James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, many featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He won the Edgar Award in 1998 for Cimarron Rose, while Black Cherry Blues won the Edgar in 1990 and Sunset Limited was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger in 1998. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.
Not one, or two but three terrifyingly brutal killers are mixed with a some fundamental religion for a powerfully heady and intense story. Sheriff Hackberry Holland is back for a 3rd appearance in this 30th novel from James Lee Burke; we also get a second outing for the sociopathic killer preacher Jack Collins. As ever Burke delivers confirming his premier league author status on both sides of the Atlantic.
July 2011 eBook of the Month. Dave Robicheaux is on the trail of a serial killer, while trying to protect his daughter from a boyfriend with a dark side, in the latest in James Lee Burke's classic series. It's not often you find an author who you cannot fault for producing anything other than a piece of superb writing and plotting. His books are great for discussion in Reading Groups and this one has some useful reading group notes to get you started.
This is the 16th novel in the Dave Robicheaux series and although familiarity with the characters may make this a slightly more enjoyable read it is still an excellent stand alone story. Burke loves Louisiana and in this novel we see his devastation at the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the breakdown of law and order that ensued his disdain with how the government handled the whole situation. A great crime novel with a strong political undertow.
Introducing the New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux. Johnny Massina, a convicted murderer bound for the electric chair, has warned Dave Robicheaux that he's on somebody's hit list, and now the homicide detective is trying to discover just who that is before he ends up dead. Meanwhile he has taken on the murder investigation of a young black girl found dead in the Bayou Swamp - a case no one seems keen for him to investigate. But Robicheaux persists and uncovers a web of corruption that some would kill to protect, leading him to a terrifying confrontation with the one horror he fears most of all.
Like James Lee Burke; read John Connolly. Few crime writers flirt with the supernatural, as its essence basically denies some of the major rules of mystery writing, but both Burke and Connolly do so and you never feel cheated. Burke’s Louisiana investigator Dave Robicheaux talks with the dead, while Connolly’s mourning cop Charlie Parker lives with the ghosts of his past. But their solid plots and gripping adventures prove hypnotically atmospheric, and the America they unveil in their books is different from any one else’s: lush, mysterious and compelling.Recommended:James Lee Burke - IN THE ELECTRIC MIST WITH CONFEDERATE DEAD. The body of a black man in a bayou leads Robicheaux through a maze of intrigue with roots in the past and contemporary corruption. Exquisitely written to the extent that landscape and mood become as important as actual plot.John Connolly - THE LOVERS. Charlie Parker is down on his luck, stripped of his investigator’s license and working in a bar when the past rushes back with a vengeance, and the death of an innocent young couple uncovers layers of deception.
A short story from one of the countrys most-acclaimed and popular novelists James Lee Burke's story collection, JESUS OUT TO SEA.
In this moving collection of short stories, James Lee Burke elegantly marries his flair for gripping storytelling with his urbane writing style and complex, fascinating character portraits. The backdop of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast proves to be a versatile setting for Burke's stories, which cover the scope of the human experience -- from love and sex to domestic abuse to war and death and friendship.
A troubled young woman breezes into Detective Robicheaux's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of his friend -- a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life. The twists begin when Trish Klein -- the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy -- starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim's child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And can Robicheaux make peace with his friend's murder in time to figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and death? Will his life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy? In Pegasus Descending, James Lee Burke explores psyches as much as evidence, and tries to make sense of human behavior as well as of his characters' crimes. Richly atmospheric, frightening in its sudden violence, and replete with the sort of puzzles only the best crime fiction creates, Burke's latest novel is an unforgettable roller coaster of passion, surprise, and regret.
Critically acclaimed and bestselling crime writer James Lee Burke returns to Louisiana where his ever-popular hero, Dave Robicheaux, sleuths his way through a hotbed of sin and uncertainty. For Dave Robicheaux, life in Louisiana is filled with haunting memories of the past. In Crusader's Cross, a deathbed confession from an old schoolmate resurrects a story of injustice, the murder of a young woman, and a time in Robicheaux's life he has tried to forget. Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin. It was back in the innocent days of the 1950s when Robicheaux and his brother, Jimmie, met her on a Galveston beach. She was pretty and Jimmie fell for her hard -- not knowing she was a prostitute on infamous Post Office Street, with ties to the mob. Then Ida was abducted and never seen again. Now, decades later, Robicheaux is asking questions about Ida Durbin, and a couple of redneck deputy sheriffs make it clear that asking questions is a dangerous game. With a series of horrifying murders and the sudden appearance of Valentine Chalons and his sister, Robicheaux is soon involved with the murderous energies of the New Orleans underworld.
In The Moon of Red Ponies, Billy Bob Holland discovers that jail cells have revolving doors and the bad guys are back and aching for revenge. Johnny American Horse is a young activist for land preservation and the rights of Native Americans. He is charged with the murder of two mysterious men -- who recently tried to kill Johnny, or at least scare him off his political causes. Billy Bob discovers a web of intrigue surrounding the case and its players: Johnny's girlfriend, Amber Finley, seems as reckless as she is defiant; Darrel McComb, a Missoula police detective who is obsessed with Amber; and Seth Masterson, an enigmatic government agent, who makes Billy Bob wonder why Washington is so concerned with an obscure murder case on the fringes of the Bitterroot Mountains. As the dead bodies multiply, Billy Bob is drawn closer to the truth behind Johnny American Horse's arrest -- and discovers a greater danger to himself and to his whole family.
For Dave Robicheaux, there is no easy passage home. New Orleans, and the memories of his life in the Big Easy, will always haunt him. To return there means visiting old ghosts and opening himself to new, yet familiar, dangers. When Robicheaux, a police officer based in the somewhat quieter Louisiana town of New Iberia, learns that an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan has been the victim of a particularly brutal assault, he returns to New Orleans to investigate, if only unofficially. Meanwhile, back in New Iberia, three local teenage girls are killed in a drunk driving accident. Robicheaux traces the source of the liquor to one of New Iberia's "e;daiquiri windows,"e; places that sell mixed drinks through drive-by windows. When the owner of the drive-through operation is brutally murdered, Robicheaux immediately suspects the grief-crazed father of the dead teen driver. But his assumption is challenged when the murder weapon turns up belonging to someone else. Tying together these disparate threads is a maniacal killer named Max Coll, a deeply haunted hit man sent to New Orleans to finish the job of father Dolan. A masterful exploration of the troubled side of human nature Las Car to Elysian Fields is James Lee Burke in top form.
In a startling departure, James Lee Burke has written an epic story of love, hate and survival set against the tumultuous background of the Civil War and Reconstruction. At the center of the tale are James lee Burke's own ancestrors, Robert Perry, who comes from the slave-owning family of wealth and privliege, and Willy Burke, born of Irish immigrants, a poor boy who is as irreverent as he is brave and decent. Despite personal and political conflicts, both men join the Confederate Army, determined not to back down in their commitment to their moral belirfs, to their friends, and to the abolitionist woman with whom both are infatuated. Willie's friend, Flower Jamison, a beautiful young black slave is owned by -- and fathered by, although he will not admit it -- Ira Jamison. Owner of Angola Plantation, Ira Jamison returns after the war and transforms his plantation into a penal colony which houses prisoners he rents out as laborers to replace the emancipated slaves. Against all local laws and customs, Willie teaches Flower how to read and write. She receives the help and protection of Abigail Dowling, the Massachusetts abolitionist who has attracted both Willie and Robert Perry's attention. These love affairs are fraught with danger and compromised by the great and grim events of the Civil War and its aftermatch. With unforgettable battle scenes at Shiloh and in the Shenandoah Valley, White Doves at Morning is an epic masterpiece of historical fiction.
When a beautiful teenage girl is killed, the victim of a particularly savage rape, New Iberia, Louisiana police detective Dave Robicheaux senses from the very start of the investigation that the most likely suspect -- Tee Bobby Hulin -- is not the actual killer. Though a drug addict and general ne'er-do-well, Hulin doesn't fit the profile for this brutal crime. But when another body turns up -- a drugged-out prostitute who is the daughter of a local mafia bigwig -- all clues point to Tee Bobby Hulin. The dead girl's father sets out to find -- and punish -- the killer. Before Robicheaux can bring the killer or killers to justice, he battles a painkiller addiction, a habit brought on by a humiliating beating he suffers at the hands of a diabolical character known only as Legion. Once the overseer on a local sugarcane plantation, Legion scrapes by through doing odd jobs. In temperament, he's still the malevolent bully, seemingly possessed with supernatural skills of survival. When Robicheaux's longtime buddy Clete Purcel drops by New Iberia for a visit, he is quickly drawn into the struggle between evil forces, including Jimmy Dean Styles, a black man intent on maintaining his empire of corruption, Joe Zeroski, a trailer park mafioso with palatial aspirations -- and Legion Guidry in whom Robicheaux faces an enemy unlike any he has ever known. And soon, what began as a duel of wits turns into a dance of death. Gothic, dense, brutal, touching, and always compelling, Jolie Blon's Bounce is classic storytelling from a writer who has been dubbed "e;the Faulkner of crime fiction."e;
Set in the rugged Bitterroot valley of Montana -- home to celebrities seeking to escape the pressures of public life and xenophobes dedicated to establishing a bulkhed of patriotic paranoia -- Bitterroot features Blly Bob Holland, former Texas Ranger and now a Texas-based lawyer, who has come to Big Sky country at the request of an old friend in trouble. And big trouble it is, not just for his friend, but for Billy Bob himself -- in the form of Wyatt Dixon, a recent prison parolee sworn to kill Billy Bob as revenge for both his imprisonment and his sister's death, both of which he blames on the former Texas lawman. As the mysteries multiply and the body count mounts, the listener is drawn deeper and deeper into the tortured mind of Billy Bob Holland, an incredibly complex hero, tormented by the mistakes of his past and driven to make things -- all things -- right. What makes him especially facinationg is that beneath the guise of justice for the weak and downtrodden lies a tendency for violence that at all times becomes more terrifying than the danger he is trying to eradicate. Crafted with the lyrical prose and the elegiac tome that have inspired many critics to compare James lee Burke to William Faulkner, Bitterroot is a thriller that surpasses the success of his previous novels.
Few writers in America today combine James Lee Burke's lush prose, cracking story lines, and tremendous sense of history and landscape. In Cimarron Rose, longtime fans of the Dave Robicheaux series found that the struggles of Texas defense attorney Billy Bob Holland show Burke at his best in exploring classic American themes -- the sometimes subtle, often violent strains between the haves and the have-nots; the collision of past and present; the inequities in the criminal justice system.Heartwood is a kind of tree that grows in layers. And as Billy Bob's grandfather once told him, you do well in life by keeping the roots in a clear stream and not letting anyone taint the water for you. But in Holland's dusty little hometown of Deaf Smith, in the hill country north of Austin, local kingpin Earl Deitrich has made a fortune running roughshod and tainting anyone who stands in his way. Billy Bob has problems with Deitrich and his shamelessly callous demeanor, but can't shake the legacy of his passion for Deitrich's "e;heartbreak-beautiful"e; wife, Peggy Jean.When Holland takes on the defense of Wilbur Pickett -- a man accused of stealing an heirloom and three hundred thousand dollars in bonds from Deitrich's office -- he finds himself up against not Earl's power and influence, but also a past Billy Bob can't will away. A wonderfully realized novel, rich in Texas atmosphere and lore, and a dazzling portrait of the deadly consequences of self-delusion, Heartwood could only have been written by James Lee Burke, a writer in expert command of his craft.
Texas attorney and former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland has many secrets. Among them is Vernon Smother's son, Lucas, a now-teenaged boy about whom few know the truth -- Lucas is really Billy Bob's illegitimate son. When Lucas is arrested for murder, Billy Bob must confront the past and serve as the boy's criminal attorney.Billy Bob knows the propensity of the town, Deaf Smith, Texas, to make scapegoats out of the innocent and to exploit and sexually use the powerless. During Lucas's trial, Billy Bob realizes that he will have to bring injury upon Lucas as well as himself in order to save his son. As a result, Billy Bob incurs enemies that are far more dangerous than any he faced as a Texas Ranger.With the same electric language and hard-edged style that brought James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels to the forefront of American crime fiction, Cimarron Rose explodes with a new, evocative setting that will establish Billy Bob Holland as James Lee Burke's next great character.
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 people he holds most dear.Filled with the usual Burke combination of brilliant action and a stunning novelistic theme, A Stained White Radiance will keep Burke's fans riveted -- and win him many new ones.
When former Klansman and piney-woods outcast Aaron Crown is finally imprisoned for a decades-old murder, it is to Detective Dave Robicheaux that he proclaims his innocence loudest. Crown seems to be a lightning rod for every kind of trouble that the state of Louisiana can unearth. A documentary film writer seeking to prove Crown's innocence is found murdered; a button man for the New Orleans mob accuses Robicheaux of taking a pay-off to ignore Crown.But it is when Buford LaRose -- scion of an old Southern family and author of a book on the Crown case -- is elected governor that Dave Robicheaux's involvement with Aaron Crown deepens to a level he can barely fathom. And it is Buford's social-climbing wife, Karyn, with whom Robicheaux had an affair years before, who proves to be his most poisonous adversary.Filled with thrilling adventure, lightning-paced action, and street smart realism, Cadillac Jukebox is a brilliant addition to Burke's standout Dave Robicheaux series.
On the bayou, a bad moon is rising -- and Robicheaux's peace is shattered with a gunVietnam vet Dave Robicheaux has turned in his detective's badge, is winning his battle against booze, and has left New Orleans with his wife for the tranquil beauty of the Louisiana bayou. But a plane crash on the Gulf brings a young girl into his life -- and with her comes a netherworld of murder, deception and home-grown crime.Suddenly Robicheaux is confronting Bubba Rocque, a brutal hood he's known since childhood, Rocque's hungry Cajun wife, and a Federal agent with more guts than sense. In a backwater world where a swagger and a gun go further than the law, Robicheaux and those he loves are caught on a tide of violence far bigger than them all....
A BRUTAL LEGACY OF CRUELTY AND HATE IS AWAKENED IN THE BAYOUWhen Sonny Boy Marsallus returns to New Iberia after fleeingfor Central America to avoid the wrath of the powerful Giacanafamily, his old troubles soon follow. Meanwhile DaveRobicheaux becomes entangled in the affairs of the Fontenotfamily, descendants of sharecroppers whose matriarch helpedraise Dave as a child. They are in danger of losing the landthey've lived on for more than a century.As Dave tries to discover who wants the land so badly, he findshimself in increasing peril from a lethal, rag tag alliance oflocal mobsters and a hired assassin with a shady past. Andwhen a seemingly innocent woman is brutally murdered, allroads intersect, and Sonny Boy is in the middle.With the usual James Lee Burke combination of brilliantaction and unforgettable characters, Burning Angel isthe author at his best -- showing that old hatreds and newones are not that far apart.