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.
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.
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!