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A stunningly good novel from the author of the bestselling Robicheaux novels. James Lee Burke has won the Gold Dagger once and the Edgar Award twice. A movie version of IN THE ELECTRIC MIST WITH CONFEDERATE DEAD starring Tommy Lee Jones is due for UK release in 2008. 'Burke demonstrates again his bravura skill at memorable characterisation, acute dialogue and wonderfully evocative descriptions' Observer. 'He writes like an angel. His prose is deceptively fluent, his pacing unbeatable ... Brilliant. Its sense of place, of a world recreated, is unerring. The story, as we would expect of Burke, is enthralling' Daily Mail. 'Classic Burke ... it's a fine read ... It's also the perfect introduction to that war, and to slavery, and to Burke' Observer Magazine. 'Among the best things Burke has ever written ... Fear, horror, exhaustion, thirst, confusion and comradeship are all superbly rendered' TLS.
James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, including twelve featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.
Burke usually sizzles our nerve endings with his mysteries, but here he writes a historical novel that sides with the South during the Civil War. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Following the publication of his 11th Dave Robicheaux thriller, bestselling Burke (Bitterroot; Purple Cane Road) keeps the action in Louisiana, turning back the clock to the Civil War. Central to this brooding saga are hotheaded young idealist Willie Burke, son of a boardinghouse owner, and a beautiful slave girl named Flower Jamison. She is the illegitimate daughter of Ira Jamison, the callous owner of the infamous Angola Plantation. Flower's mother was murdered by a brutal overseer, Rufus Atkins, just after she gave birth, and Rufus has been a malevolent presence in Flower's life ever since. Secretly taught to read and write by Willie Burke, she now does laundry for the town brothel. Befriended by Abigail Dowling, a young Yankee abolitionist who is helping slaves escape the South, Flower clings to the hope that Jamison will acknowledge her as his daughter; meanwhile, Jamison has his eye on Abigail. The war gets into full swing, and Willie loses his best friend at Shiloh because of Jamison's cowardly dereliction. Wounded and left to die, Willie is saved by Abigail, who brings him home and nurses him back to health. Against her protests, he attempts to return to battle but is taken captive and-the war now over-escapes to confront racist vigilantes intent on shutting down Flower's school for ex-slaves. Burke has created a cast of strong, if somewhat stereotypical, characters; readers will warm to outspoken, irrepressible Willie as much as they deplore the evil Atkins. Although at times a bit forced, this moving morality play shows a different dimension of this gifted writer. Agent, Phillip Spitzer. (Nov.) Forecast: Fans of John Jakes will particularly enjoy this rare historical offering from Burke. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.