I've read everything James Lee Burke has ever written, and now I'm reading books written by his real-life daughter, Alafair (who is a character in so many of his books - you can almost watch her grow up if you read his books in chronological order). He sets most of his stories in South Louisiana, and no one gets it right like JLB. The descriptions of the Louisiana landscape, with its dreamy, slow-moving bayous and dreamy, slow-moving way of life, the New Orleans he loves, the dialogue that is right on, even the history and culture of the Acadian, or 'Cajun' people (and in New Orleans, the Creoles)...he gets it all right, and you can tell he loves the place he lives and writes about. (Can you tell I'm a Louisiana lady?) :-)
Since the story is well-described, I won't attempt another description. But I will say that I believe anyone who enjoys a good mystery with in-depth characterizations and plenty of twists and turns, should truly enjoy the incomparable James Lee Burke.
This is a very gritty police story. All of the characters are flawed in some way. The story flows very quickly which is good, otherwise it could be depressing but all comes out well in the end. The authors descriptions make you feel like you are back in New Orleans (if you have been there anyway.)
Veronica R. reviewed The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Since this is the introductory novel of the Dave Robicheaux detective series, it has much detail that
I found hard to get through. Mr. Burke is
an excellent author, and his style of writing these novels
has changed through the years. The novels have become
more exciting and much easier to read, in fact, I have
a difficult time putting them down.
I realize that in the initial installment of any series,
there must be detailed information regarding the locations
and the characters. If a person reads this book, he or she
will be completely familiar with the details of both the locations and the characters, and should definitely enjoy any of the following installments.
Brandy C. reviewed The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
James Lee Burke does an incredible job of putting the reader in the story. His colorful language and detailed scenes are very true to the culture he writes about. Being a native of southern Louisiana, I was very skeptical since most southern novels are over the top with the accents, etc. Dave Robicheaux could easily be my next door neighbor. The stories are genuine with real life problems, friends, family and of course enemies and demons. This book is just the beginning.
Stephen B. reviewed The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This was my first time to read one of Mr. Burke's novels. As a frequent visitor to New Orleans, I definitely enjoyed the references to area landmarks. It was a good, not a great read. I liked it well enough to read another.
This book was written while I was a student at LSU but somehow I missed it along with the rest of the Dave Robicheaux series until now. What a shame! I listened to this incredibly narrated audiobook during my Thanksgiving drive home and back again. I could not have picked a better way to spend 8 hours and 22 minutes of my drive. Every one of my senses was evoked by James Lee Burke and I was temporarily transported to New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou country with the taste of its food, the sounds of its music, the smells of the French Quarter. I laughed. I was repulsed. I was impressed by the fantastic character development. Although the unabridged version of the second book in the series, Heaven's Prisoners, is not yet available, I purchased the paperback today and I look forward to continuing the journey with Robicheaux.
"Detective Dave Robicheaux has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with killers and hustlers, with police brass, and the bottle. Lost without his wife's love, Rovicheaux's haunted soul mirros the intesnity and dusky mystery of New Orleans' French Quarter - the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he becomes involved in the case of a young prostitue whose body is found in a bayou. Thurst into the world of drug lords and arms smugglers, Robicheaux must face down a subterranean criminal world and come to terms with his own bruised heart in order to survive."
Great book. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
I had read and thoroughly enjoyed several of the later Dave Robicheaux books and didn't realize this was the first in the series when I acquired it. If, like me, you've read the more recent books and are interested to know why the hero is an ex-cop, this is the book that tells you. It's a gritty, intricate plot. Robicheaux is far from perfect and not always likable, but the forces surrounding him are so bad that you root for him anyway. The characters and settings are very well developed; you feel as if you are there. For most of the book "there" isn't somewhere you'd want to be, but it's still hard to put down.
I really enjoy books by James Lee Burke, including this one. I wanted to read it because it's the first one with the character Dave Robicheaux. Good reading and with all of the plot twists, keeps you on your toes.
Robicheaux is good--the book is gritty, black, funny, moves along nicely, and takes the reader with it all the way. The female is not your typical detective novel female. She has more than two dimensions, and plays a minor but essential role. I have the impression that the author has actually met a woman or two, surely unusual for authors in this genre.
Very well written hardboiled detective story. As you read you feel you are there with the characters. There is a lot of violence as you would expect with this type of story and at first I didn't think I wanted to read it. However, the writing lured me in and I am hooked.
The first of the Dave Robicheaux detective novels, this shows promise of the jewels to come.
I started in the middle with this series and have been wandering back and forth ever since, it makes for odd images.
Not the best, but the mark of a GOOD writer is that the first seldom is!
Detective Dave Robicheaux has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with killers and hustlers, with police brass, and with the bottle. Lost without his wife's love, Robicheaux's haunted soul mirrors the intensity and dusky mystery of New Orleans' French Quarter -- the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he becomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou. Thrust into the world of drug lords and arms smugglers, Robicheaux must face down a subterranean criminal world and come to terms with his own bruised heart in order to survive.