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There is no real suspense here, and no clear plot. I half-heartedly wondered whether Robicheaux committed a crime, but there was no big ah-ha moment at the end. The plot meandered. There were little fires to be put out here and there as various bad guys kept knocking off other bad guys, while the good guys chased the action and threw a bunch of punches themselves.
None of this worked for me. And I was often confused about who was chasing who and what the point was. I like my mysteries to be page-turners with a good plot, not a show of thugs running around in circles. Too many characters talk and act exactly the same way. The one-liners could have been uttered by any of about five characters.
Even Robicheaux and his friend Clete sounded the same and acted the same. A major character appears halfway through the book. Just seemed random and it annoyed me; I resented having to meet someone new in the middle of the party. Staying vague to avoid spoilers. Chop off pages!
This book, at more than pages, is way too long. Once I got the hang of skipping through some of the description, I decided I could reach the end. I threatened to quit this one many times. This book has fists, murder, torture. It has sleaze, pimps, relapsed alkies, dirty cops, corrupt politicians, old Cadillacs, and sweat.
This is one big macho fest! Even though the book is part of a way huge series, it works fine as a stand-alone. Burke is prolific and popular, and I know his character is dearly loved. I just found him to be stereotypical, too thuggish, and uninteresting. I hate to be the outlier, I really do. Being part of the Gush Club is so comfy! But it was not meant to be. It was pages too long and a total slog to read.
I looked at the page numbers constantly, thinking, will this never end? I threatened to can this book more than once. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy. View all 42 comments. Nov 18, Esil rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley. Well, now I know why you make so many of my GR lady friends swoon, Mr. James Lee Burke! Or should I say Mr. You have a fine combination of deep troubled soul, unflinching loyalty to family, friends and the downtrodden, a deep moral compass that doesn't always match up with the law, and a crazy way with words.
I imagine your face is weather worn, your voice is deep and a bit raspy, and you have a bit of a twinkle in your eye. Ok, enough with the swooning! Seriously, JLB sure can write and tell a story. I'm late to the party and obviously started with the wrong book when I read The Jealous Kind last year. It was good, but I didn't really get the JLB fetish. Now that I've read Robicheaux, I get it.
Dave Robicheaux is a police officer featured in a long standing series set in southern Louisiana. There was no issue with jumping in and reading this one out of order. There are a number of intertwined story lines and mysteries, featuring a corrupt demagogic senate candidate sound familiar?
While the story is complex and entertaining, it's almost besides the point. What really got me were the writing, the rich characters, and the strong sense of place. The parts of the story featuring Robicheaux are told from a first person point of view, and JLB sure knows how to spin the internal musings of a troubled man.
What can I say? I feel like I am falling in line with many other swooners. At least, I'm in good company and, better yet, there's a whole stack of books featuring Robicheaux I haven't read yet.
Thanks to my enthusiastic GR friends for pointing me towards JLB, and thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy. View all 51 comments. Apr 07, PattyMacDotComma rated it really liked it Shelves: aa , arc-netgalley-done , kindle , mystery-crime-thriller. When he pulled open the door, his coat was heavier on one side than the other.
But sometimes we want to pump the air and shout YES! I should have pulled the plug. The simian that had lived in me since I was a child was back in town. Robicheaux has been doing AA and the 12 steps but finding it hard sticking to Dr Pepper when surrounded by drinkers.
The barometer will drop unexpectedly, the bayou will swell and remain placid at the same time, and suddenly, rain rings will dimple the surface from one bank to the other. The people are unique, the locale affects everything. The cypress trees were in early leaf, as delicate as green lace, ruffling in the breeze, the water high and black and undisturbed, chained with lily pads, the bream and goggle-eye perch rolling under the pads like pillows of air floating to the surface.
View all 23 comments. Nov 28, Cheri rated it it was amazing Shelves: arc , , mystery , louisiana , netgalley. This is the 21st book in this series, revolving around Dave Robicheaux, a man haunted by his past, by his time in Vietnam, his battle with his demons leading him to alcohol in the past, and sometimes still he strays from his promise of sobriety.
As a detective in Louisiana, he is also surrounded, involved in the seedier side of life, it wears on him, making it harder for him to win his battle against the demons of his past that haunt him. I have only read one other book by Ja!! Burke falls into the category of natural born storytellers, with a gift of showing the many sides of life in Louisiana, from the social climate in an area still hurting economically and haunted by Katrina, from New Orleans to the lesser known towns and remote areas, Louisiana is culturally rich in a spiritual and historic sense even where poverty reigns, maybe even more so there.
Add a touch of Hollywood to the scene, with a movie being made which may include some rather nefarious types, and one unforgettable character named Smiley. Between Robicheaux and the setting, all of the additional characters, I loved this literary ride through one of my favourite places.
View all 22 comments. Jan 29, Barbara rated it really liked it Shelves: bayb In this 21st book in the 'Dave Robicheaux' series - set in the Cajun environs of south Louisiana - Dave is involved in investigating several killings and an alleged rape.
The book can be read as a standalone. Dave's mother deserted the family when he was a child and his father was killed in an oil r Detective Dave Robicheaux is one of James Lee Burke's most popular characters. Dave's mother deserted the family when he was a child and his father was killed in an oil rig explosion.
As a young man Dave witnessed unspeakable horrors during the Vietnam War, after which he became a cop in New Orleans - a city rife with mobsters, gambling, prostitution, drugs, loan sharks, money laundering, extortion, murder, and so on.
In his job, Dave met criminals of all kinds, including: street thugs; mobsters; sociopaths; psychopaths Dave rose through the police ranks to become a homicide detective and eventually left New Orleans for New Iberia - where he lives in a modest home adjacent to a bayou. Dave's first wife Annie was murdered and his second wife Bootsie - with whom he adopted an El Salvadoran daughter named Alafair - died from lupus. These hardships exacerbated Dave's depression, nightmares, and alcoholism.
Even when he's not drinking, Dave sees ghosts of Civil War soldiers who died near his home. Clete works for gangsters; eats to excess; drinks too much; falls for the wrong women; and uses violence and worse against his enemies. Clete is close to Dave's family and would give his life for them. As the story opens Dave's third wife Molly has recently been killed in a car crash and the detective is furious at the man who collided with her, a blue-collar Cajun called T.
Dave doesn't know exactly what happened, but he drives up to Dartez's house and harshly accuses the Cajun of reckless driving - in front of the man's frightened wife. Consumed by grief, Dave - a recovering alcoholic - is drawn back to the bottle, and sometimes gets blackout drunk. While dealing with his sorrow, Dave is drawn into a contentious local situation. The detective is friendly with nearby author Levon Broussard, who writes Civil War novels.
As it happens, two powerful men want to produce a movie based on one of Broussard's books. One Hollywood wannabee is an obese, sickly gangster named Tony Nemo - who's involved in porn, drugs, and politics. The other is a wealthy right-wing political hopeful named Jimmy Nightingale - who spends his time on his yacht, playing polo, performing in aerial shows - and according to an informant using prostitutes and drugs.
When Dave is wrongly perceived as favoring Jimmy, the mobster becomes furious, and threatens the detective. Soon afterward, reckless driver T. Dartez is found brutally beaten to death beside his truck, and Dave becomes a suspect in the murder. Unfortunately the detective was dead drunk at the time of the killing, and can't remember a thing. As far as Dave knows, he might be guilty. Labiche finds Dave's fingerprints at the scene of the crime, which just might be a set up. But by who? In any case, there's not enough evidence for an arrest In the meantime, Helen puts Dave in charge of a different investigation.
Rowena happened to meet Jimmy at a bar one night, and - after getting drunk- accompanied the handsome bigshot back to his boat. Afterward, Rowena cried rape while Jimmy claimed nothing happened. Dave inexplicably likes Nightingale, and doesn't want the would-be senator to be guilty. However, the detective is a righteous cop, determined to make a thorough inquiry.
This isn't easy because Rowena showered after the alleged incident and destroyed most of the potential evidence. As if all this isn't enough, Dave has other crimes on his mind. Eight Louisiana sex workers were murdered a few years ago, and the case was never solved. Dave suspects that thuggish Kevin Penny - a lowlife who viciously beat his son Homer - might be implicated in the prostitutes' deaths, but there's no proof.
It so happens that Penny was just bailed out of jail and is slated to get his son back. This irks Clete Purcel, who's acquainted with Homer's social worker. Since Clete can never let things go he 'has a talk' with Penny beats him up and shoves his head in the toilet - as a warning not to abuse Homer. In fact Clete - who's never been domestic - goes out of his way to help the child.
So yay Clete! To add to southern Louisiana's murder toll, a very peculiar hitman called Smiley - with cherry red lips and a pronounced lisp - has flown into town for a killing spree.
Dave, Clete, and others get on Smiley's trail, but the hitman is a wily, elusive guy. As the story unfolds we learn who's pulling Smiley's strings and why. Dave's daughter Alafair, a lawyer and novelist, also arrives in town Just for fun, Alafair decides to write a screenplay for Levon Broussard's book - which draws her into the brouhaha about the movie adaptation.
Eventually, after much murder and mayhem, the strings of the plot come together - though some issues are left unresolved. I wasn't happy with the epilogue, but I didn't deduct points for that. Many elements of the story are relevant to American society today, such as: men who sexually harass women; a demagogue who enters politics to benefit himself; a xenophobic, racist political hanger-on; citizens that would vote for a rapist; and more. As always, Burke writes beautiful prose that brings the environment - as well as the characters and their surroundings - to vivid life.
Dave is aging as the series goes on, and - in reality - Dave and Clete are probably past retirement age. I hope they go on forever, though, solving crimes and beating up bad guys. I'd highly recommend the book to readers who enjoy mysteries, especially fans of Dave Robicheaux. View all 18 comments. Feb 03, Karl rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-bought.
In the memorable words of Rocket J. Squirrel "And now, here's something we hope you'll really like! Things have turned soft and brown for Dave. His third wife has recently been killed in an auto accident. His first wife, Bootsie, died of lupus, his second wife Annie Ballard, a social worker, was murder In the memorable words of Rocket J. His first wife, Bootsie, died of lupus, his second wife Annie Ballard, a social worker, was murdered. Merry-go-round of Life Howl's Moving Castle The Adobe Inn Grave of the Fireflies Occasionally, a Story of Old Porco Rosso Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind My Neighbour Totoro Carrying You The Merry-Go-Round of Life Princess Mononoke Country Road The Tale of As hitaka Castle in the Sky Love is the Flower, You Are the Seed Path of the Wind Day of the River Become the Wind Stroll Teru's Song Promise of the World Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea Avex XNAE Summer Spirited Away As The Road Winds Totoro The Rose Featuring Lori Fine.
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