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Dripping with the cynicism and sweat that runs rampant through the Louisiana bayou parishes, actor Will Patton gives an extraordinary reading of James Lee Burke's latest tension-filled tale. Each character gets a distinct patois that not only distinguishes his or her voice, but conveys class, race, and in many cases, a raw, unforgiving, and unsavory nature: necessary ingredients for such a brilliant and dark work. And while Northerners may, at times, struggle with the strong colloquialisms, Patton's varied Southern tones justify a listen.
Like Burke's other work, contradictions rule. Beauty is juxtaposed against ugliness; rape, killings, and revenge are woven through an intense and elegiac prose in which the lush details of nature run profuse and poetic. The upshot is an almost dreamlike, or rather nightmarish, account of detective Dave Robicheaux's search for justice in a mounting set of murders. His journeys run from wealthy manors to cockfights and cathouses and through the injustices of a South where past and present are rarely separated. The detective's keen, indisputable insights on human nature and history set him and this story apart from all peers. (Running time: 4.5 hours, four cassettes) --Anne Lockwood --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After stepping into stand-alone territory with Cimmaron Rose (1997), Burke choreographs a masterful return to the lush and brooding world of volatile New Iberia Sheriff's Deputy Dave Robicheaux (Cadillac Jukebox, 1996). This tale's strength lies in breathtaking, moody descriptive passages and incisive vignettes that set time, place and character. Burke's major themes, that the past is key to the present and that money buys power, pervade this mystery. The narrative, with more twists and bounces than a fish fighting a hook, rises from the violent, unsolved murder 40 years ago of union organizer Jack Flynn. The story encompasses at least eight disparate but interlocking subplots: the crooked money behind a movie directed by Flynn's son Cisco; the hold that ex-con Swede Boxleiter has on Cisco's photojournalist sister, Megan; Willie "Cool Breeze" Broussard's theft of a mob warehouse; his wife Ida's suicide 20 years ago; the shooting of two white brothers who raped a black woman; alcoholic Lisa Terrebonne's haunted childhood; her wealthy, arrogant father's ties to Harpo Scruggs, a vicious murderer; the post-Civil War killing by freed slaves of a Terrebonne servant. Hired assassins, snitches, lawmen and FBI agents weave through the novel. Dave and his partner Detective Helen Soileau find the connections, but Dave knows that in the ongoing class war, the worst criminals wield too much influence to pay for their crimes. In rich, dense prose, Burke conjures up bizarre, believable characters who inhabit vivid, spellbinding scenes in a multifaceted, engrossing plot. $300,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I read "Heaven's Prisoners" and liked it, a lot. I was expecting this one to be good as well, but alas, no. Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by Denny Gibbons
James Lee Burke at his worst is better than most mystery writers at their best. This is probably the least compelling of the Robicheaux series, but it's still enough to keep you... Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2002 by David A. Knadler
Burke maintains his usual high standard in this complicated and disturbing crime novel. Like always, the novel is loaded with atmosphere and interesting, fully evolved characters. Read morePublished on June 17 2002 by John D. Costanzo
It's funny that many readers thought this was one of Burke's worst books. I thought it was his best. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2000
James Lee Burkes David Robicheaux novels are some of the best suspense/mystery novels out there. Great dialogue, characters you care about, great descriptions of New Orleans,... Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2000 by Kindle Customer
The writing itself is not bad; the dialogue matches what I would expect of Louisiana and the characters are well defined. Read morePublished on March 30 2000
I just finished reading, "Angels Flight," "Everybody Dies," and "Sunset Limited. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2000 by P. Braun