and yes—the weather—that you can skip paying Delta for that flight to the Big Easy.”—Detroit News
“Fortunately for us, we can luxuriate in the 500-plus pages of Burke’s sinuous tale before we can decipher this complex puzzle.”—Dayton Daily News
“Burke’s fascinatingly conflicted Cajun anti-hero Dave Robicheaux returns.”—Dallas Morning News
"Burke has a knack for giving the reader atmosphere through descriptions of architecture, the sights and sounds of overheated New Orleans and southern Louisiana's quirky folks." (Albuquerque Journal)
“When something terrible happens in Louisiana, the only consolation might be that James Lee Burke is inspired to write another Dave Robicheaux novel about it.”—Houston Chronicle
About the Author
James Lee Burke is the author of thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including the New York Times bestsellers The Glass Rainbow and Feast Day of Fools. He lives in Missoula, Montana.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I love how the choice of language used slows you down and makes you feel you are indeed in the deep south. The plot draws you along but you feel the mellowness of the lifestyles. The rich descriptions of the scenes make you feel like you are right there with the characters.
Again he leaves you fulfilled at the conclusion yet wanting more. When will the next book come?
In Creole Belle, James Lee Burke ups the literary qualities of his prose to new levels of poetic imagery. He also does a remarkable job of portraying the problems of perception and memory in ways that resonate more powerfully than any scientific description you'll ever read. I was impressed with the effective way that Clete Purcel seems to have been encompassed by Dave Robicheaux's visions, adding a more romantic aspect to this story.
That said, the outlines of the story will seem very familiar to those who are long-time fans of the series. It's good versus evil once again with a vengeance. Although I don't mind the same story being retold with new garments, in this case there's a reaching out to the evils of Europe that comes across as quite a stretch for a story that's obviously based in the recent past. It felt like such overreaching to me that the story's magic spell was dimmed for me.
So what's the story about on the surface level? Dave is recovering from being shot in The Glass Rainbow. A generous dose of painkillers is affecting his perceptions. When Tee Jolie Melton seems to visit, he's not sure. Because she's missing, everyone else doubts Dave's memory. He's not so sure. As usual, the search goes against the grain for everyone else, but Dave proceeds regardless ... turning up some very curious events and some highly untrustworthy people. Burke takes his time honing in on the evil, beautifully building characters and conundrums in the process. It's like sitting down with someone form southern Louisiana who wants to tell you a story about the old days in the French Quarter. It's going to take awhile, but you probably won't mind.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great gumbo, of suspense, world-weary heroes, violence and ambience of New Orleans. I'm just getting acquainted with this prolific author but am eager to read more.Published 6 days ago by Ann M.
When James Lee Burke started his Robicheaux series the books averaged 300 pages in length, now they're over 600. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Robert P. Brown
As always the beauty of James Lee Burke's language has me forgetting I'm reading an incredibly violent book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Penny
Loved the book....found it to be a great review of all things related to New Orleans. Love the characters, especially Dave and his friend Clete.Published on Nov. 6 2013 by Susan
Another great installment in the Dave Robicheaux series. A lot of character development with Clete. The bad guys are really bad and the ending is full tilt. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2013 by Amazon Customer