Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This is Burke's newest book to add to his series of fifteen other "Dave Robicheaux" crime drama/mysteries. This author is the greatest and as the book jacket says, he is the rare winner of two Edgar Edwards. I have read all of this series and also all but two of all of his other twelve books.
The book jacket says that "critics are already calling (this) Burke's best work." I would have to agree.
From the jacket:

In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana.

This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers as he is deployed to New Orleans....Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed...

In a singular style that defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina.

The author has a home in New Iberia and all of his Dave Robicheaux books are set there and in and around New Orleans. This book appears to be based on real situations and actual facts. I think that Burke includes his own impressions of the political fiasco and failure (in Dave Robicheaux's voice) that occurred before, during and after Katrina hit. I have never been to New Orleans, but the image I now have of this city is probably nothing like the reality of what the city was. Burke's novels always include unforgettably complex and flawed characters, some likable, but often frightening. In this book I definitely feel the possibility of the author's persona expressed in the character of his protagonist. This series of books is violent and graphic and I do not identify with any of the characters, even his wife and daughter. Despite this, I love this guy's writing style. True poetry among the prose.

James Lee Burke's daughter, Alafair Burke, is also an author and I have just started one of her novels. (Alafair is also the fictional name of Dave Robicheaux's daughter!)


kris said...

Oh good - I'm just finishing up Barbara Parker's last two books in her "Suspicion" series, and I've been thinking I need a new series. This sounds good - and the English mystery you had a couple posts ago. (I'll add to them to all the books I've taken from Lynne's blog!)

Lynne said...

I've seen on your sidebar that you read everything by this author. I've never heard of him, but I'll have to start looking for his books. This one sounds interesting.

Zola said...

Keep up the good work.