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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.