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Since Burke's last outing (Jolie Blon's Bounce), hapless Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux has lost his wife to lupus and his bayou home has burned to the ground. Grieving and rootless, he takes on the troubles of others-namely an outspoken New Orleans priest who has been marked for murder, a black blues singer who entered Angola Prison in 1950 and disappeared and the father of a teenager who blames a liquor salesman for the drunk-driving accident that killed his daughter. In Robicheaux's world, all crimes can be laid at the doorsteps of the rich and powerful-in this case Castille LeJeune, a revered war hero who, according to one character, "owns about half the goddamn state." The seemingly disparate story lines interweave beautifully and are enhanced by flowing, poetic descriptions of everything from nature's wonder to man's brutality. Unfortunately, Hammer's delivery, though properly accented, sounds a decade too long in the tooth for the 50-something Robicheaux and is nasal enough at times to suggest that, along with his scripted woes, the detective is also suffering from a sinus condition.
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*Starred Review* Change comes slowly to Cajun country, but it comes just the same. Dave Robicheaux, hero of Burke's long-running series, has been struggling with that fact for years, watching his beloved New Iberia invaded by everything from mobsters to Wal-Mart. This time the change is more personal. Dave's second wife, Bootsie, has died from lupus; his daughter is away at college; and his house on Bayou Teche has burned down. Adrift, Robicheaux is even more of a loose cannon than usual, and all it takes to light his fuse is the death of three teenagers, killed in a car accident after being served illegally at a drive-by dacquiri stand. Soon Dave is knee-deep in a murky swamp of tangled motives and secret history that extends from the dead girls through a maverick priest, a crazed assassin, and a blues guitarist who disappeared from Angola Prison in the '40s. It is the musician's story that gives the novel its freshness, as Burke seamlessly connects past and present while re-creating the horrors of the legendary Louisiana prison farm and evoking the power of the doomed guitarist's art. Change is inevitable, Robicheaux keeps learning, and, no, it isn't 1950 anymore. And yet, the past isn't dead, either, as voices from the grave keep singing to us, blind to the shadow of Wal-Mart. Burke is, above all, an elegiac poet; his sweeping, lyrical sentences give life to the dead and make living worthwhile for the Robicheaux in all of us. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I bought this item because I was suffering an eye injury and thought to have a talking book to amuse me. Alas, the suth'n ac'cent was pretty difficult to understand. Read morePublished on March 8 2010 by Ann M. Collett
With a precision writing style reminiscent of McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and a plot worthy of Leonard's TISHOMINGO BLUES, this latest James Lee Burke does not disappoint. Read morePublished on June 18 2004
Another truly great novel from James Lee Burke, on par with all of his others. What truly distinguishes Burke's novels is his gorgeous writing style--he truly evokes a sense of... Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by Fred Black
My job affords me the ability to listen to tapes all day, usually theology lectures, but also novels. Read morePublished on April 3 2004 by matt
With a precision writing style reminiscent of McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and a plot worthy of Leonard's TISHOMINGO BLUES, this latest James Lee Burke does not disappoint. Read morePublished on April 2 2004
Perhaps I should have read other books by James Lee Burke before reading this one as he obviously has had a lot going on in the colourful life of his hero, Dave Robicheaux, which... Read morePublished on March 23 2004 by Beverley Strong
I guess I'd better go back and review the last couple of Robicheaux books, because I seem to have missed Bootsie's demise. Not that I was a big a fan of hers. Read morePublished on March 9 2004
Burke's latest Dave Robicheaux novel offers a cast of eccentric characters who thrive in the criminal underbelly of New Orleans and New Iberia Parrish. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004 by Luan Gaines