A new James Lee Burke novel is always cause for celebration. But one starring Dave Robicheaux is a reason to shout to the rooftops. Burke has written 18 previous novels featuring Dave. I love Dave!
Dave Robicheaux is a flawed human being. He started out as a drunk, many years ago. But he is a character living and working in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, for God’s sake. Now Dave deals with seasoned criminals, mostly from the bottom of the barrel. But he has a cast of family members and friends who have come to feel like people I know well over the years.
No one knows or writes New Orleans like Burke. He has the flavor of this part of the country down to a science. The bayou is his. Burke has experienced much of the trauma he writes about. He has had his own demons with alcohol. And he sure knows his way around the law. He also has a vivid imagination and deals with environmental issues with aplomb. This time, he uses fiction to tackle the oil industry, tying in the oil debacle in his own backyard, just a year ago.
Dave’s best friend and ex-partner is Clete Purcel. Clete’s a piece of work. He’s a private detective with attitude. And he’s got more problems than Dave. Now he’s discovered an illegitimate daughter who may just be a killer. Clete is the type of character that will make you laugh and cry. He will do anything for his friends.
I believe this is my favorite James Lee Burke novel. It is meaty, and over 500 pages. Would be daunting if it wasn’t so darn readable. And the prose is beautiful. Most mysteries are not written in lovely prose. This is.
I put everything else aside to read this. Thank you so much Simon& Schuster. The finished hard copy is gorgeous!