James Lee Burke is one of three top crime fiction writers in this country today. His Dave Robicheaux novels are flawless, whether they take place this century or in the midst of the last one. Messrs. Burke and Robicheaux, along with glimpses we get of Batiste and Clete, are perfect in form -- if not near perfect in soul. Write on, Mr. Burke, write on. You leave us breathless.
A BRUTAL LEGACY OF CRUELTY AND HATE IS AWAKENED IN THE BAYOU
When Sonny Boy Marsallus returns to New Iberia after fleeing for Central America to avoid the wrath of the powerful Giacana family, his old troubles soon follow. Meanwhile Dave Robicheaux becomes entangled in the affairs of the Fontenot family, descendants of sharecroppers whose matriarch helped raise Dave as a child. They are in danger of losing the land they've lived on for more than a century.
As Dave tries to discover who wants the land so badly, he finds himself in increasing peril from a lethal, rag tag alliance of local mobsters and a hired assassin with a shady past. And when a seemingly innocent woman is brutally murdered, all roads intersect, and Sonny Boy is in the middle.
With the usual James Lee Burke combination of brilliant action and unforgettable characters, Burning Angel is the author at his best -- showing that old hatreds and new ones are not that far apart.
I sometimes wonder why I enjoy James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series? I mean, Dave seems to be a pretty decent guy, and he has a nice family. However, it seems that virtually everyone that Dave knows is through his law enforcement profession, and excepting the minority who hold a badge, they come off as slimy untrustworthy lowlifes that I would not want to spend any personal time getting to know.
Then, after completing the next one in the series, I remember why I do it because Burke is one h-ll of a storyteller.
Burning Angel has a few intertwining mysteries running through it or, are they merely separate aspects of the same conspiracy? (No spoilers, I leave this to the reader to determine for his or herself.) As mentioned, I don't like most of the supporting characters. I don't like the way our lead character acts when he's around these other characters, either. BUT when I get to the end, I think wow that was a pretty decent story.