This was a good Robicheaux novel, full of complicated characters and a central mystery that is too twisted to be easily guessed. And it has James Lee Burke's usual high quality of writing, metaphor, and insight into the human spirit. Quite a good story.
Unlike some, I love the narrator. The late Mark Hammer read the way Burke writes, and I honestly can't understand how someone can like Burke's writing and not like Hammer's languid, melancholy reading. To me it matches the book perfectly, even when he messes up local names or accents.
Burke's novels have become increasingly supernatural in some ways, and that is my one gripe. It's almost enough to turn me off to his writing, but so far it's not fatal.
I really enjoy reading Burke's books and listening to them when the reader is good. This reader is so monotonous I cannot follow the book because the reader does not hold my attention. I am on the third chapter and about to give up.
I typically devour Burke's novels, they are wonderfully written and beautifully scripted - but this one is just awful and I think it is the fault of the narrator. I do not have a clue what is going on - except I thought the narrator Mark Hammer was going to die after he finished Chapter 12. He wheezes, he drags on, he makes some of the words unintelligible. He makes Dave Robicheaux sound like he is about to die as well. Hammer must have had a good nap or some new meds when he began Chapter 13, he almost sounded perky.
My advice, either chose another Burke book narrated by Will Patton (he is an incredible narrator with the voice of New Orleans and he makes the story so incredible and enjoyable) or pick up the book if Mr. Hammer is the narrator, he is going on my boycott list. I am going to have to check the book out of the library just to figure out what is going on.
If this were my first Dave Robicheaux book I would never read another - this narrator has killed it so bad. But I will, Burkes tells a good story just as long as Mr. Hammer has not attempted to struggle through it.
While I love Mr. Burke's stories, the narrarator, Mr. Hammer, absolutely ruined this for me after listening to Mr. Patton's narration of his books. I am from "Cajun Country" and loved these stories, and Mr. Patton's voice and narration style added to the story. Mr. Hammer sounds elderly and much too formal for Burke's tales.
This is rich in characters and has many good story lines going at one time which culminate in an effortless and reasonable conclusion.
This was the single most depressing piece of fiction I can remember being exposed to since sometime in the 70s. It is nothing more than pages and pages (in this case, hours and hours) of senseless beatings and anger and rage.
This was my first, and last, James Lee Burke novel. Not only were there 30-odd characters to keep track of, almost none of them had any redeeming characteristics whatsoever. That is including our "hero", who routinely beat people. He was completely 2-dimensional and unlikable.
If you've ever wanted to visis New Orleans, this novel will stop you in your tracks.
This book was obviously written by a skillful author. That said, the only thing worse than the subject was the narrator. If you like to be subjected to the worst possible side of humanity, this is the book for you. I was sickened by the explicit sexual brutality. This is the first audiobook I won't bother finishing.