I came to James Lee Burke and Dave Robicheaux by accident and now I am hooked!!! I started with Sunset Limited, not knowing there was 9 earlier novels in the series. I am quickly making my way through them and enjoying them immensely. It is not enough to describe them as "mystery" or "thrillers". Burke has introduced me to a whole new world so completely different to the place I live. Dave is a thoroughly believable creation, and might I add one of the sexiest men in fiction! This is my favourite in the series so far, but I still have 6 to read, and then Burke's other novels! I feel like I have not only been entertained by a good story but I have been educated about a place and people that I had no knowledge of.
A page turner! Here is an author you will never tire of. Tantalizing descriptions of south Louisiana go along with mystical occurrances and plain old evil culprits that need to be found out and punished one way or the other.
This is in the mystery series about former New Orleans cop Dave Robicheaux. Burke writes in a vivid poetic style and actor Will Patton adds wonderful flavor to the story. Great for listening to on a long drive or any time. Keeps your attention throughout.
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 - and the Mob)...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.
VICKI W. (lvlb1975) reviewed A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux, Bk 5) on
The first book I read of this series was Swan Peak (I'm a little behind)! I really enjoyed Swan Peak so I thought I would read some of the others. This one was good, but my least favorite of the four I have now read.
A fast paced crime thriller with a continually twisting plot about a Louisiana detective who takes on a powerful & decadent local family, with connections to the CIA, the Mob & the Klan, as he investigates an assassination attempt that resulted in the death of a fellow cop.
Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux knows the Sonnier family of New Iberia--their connections to the CIA, the mob, and to a former Klansman now running for state office. And he knows their past, as dark and murky as a night on the Louisiana bayou.
An assassination attempt and the death of a cop draw Robicheaux into the Sonniers' dangerous web of madness, murder and incest.
But Robicheaux has devils of his own. And they've come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator--and the two people he holds most dear.
I think this is the second Dave Robicheaux novel I have read by Burke. I know I read DIXIE CITY JAM several years ago and really enjoyed it. Not sure why it took me so long to read another in the series. Anyway, STAINED WHITE RADIANCE was highly readable and a great hard-core crime novel. In this one, Robicheaux is working to protect an old friend, Weldon Sonnier, who had been shot at and later whose house had been ransacked resulting in the death of a police officer. This leads Dave to a mob boss named Joey Gouza who it looks like sent his gang of thugs to even some kind of score with Sonnier. Also involved is Sonnier's brother-in-law, a former Klansman who is running for political office and possibly Sonnier's father who was presumed to be long dead. As Dave works his way through the mire, he is always most concerned about his family and his friend, Batist, who works in his bait shop. Burke really is a master story-teller and his descriptions of the Louisiana bayou country makes the reader feel as if they are there. High recommendation for this one and I definitely need to read more in this series!
Sadistic villains and interior demons plague Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux as the murder of a local cop draws him into the painful conflicts of the Sonnier family, with whom he grew up near the bayous. Weldon Sonnier, an oil speculator perhaps involved with organized crime in New Orleans, is married to the sister of racist Louisiana politician Bobby Earl; Lyle Sonnier is a televangelist with a widely publicized gift of healing that antagonizes the detective, whose wife has lupus; Weldon and Lyle's sister, Drew, whom Robicheaux loved as a teenager, is New Iberia's liberal eccentric. Harshly abused as children, the Sonniers exert a strong pull on Robicheaux, whose desire to help pits him and his former New Orleans police department partner Cletus Purcel against southern Louisiana's fierce Mafia leader and his hired thugs, one of whom, Robicheaux observes, has a face with the "moral depth and complexity of freshly poured cement." While attending AA meetings, trying to cope with both his response to his wife's illness and his moral rage at Earl's politicking, Robicheaux pursues killers through biker bars and unearths long-buried secrets in the Sonnier past. Burke ( A Morning for Flamingos ) resolves the complex case in a satisfying climax as Robicheaux comes to terms with social ills, the evil of individuals and his own helplessness to overcome them.