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Heartwood Mass Market Paperback – Jul 11 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Island Books; Reissue edition (July 11 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440224012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440224013
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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IT WOULD BE EASY to say we resented Earl Deitrich because he was rich. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By yygsgsdrassil on July 23 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...Billy Bob Holland reminds me of the southern Sheriff played by Bill Paxton in "One False Move" or Chris Cooper as the Texas Ranger in "Lone Star". Or Gary Cooper in those 40's/50's westerns.
'Course, in Lee Burke's Texas, murders and the overall evil men do take on quite a different flavor. *Quite* a different flavor. A Latin gang member is murdered by a lethal drug which has been punched in his face during a so called friendly boxing spar. A wildcatter initally accused of taking bearer bonds--Billy Bob's client--finds his mother's body exhumed and in his pick-up truck out in a dark and dreary field; this is a threat from Big Earl Dietrich to comply with some kind of land development deal with a promise of big resources...he wants IN, but Deitrich would rather just muscle his way in. The wildcatter is married to a blind Indian spiritlifter, who murders an intruder to her home so efficiently and thoroughly it seems like it was done in a mode other than self defense. The Big guy's son seems to have some scandalous problems with his sexuality and Billy Bob has somehow gotten a dose of a rare Asian jungle poison. Add to the mix some insane prison escapees, an able assistant, his son Lucas, and a lil fishing buddy and you have quite an intriging stage for mystery.
Billy Bob Holland himself keeps hearing voices, seeing visions inspired by his dead Rangers partner, LQ Navarro. Whoooo-boy! Would this be a wild movie for a director to take on!
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By Kris on Jan. 26 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Billy Bob Holland, attorney, is pitted against an apparently materialistic and immoral "entrepreneur," Earl,who happens to be married to the beautiful woman who deflowered Billy Bob, years prior. Earl's son by a previous liaison, Jeff, is a chip off the old block. Tagging alongside are two Chicano "gang bangers," actually more low riders than gang bangers, Ronnie Cruise (note how he anglicized his name, maybe that's a fad in San Antonio?) and a loco guy named Ramirez who gets boxed to death later in the book. In fact, of these four, only Ronnie remains standing, with Billy Bob, when the final bell rings. There are other women, including Esmeralda Ramirez, who is variously a college student, Jeff's wife, Ronnie's girlfriend, and the girlfriend of Billy Bob's son, not in that order, however. Then there's a corrupt, racist, fat sheriff (what would a Southern town be without one?), and various "white trash" figures who cross back and forth over the criminal line as forces carry them. Well, the result of all this, in my humble opinion, is a three-star book. As others on this website have pointed out, there's a lot to wade through for the action that's delivered, maybe a little too much attention to minor detail. But does this really differ much from Robert Parker describing what his private dick had for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or from Robert Crais telling us what the sunset in Santa Clarita looked like as the police and FBI surround an upscale single family residence housing three kidnappers? Not really. So, there's something here, but you might have to wade through some of the slower parts, skim it or skip it. Billy Bob's encounter with his deceased crime partner, his ghost, that is, is actually rather interesting, because how often do you get anything even bordering on the metaphysical in this type of fiction? Diximus.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have never written a negative review about a book purchased in Amazon but I am now going to make an exception. The "Billy Bob" series is unbearably overwritten, cliched, and filled with gratitious violence, endless racist references, and chapters that seem always to end with a pompous striving for fine writing. I know Burke can write but these stories are just ridiculous. The female characters are impossibly remote, almost as if they were trapped in a Western novel, the characters speak to each other with mock formality ('sir' is used even when someone is being threatened with emasculation), and about every third chapter one finds a "food" interval: tubs of chicken are devoured, buffalo steaks with blueberry ice cream are washed down with iced tea on the front porch, and for lunch tacos with an iced mug of Lone Star are slopped up at the Mexican cafe on the square. These people must weigh 400 lbs.
It's almost as if Burke said to himself: this is the way to make me 'sum' real money: testosterone threat chapters, followed by by inconclusive encounters with the athletic female private investigator and former corrections officer or with a former high school conquest now married to a rich and corrupt oil man, and then the food feasts followed by riding around the Texas Hill Country on a horse, all three mixed in with random encounters with escaped convicts, cretins borne with severe birth defects, and failed evangelists, all of whom seem to be 'river baptized.'Oh, I forgot the bottomless corruption by knuckle-dragging law enforcement officers. Sprinkled throughout, just for effect,are interludes where Billy Bob, a convert to Catholicism and former Texas Ranger who executed drug mules in Mexico and boasts of it, every now and then drops into church with his youthful sidekick.
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