Burke's previous Robicheaux novel, PURPLE CANE ROAD, was a Sunday Times bestseller, spending 5 weeks on the fiction bestseller list Burke has won the Gold Dagger once and the Edgar Award twice Burke receives reviews that most literary authors would kill for, and is acknowledged to be America's finest crime writer
James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, several 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.
After a detour to Montana in Bitterroot, Burke returns to New Iberia, LA, and his popular police detective Dave Robicheaux. While investigating the brutal rape and murder of a local teenager, Robicheaux uncovers several links between his main suspect, a talented musician named Tee Bobby Hulin, and the LaSalle family, New Iberia's plantation aristocracy. Perry LaSalle is Hulin's lawyer (and maybe his cousin), and he also employs a 74-year-old former plantation overseer named Legion Guidry, who believes that he still lives in the Old South and can treat his black neighbors any way he chooses. Meanwhile, Robicheaux's ex-partner from his days with the New Orleans Police Department, Clete Purcell, is trying to track down a man who may be a serial killer. The cases converge as the investigators try to sort out the guilty from the innocent and those with bad intentions from those who are truly evil. As Robicheaux tries to set right the world around him, the book explores some of the most troubling aspects of Louisiana's (and America's) racist past. This is Burke at his best. Recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.] Patrick Wall, University City P.L., MO Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
To read a Burke novel is to enter a timeless, parallel universe of violent emotions and lush, brooding landscapes, where class and racial distinctions and family histories mold society. This is the stunningly talented Burke's 21st book and his best until the next one. Dave Robicheaux, the psychologically scarred detective for the New Iberia, La., sheriff's department, investigates two brutal murders, one of a nave teenage girl, the other of a feckless drug-addled prostitute. The author provides a dense, richly imagined background for his characters, especially the sinister ones: malevolent Legion Guidry, a nightmarish figure from Robicheaux's boyhood; a power-hungry tavern owner; an arrogant lawyer; a combative female PI; the prostitute's Mafioso father; and Marvin Oates, an enigmatic Bible salesman who floats ominously through the narrative. Robicheaux doesn't believe the obvious suspect Tee Bobby Hulin, a drug-addicted musical genius is the murderer. Aided and disrupted by his obstreperous pal, Clete Purcel, Robicheaux runs into the usual trouble. Legion gives Robicheaux such a ferocious beating that he reverts to drinking and addictive painkillers. Though the search for the murderer moves the story, the novel is really an examination of the savage relationships of the characters and the palpable presence of the past. Burke offers a vivid social history of an inbred, corrupt place. As Clete so aptly tells his friend, "This is Louisiana, Dave. Guatemala North. Quit pretending it's the United States." (June 10) Forecast: Expect another bestseller from two-time Edgar Award winner Burke, who should be attracting more readers of "literary" fiction with his fine writing. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
James Lee Burke is the heavyweight champ, a great American novelist
whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed. *
Michael Connelly *
A gorgeous prose stylist. * Stephen King *
Richly deserves to be described now as one of the finest crime writers America has ever produced. * Daily Mail *
The gentle giant of US crime writers, Burke always ensures that his Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux grapples with hot topics as much as with his own inner demons. * i newspaper *
There are not many crime writers about whom one might invoke the name of Zola for comparison, but Burke is very much in that territory. His stamping ground is the Gulf coast, and one of the great strengths of his work has always been the atmospheric background of New Orleans and the bayous. His big, baggy novels are always about much more than the mechanics of the detective plot; his real subject, like the French master, is the human condition, seen in every situation of society. * Independent *
The king of Southern noir. * Daily Mirror *
His lyrical prose, his deep understanding of what makes people behave as they do, and his control of plot and pace are masterly. * Sunday Telegraph *
One of the finest American writers. * Guardian *
When it comes to literate, pungently characterised American crime writing, James Lee Burke has few peers. * Daily Express *