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Central to Burke's second Billy Bob novel (Cimarron Rose was his first) is Wilbur Pickett. Wilbur had a brief moment of glory as a rodeo cowboy before sliding into a downward cycle of luckless enterprises. He ends up laboring for a wealthy family, the Dietrichs, in the Texas town of Deaf Smith. The Dietrichs accuse Wilbur of stealing some bearer bonds, and Billy Bob--now a defense attorney--reluctantly take his case. He is hesitant (because he idolizes Peggy Jean Dietrich), and for good reason: Billy Bob discovers that her husband Earl may be involved in shady, even violent, business practices.
Other ghosts from the past also haunt Billy Bob: he accidentally killed his former partner on a drug raid in Mexico and still hears his voice. And then there's Holland's illegitimate son Lucas, who is growing up with problems of his own. The weight of all this back-story might overwhelm a lesser writer, but Burke manages to make it seem as natural as the soft wind that stirs the tumbleweed in the town of Deaf Smith. --Dick Adler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Complex, wonderfully written plot again. Characters we feel we are in the scene with. You read Burke because you love each page, not to rush to the end of his novel.Published on May 29 2001
Billy Bob Holland, ex-Texas Ranger and now a successful lawyer agrees to defend Wibur Pickett who's accused of stealing $300,000 in bearer bonds from rich Earl Deitrich. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2001 by Old Fisherman
If you've never read Burke before, this is a fine start. If you've read Burke before and have grown to love his style (as I have), this is a placeholder at best. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2000 by S. Hall
Read the first book in the series first or you will find yourself slightly distracted, not because this book does not stand strongly on its own, but because the passing references... Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2000 by Robert Dean Field, Jr.
The second Billy Bob Holland story is a wonderful read. This is a series to look forward to.
It is a complex plot, fully resolved containing the atmospheric writing that JLB... Read more
James Lee Burke looks like a cowboy or a roustabout, but writes like a poet. His love of place is evident in his novels, whether they are set in New Iberia, Lousiana, or Deaf... Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2000 by Ms. Nancy F. Jones
"Heartwood" takes its title from a tree which grows outward, and as it grows, the core becomes stronger. Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2000 by Judith Lindenau
I should have purchased HEARTWOOD last year when it first came out in hardback, but I was so irritated with James Lee Burke for not writing a "Robicheaux" novel that I... Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2000 by Wayne C. Rogers
James Lee Burke just gets better with each successive novel, whether in the Dave Robicheaux series or this new series, begun in "Cimarron Rose" and continued in... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2000 by J. Keenley