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In the Moon of Red Ponies: A Billy Bob Holland Novel Mass Market Paperback – Jan 25 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (Jan. 25 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743466640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743466646
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #743,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this top-notch fourth novel in Burke's series featuring ex–Texas Ranger attorney Billy Bob Holland, Billy Bob has moved his family and practice to the pastoral city of Missoula, Mont., the setting of his last adventure (Bitterroot, 2001), only to discover that the psychopathic ex-biker/rodeo clown, Wyatt Dixon (who buried Billy Bob's private investigator wife, Temple, alive), is out of prison on a technicality and claiming to be a born-again Christian. Billy Bob befriends alcoholic Desert Storm hero Johnny American Horse, a sometime breeder of horses and eco-activist who—when not in the drunk tank—is carrying on a passionate affair with Amber Finley, the daughter of Romulus Finley, a vindictive and bigoted powerful U.S. senator. When Johnny is suspected of murdering the hit man who invaded his home as well as masterminding the burglary of Global Research (a high-tech agricultural lab), making off with its computer files, the action picks up quickly. Noted for quirky characters and intricate plots, Burke introduces demon-driven sheriff's deputy Darrel McComb—an ex–war hero and former mercenary pilot who flew cocaine for the contras—who has an erotic fixation on Amber. Factor in private security agency chief Greta Lundstrum, FBI agent Seth Masterson and Karsten Mabus, CEO of the company that owns Global Research, and the mayhem builds to a gripping, spine-tingling finale.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The similarity between Burke's more recent Billy Bob Holland series and his celebrated Dave Robicheaux novels inevitably interferes with our ability to give the Hollands their due. Yes, former Texas Ranger turned Montana lawyer Holland is, in many ways, a Big Sky version of ragin' Cajun Robicheaux. They have both found a corner of paradise and want desperately to protect it from the encroachments of modern life; they both are prone to violence and often jeopardize their loved ones out of the all-consuming desire to protect them; and they invariably must tangle with one or both of Burke's twin towers of evil: malignant white trash and viciously bent rich people. But despite all that, despite our wish that a writer of Burke's great talent might have used a new series to head toward uncharted waters, it's time to stop picking on Billy Bob Holland. This latest entry in the series, in which Holland attempts to help an idealistic Indian ecoterrorist and winds up antagonizing a power-broking congressman, offers the perfect opportunity to let Billy Bob stand on his own feet. The familiar themes are all here, but Burke puts some new spins on them: the white-trash antagonist reveals surprising depths of character; Billy Bob stops to smell the roses; and even the square-off with the power broker feels less like an Old Testament free-for-all and more like the kind of attenuated skirmish that defines our more circumscribed contemporary world. Yes, Billy Bob is cut from familiar cloth, but admit it, he wears it well. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
MY LAW OFFICE was located on the old courthouse square of Missoula, Montana, not far from the two or three blocks of low-end bars and hotels that front the railyards, where occasionally Johnny American Horse ended up on a Sunday morning, sleeping in a doorway, shivering in the cold. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the great things about Burke's Robicheaux series is that Robicheaux has lines -- and both the reader and his enemies are often surprised at where they are. When they get crossed, stuff happens. Robicheaux pays a penalty, physically and emotionally. Billy Bob Holland might seem to be a Robicheaux clone, transplanted to Montana; but Mr. Holland is a civilized man -- a former Texas Ranger and prosecuting attorney -- who has no lines. Threaten his friends, his wife, kill his horse, attempt to kill his wife: his reponse: talk, reason, shift the target to someone else's back. Just another wimp who knows who's doing the damage but has answer in kind. In this novel Holland is a prop, a sideline clown to the real actors: Johnny American Horse and his wife Amber, the reformed sociopath Wyatt Dixon; and the sheriff's deputy Darrel McComb. Plenty of bad guys, but, oh yeah, they all get off. As always, Burke writes exceptionally well, but his writing cannot overcome a weak and boring storyline. Readers wanting a better read should look at the Robicheaux series.
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By Gary Griffiths on July 1 2004
Format: Hardcover
James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors. While his left-leaning political views don't coincide with my own, I respect the purity of his beliefs, which usually fit within his storyline, embellished by his extraordinary lyrical prose. Unfortunately "In the Moon of Red Ponies" is not up to Burke standards. Instead, "Poines" struck me as a hastily constructed effort put together only to serve as a platform upon which to hang another tired rant of government-industry conspiracy, and yet another opportunity to bash US involvement in the Mid East.
This is Burke's fourth novel featuring Billy Bob Holland, lawyer and ex-Texas ranger who has taken up residence in Montana. Burke succumbs to all the stereotypes: the downtrodden Native American who nonetheless maintains dignity, honor and wisdom despite persecution from the "G", while evil takes the form of a corrupt US senator and an even more despicable corporate titan. When not raping and pillaging the Montana environment, our conspirators are scheming more diabolical ways in which to profit from the War in Iraq, while the root of Saddam Hussein's treachery is of course unveiled to ultimately be the fault of the US. Billy Bob Holland, while a vibrant and imposing character in "Bitterroot", is flat in "Ponies", wearing his continual state of indignation on his leather-fringed sleeve. While Holland shares many characteristics with Burke's Dave Robicheaux, the macho stoicism just doesn't fit a lawyer as it does the Louisiana Bayou-based cop. The most interesting character is Wyatt Dixon, Holland's vicious adversary from "Bitterroot". Dixon has been released from prison on a technicality, returning to settle the score with Holland - or so it appears.
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Format: Hardcover
Former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland and his wife Temple relocate to Missoula, Montana where he opens up a law practice. However, Billy Bob is a bit stunned to learn justice did it again as the state freed the most dangerous person he ever met, psychopath Wyatt Dixon (see BITTERROOT) on a technicality. Though concerned that the crazed Wyatt might target him or Temple, he never expected the man to arrive at his law office needing a lawyer to represent his horse-trading business.
Meanwhile, someone steals important documents from the Global Research lab. The police believe former Gulf War soldier, part Lakota Johnny American Horse and his girlfriend Amber, daughter of U.S. Senator Romulus Finney, are the thieves. Billy Bob takes on Johnny as a client while Detective Darrel McComb targets the half-Lakota veteran perhaps because he desires Amber. Cold-blooded multi millionaire CEO Karsten Mabus will hire anyone to do anything to obtain the papers including killing Billy Bob and his family.
The violence is typical of Jamie Lee Burke as events spin out of control sort of like a tornado with innocent people being hurt by the spinning funnel clouds of subplots. Most interesting is Wyatt as he struggles with the help of legal drugs and Jesus to control his maniacal behavior. Billie Bob remains the same person wanting a little peace in his life, but somehow is always the eye of the storm as he learns that Tip O'Neill was right that "all politics is local" inside the Burke norm of a fabulous ferociously brisk thriller.
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Format: Hardcover
IN THE MOON OF RED PONIES is a surprise on a number of levels. It has been a few years since James Lee Burke has published a Billy Bob Holland novel; the ending of the last, BITTERROOT, could have been the finish to the series had he so desired, and indeed, that appeared to be the case. But here is IN THE MOON OF RED PONIES, and it is more a continuation of the Holland series more than a marking of time between Dave Robicheaux novels. This is the definitive Holland novel and, with BLACK CHERRY BLUES, the definitive Burke novel.
Burke is not afraid to change the landscapes of his characters. He does not do so with gay abandon; the changes are thoughtful and make sense within the context of his work, but are no less unsettling for their occurrence. So it is with IN THE MOON OF RED PONIES, when a newly wedded Billy Bob and Temple Holland find their idyllic relocation to Missoula, Montana abruptly shattered. Wyatt Dixon, the psychotic scourge of the Hollands, was last seen in BITTERROOT headed off to prison for the remainder of his foreseeable existence. Dixon, at the commencement of IN THE MOON OF RED PONIES, is abruptly released back to society and upon Missoula. Dixon immediately seeks out the Hollands, but claims to have cleansed his soul and attained salvation thanks to his work as an itinerant preacher and a daily ingestion of prescribed pharmaceutical cocktails. The fact remains, however, that Dixon is an extremely dangerous man, a loose cannon capable of inflicting permanent damage at a moment's notice.
At the same time, Holland is entangled in his defense of Johnny American Horse, an Indian activist who is as often at odds with himself as he is with those who he sees as despoiling the land that he considers his birthright.
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