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Jolie Blon's Bounce [Mass Market Paperback]

James Lee Burke
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2003
New Iberia, Louisiana, is reeling from a one-two punch of brutal rape-homicides, and drug-addicted blues singer Tee Bobby Hulin has been tagged as the prime suspect. No stranger to bucking popular opinion, police detective Dave Robicheaux senses it's not Hulin behind the atrocities. But while placating a town on fire for swift revenge, Robicheaux must face his own demons -- an ultimate reckoning with Legion Guidry, a diabolical figure whose hardcore brand of violence left Robicheaux humiliated and addicted to painkillers. With his longtime friend, the boozing and womanizing Clete Purcel, Robicheaux treads among land mines of injustice, mob payoffs, and deadly secrets, all the while guessing: whom can he trust -- and whom should he fear?
James Lee Burke brings back his acclaimed hero Dave Robicheaux in this powerful New York Times bestseller packed with suspense and menace.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Dave Robicheaux, the Louisiana cop who's easily one of the most complex and compelling protagonists in mystery fiction, confronts his own demons as well as a brutal adversary who might be the devil himself in this dark thriller. This is classic James Lee Burke, the master stylist, writing at the top of his game:
"I wanted to drive deep into the Atchafalaya Swamp, past the confines of reason, into the past... on the tree-flooded alluvial rim of the world, where the tides and the course of the sun were the only measures of time (and) all you had to do was release yourself from the prison of restraint, just snip loose the stitches that sewed your skin to the hairshirt of normalcy."
The plot hinges on a pair of murders that don't seem to be connected--a mobbed-up prostitute and a pretty young teenage girl--and the Cajun blues singer accused of both crimes. Robicheaux believes that Tee Bobby Hulin, the gifted musician whose original composition provides the title for this brilliantly realized Gothic crime novel, is innocent. Proving it puts him in the sights of a vicious old overseer named Legion, whose almost supernatural powers nearly drown Robicheaux in the swamp of his own addictions. The narrative proceeds slowly, but Burke's dedicated fans won't begrudge him one beautifully turned phrase, gloriously limned description, or insightful characterization: they just don't get any better than this one. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

To read a Burke novel is to enter a timeless, parallel universe of violent emotions and lush, brooding landscapes, where class and racial distinctions and family histories mold society. This is the stunningly talented Burke's 21st book and his best until the next one. Dave Robicheaux, the psychologically scarred detective for the New Iberia, La., sheriff's department, investigates two brutal murders, one of a na‹ve teenage girl, the other of a feckless drug-addled prostitute. The author provides a dense, richly imagined background for his characters, especially the sinister ones: malevolent Legion Guidry, a nightmarish figure from Robicheaux's boyhood; a power-hungry tavern owner; an arrogant lawyer; a combative female PI; the prostitute's Mafioso father; and Marvin Oates, an enigmatic Bible salesman who floats ominously through the narrative. Robicheaux doesn't believe the obvious suspect Tee Bobby Hulin, a drug-addicted musical genius is the murderer. Aided and disrupted by his obstreperous pal, Clete Purcel, Robicheaux runs into the usual trouble. Legion gives Robicheaux such a ferocious beating that he reverts to drinking and addictive painkillers. Though the search for the murderer moves the story, the novel is really an examination of the savage relationships of the characters and the palpable presence of the past. Burke offers a vivid social history of an inbred, corrupt place. As Clete so aptly tells his friend, "This is Louisiana, Dave. Guatemala North. Quit pretending it's the United States."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Growing up during the 1940s in New Iberia, down on the Gulf Coast, I never doubted how the world worked. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Born on the Bayou April 30 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I would probably read anything written by James Lee Burke simply because I enjoy his style. The vivid details in his descriptions of the deep South, as well as his ability to capture the kind of racial dynamics that have somehow managed to make it into the 21st Century, are remarkable. The writing is often poetic and insightful, and Burke seems to recognize just what it is that separates the truly bad characters from the rest of us. That said, at some point the reader is forced to suspend reality within the pages of Jolie Blon's Bounce, which in my opinion, ultimately becomes more of an allegory about good versus evil than a murder mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have June 12 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best books I have ever read! It's a very well written mystery novel that intertwines characters and their stories. I just couldn't put it down. It would make a great movie!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Narrator Ruined Book April 30 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I might have found James Lee Burke's writing interesting, his descriptions detailed, his characters well-rounded, etc. as I have read in all of the wonderful reviews about his books. However, I did not have the opportunity to do so, because Mark Hammer's completely uninspired monotone put me off the book and I was unable to force myself to listen to the novel after the first two tapes. His voice has no inflection whatsoever, and the grainy quality quickly gets on one's nerves. It sounds rather like nails scraping across a blackboard. I would recommend (and shall be trying to obtain) a version of this novel read by a different narrator, or perhaps the print version.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Feb. 20 2004
By Ginger
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book from Burke to be surprisingly contrived and ended up getting boring
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I've Always Wanted Feb. 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...a sink-your-teeth-into-it mystery, a big tough thriller of a book that you can snuggle up with after pulling on a pair of soft cotton pants and a soft cotton T-shirt, sitting in your sunroom on a rainy day. ...I'd never read any of JLB's work because, being gay, I am almost allergic to the type of thrillers written by, say, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, or Elmore Leonard whose protagonists have so much testosterone in their blood that it comes through the pages like a vapor. Yeah, I usually stick to Carol Higgins Clark, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, Mary Higgins Clark, Susan Wittig Albert, Sue Grafton, Janis Harrison, and the like; mystery novels with female protagonists. But I had a romping good time with "Jolie Blon's Bounce". And you will too, if you pick it up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another dark tale involving Dave Robicheaux Jan. 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
With each successive novel, James Lee Burke delves deeper into the human psyche, and more deeply into his main protaganist, Dave Robicheaux.
Jolie Blon's Bounce centers around Robicheaux trying to connect two seemingly unconnected murders, one a teenager from a farming family, the other a strung-out prostitute. Around this plot swirl a typical rogues gallery of characters that enter Robicheaux's sphere: Tee Bobby Hulin, a blues guitarist and singer who pens the song that becomes the book's title. Jimmy Dean Styles, an ex-boxer and current bar owner and music producer, Marvin Oates, a seemingly innocent bible salesman, Sal Angelo, a Viet Nam vet who may have been with Dave's unit, and one of the nastiest characters Burke has brought to life, the former plantation overseer known simply as "Legion." There is also a duo of lawyers, Perry LaSalle, whose grandfather owned a pepper plantation, and Barbara Shanahan, a beautiful but angry woman who gets involved with Dave's pal Clete Purcel. Throw in some drug dealers, crooked cops, New Orleans mafia and a woman with secrets and you have a dark tale that will have you turning page after page.
Burke's strengths continue in this book: Beautiful prose depicting the Louisiana landscape or gritty descriptions of those who inhabit this otherworldly place. The dialogue smacks you in the face. The characters show multiple dimensions and always have a surprise in store for Dave or the reader. The story works on multiple levels, with the murder mystery nearly secondary to the inner story as Dave uncovers the connection between Legion, LaSalle and Tee Bobby Hulin, and other connections.
My knocks would be that old Streak is getting very close to the edge of not being likable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars his best yet Dec 20 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i wrote previously-that i was about to read the book-and knew it would be great-well i've read it and burke has refined clete and dave to a fare thee well--their dialogue is foxhole real and the first chapter may well be the best written in a novel in the last 30 years or so--and those whose reviews stated that burke had to put new life into his series wish they could write this well--!the man gets better and better--thanks!
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"That night I lay in the dark, sleepless, the trees outside swelling with the wind, the canopy in the swamp trembling with a ghostly white light from the lightening in the south. I had never felt more alone in my life. Once again, I burned, in almost a sexual fashion, to wrap my fingers around the grips and inside the steel guard of a heavy, high caliber pistol, to smell the acrid order of cordite, to tear loose from all the restraints that bound my life and squeezed the breath from my lungs.
And I knew what I had to do."
While I like James Lee Burke and admire his writing ability tremendously, his books usually bother me. His writings will never be confused with happy ever after endings and are full of characters that for the most part, are full of various stages of moral decay. He has an ability to gaze at the world and write about things that haunt us all. In his world, evil is a spectral presence and truly does lurk in the heart of most people. His latest book is even more in that vein with a strongly implied supernatural component to it.
Dave Robicheaux, a Police Detective in New Iberia, Louisiana has seen quite a lot of evil in the world. From the jungles of Vietnam, to the back alleys of New Orleans and now home in New Iberia, he has seen man and woman brutalize and kill total strangers as well as those they profess to love. One late spring day, he is called out to the scene of a brutal rape and murder. The initial suspect is Tee Bobby Hulin, a heavy drug user as well as an accomplished blues singer. While the evidence, what little there is, does point to him, Robicheaux does not believe he did it.
Robicheaux begins to investigate and begins to unravel a horrifying mess of interwoven racial ancestry by rape, murder, and greed.
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