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!
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.