James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors. His Dave Robichaux is a man with an edgy past which adds to the interest. Burke makes the bayou country of Louisiana so vivid with his descriptions you almost feel like you are in a pirogue floating under the mossy trees with him. Wonderful twists and turns in his storyline, too.
"No one renders a setting like James Lee Burke. ...the teeming bayous, the seedy streets and the sweat-drenched atmosphere of Louisiana at its finest and most corrupt. It also give us Dave Robicheaux at his 12-steping and most deeply conflicted best. It is a compelling read." -Elizabeth George
This book is great! Will Patton is a wonderful reader, his southern voices are fabulous! I was transported into the world of Louisiana with this author and his descriptions that are so very realistic. I think the best way to enjoy James Lee Burke is via audio.
I love Burke and this one was great also. He just picks you up and sits you down in the middle of the parrish and New Orleans. Also his descriptions make you fell the wind, hear the rain and sweat tolerating the humidity. Characters are fully developed. Robicheaux is perfect and Clete you can never forget. His book are just some of my favorites and keepers
This is the first James Lee Burke book I ever read, and it hit me like a ton of bricks...I absolutely could not put it down! JLB is a SUPERB writer, and not only can he tell a great story, with characters you come to know as well as your own friends and family, but he can evoke the Louisiana landscape like nobody else I've ever read. After reading this book, I was hooked...and now I've read everything James Lee Burke has ever written, (and I'm also 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.
The descriptions of the Louisiana settings, both in New Orleans and the bayou, make you feel as if you are there, but the descriptions of what happens there might make you glad to be far away! The Dave Robicheaux mysteries get deep into the main character's psyche, and also into local politics and history. The lines between good and evil are not so clearly drawn, and hardly anybody in these books follows any rules!
Katrina A. (Kata) reviewed Purple Cane Road (Davd Robicheaux, Bk 11) on
From Edgar Award-winner James Lee Burke comes this emotional powerhouse of a novel...in which everyman hero Dave Robicheaux confronts the secrets of his long-forgotten past in a shattering tale of revenge, murder, and a mother's haunting legacy....
Robicheaux first hears it from a pimp eager to trade information for his life: Mae Guillory was murdered outside a New Orleans nightclub by two cops. Dave Robicheaux was just a boy when his mother ran out on him and his whiskey-driven father. Now Robicheaux is a man, still haunted by her desertion and her death. More than thirty-five years after Mae Guillory died, her son will go to any length to bring her killers to justice. And as he moves closer to what happened that long-ago night, the Louisiana cop crosses lines of color and class to find the place where secrets of his past lie buried...and where all roads lead to revenge-but only one road leads to the truth...
Dave Robicheaux has spent his life confronting the age-old adage that the sins of the father pass on to the son. But what was his mother's legacy? Dead to him since his youth, Mae Guillory has been shuttered away in the deep recesses of Robicheaux's mind. He's lived with the fact that he would never really know what happened to the woman who left him to the devices of a whiskey-driven father. But deep down, Dave still feels the loss of his mother and knows that the infinite series of disappointments in her life could not have come to a good end.
While helping out an old friend, Dave is stunned when a pimp looks at him sideways and asks if he is the son of Mae Guillory, the whore a bunch of cops murdered thirty years ago. Her body was dumped in the bayou bordering Purple Cane Road, and the cops who left her there are still on the job.
Dave's search for his mother's killers leads him to the darker places in his past, and solving this case teaches him what it means to be his mother's son. Purple Cane Road has the dimensions of a classic -- passion, murder, and nearly heartbreaking poignancy -- wrapped in a wonderfully executed plot that surprises from start to finish.