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 weaves a poetic impression of the bayou scenery of south Louisiana and peoples this paradise with as villainous a cast as one could find in any true-crime thriller. Dave Robicheaux, a recovering alcoholic working in the Sheriff's department of New Iberia Parish, in the course of a routine arrest is recognized by the criminal. Dave is a very human and flawed hero who is working to try to bring justice to a violent world and perhaps, at the same time, a little peace to his tortured soul. Read by Nick Sullivan, this is an action-packed book; its violence is often graphic, but the story is compelling. Sure to be a hit with Burke's many fans, this story, the 11th in the series, is a must for all public libraries. Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
HAfter the relatively lightweight Sunset Limited (1998), Cajun cop Dave Robicheaux returns in a powerhouse of a thriller that shows Burke writing near the peak of his form. Robicheaux faces his most personal case yet, when a pimp puts him on the trail of the truth behind his mother's long-ago disappearance. Meanwhile, he uncovers new evidence in the case of death-row inmate Letty Labiche, who took a mattock to the man who molested her as a child, state executioner Vachel Carmouche. Burke parades the usual cast of grotesques: feckless Louisiana governor Belmont Pugh; cold-blooded attorney general Connie Deshotel; sleazy police liaison officer Jim Gable, who "keeps the head of a Vietnamese soldier in a jar of chemicals"; and psychopathic hit man Johnny Remata, who acts as all-around avenging angel. Wife Bootsie's having had a fling with Gable drives Robicheaux into a jealous fury more than once, while daughter Alafair's flirtation with Johnny raises the temperature even higher. Old buddy Clete Purcell doesn't have a lot to do, other than to contribute to the general mayhem. Once Robicheaux learns that his mother fell afoul of a couple of New Orleans cops in the pay of the Giacano crime family, it's a simple matter of identifying the guilty pair and bringing them to justiceDor is it? Burke winds up an often convoluted and gratuitously violent plot with a dynamite ending that will leave readers feeling truly satisfied, if a bit shell-shocked. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.