Detective Dave Robicheaux returns to center sstage in an incendiary new novel by James Lee Burke - a gripping talle of racial violence, class warfare & the sometimes cruel legacy of Southern history. As always in JLB's fiction, the past impinges on the present. Robicheaux & his partner Hel Soileau move into the midst of a deadly conspiracy. New Orlenas mobsters & hit men converge on New Iberia, LA. Brilliant prose, crackling suspense & an exquisite sense of character U place, this is a wrenching tale of historic violence & soiled redemption that reveals one of America's finest novelists at his masterfl best. JLB sets this novel in his home of New Iberia, LA.
A page burner.
A mystery set in the heart of Cajun country. Several of my guy friends kept telling me that I would like James Lee Burke's books, and I thought, "Yeah, right!"), but was hooked on the first one, and I am usually a chick-lit kind of gal. I couldn't put this one down!
Although I'm not a big mystery fan, this story was so well crafted, it was easy to feel you were on the bayou scene and wondering (along with the characters) what did and would happen. Good entertainment value.
THe 40 year old crucifixion of a prominent labor leader named JAck Flyn remains an unsolved atrocity that has never been forgotten in New Iberia, LA. When his daughter returns to the site of her father's murder, it quickly becomes clear that the family bloodstains will not stay buried. Megan draws in her old friend Det. Dave Roicheaux, scarcely suspecting that he and his partner will be be led into the midst of a deadly conspiracy.
Forty years ago, a local labor leader was crucified in a crime that remains unsolved. Now, his daughter--Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Megan Flynn--returns to New Iberia. With a seemingly insignificant remark to Robicheaux, she begins a chain of events that lead right back to her father's death. New Iberia, in some sense, is frozen in time as the age-old problems of race and class weave their way into the mystery, complicating Robicheaux's discovery of not only the original crime, but the wealth of murders that spring up along the way. Add in the Chinese mob, corrupt policemen, and a Hollywood film shoot, and the stage is set.
Burke's forte is his ability to create characters so evil they're liable to get you up in the night to check in your closet and under your bed. The players--both good and bad--are characterized more by their flaws than their attributes, giving everyone a wicked sheen. The book isn't overly gory (although short descriptions can be rather graphic), but everyone has a dark side, emphasizing the noir-ish tones of the novel. His writing is powerful, mixing tender landscapes ("[W]e dropped through clouds that were pooled with fire in the sunrise and came in over biscuit-colored hills dotted with juniper and pine and pinyon trees...") with dead-on, cutting descriptions ("His face was tentacled with a huge purple-and-strawberry birthmark, so that his eyes looked squeezed inside a mask") and the camp dialogue of Chandler ("Evil doesn't have a zip code"). Oddly, these sundry elements blend seamlessly, allowing you to overlook tenuous connections and occasionally confusing turns.
I, too, have come late to the novels of James Lee Burke. First and foremost, I have to say his talent IS all it's cracked up to be. He's an extraordinary writer. His settings are as well-drawn as any I've ever read. His characters are as obvious as the people next door to you and I would expect a LOT more colorful. The plot will keep you turning the page. I read many thrillers and mysteries and I really couldn't figure out how this story would conclude.
That said, I'm only giving it four stars instead of five as a warning to the feint of heart. This novel takes a strong stomach to read. I realize that I picked up a book that said right on the cover it was about the literal crucifixion ("they pinned him to the barn wall with sixteen-penny nails") of a labor leader. But I had no idea this is just where the stunning cruelty and historic brutality were beginning. I used to be a newspaper reporter, so I'm not in any way in denial that these events are completely plausible, nevertheless, I almost put this book down twice. It's a testament to Mr. Burke's incredible writing skill that I just had to see where he was going with this story. I forgive him because, unlike many novels today, this violence was not gratuitous. It was crucial to the lesson of this very difficult story.
A 6-hour abridged version of one of Burke's popular Dave Robicheaux mystery series. Will Patton, the reader, does an excellent job of portraying different voices without intruding into the story. All of the favorite continuing characters show up, and there's plenty of intrigue and action. A good story!
In a land soaked with sin, Dave Robicheaux is dueling with killers, ghosts, and a woman's revenge....
The townspeople of New Iberia, Louisiana, didn't crucify Megan Flynn's father. They just didn't catch whoever pinned him to a barn wall with sixteen-penny nails.
Decades later, Megan, now a world-famous photojournalist, has come back to the bayou, looking for cop Dave Robicheaux. It was Dave who found the body of labor leader Jack Flynn. The sight changed the boy, shaped him as a man. And after forty years, Robicheaux is still haunted by the bizarre unsolved slaying.
Now Megan's return has stirred up the ghosts of the long-buried past, igniting a storm of violence that will rip apart lives of blacks and whites in this bayou county. And for a good cop with bad memories, hard desires, and chilling nightmares, the time has come to uncover the truth.