This is my first Dave Robicheaux book. My husband has been reading him for years and always comments about how the words just flow off the page and how well the characters and plots are developed. I'm sorry I waited so long! I, too, enjoyed the story and the character development. And, I have to agree with my husband the writing is incredible. The way Burke puts words together and the descriptions and scenes he paints with them is exceptional. Everything is enhanced by the narrator who does a wonderful job! You can visualize everything and everyone that is being described.This will not be my last Dave Robicheaux book!
When I come across what for me is a new series, I always like to start at the beginning. I was introduced to J.L. Burke and Robicheaux with Audible's free first chapter for The Glass Rainbow. I was intrigued by Will Patton's narration, the lyrical descriptions of Louisiana, and this taciturn but expressive man, Robicheaux. So I started with Neon Rain, and then promptly went through Black Cherry Blues and A Morning for Flamingos. Like one reviewer has already noted, these novels are graphically violent and, depending on your sensitivities, they may seem gratuitously violent at times. Burke has a poetic style, painting his scenes with words in such a way that you can't help but watch the horror unfold; yet, the second or third rendition of the same scene does seem overdone. I actually found myself rolling my eyes at those times, especially with Clete's apparent relish of the gorier details. But Robicheaux is one of those flawed, nobel characters that's hard to turn your back on, even when he insists on being hard-headed and mucking things up. He's a tortured soul that you want to see redeemed because at heart he's a good man. So Burke hooked me and reeled me as I went through the next two unabridged novels in the series. I'll say here that I definitely prefer Will Patton's narration to Mark Hammer's. With two novels back-to-back, Hammer's narration became irritating for me when he took up the other characters. A slight modulation can go a long way, even when dealing with difficult dialects. While I do recommend the Dave Robicheaux series (and The Neon Rain is a great place to begin), I don't recommend careening through three in a row. By the end of A Morning for Flamingos, I was wondering if the 24 character of Jack Bauer had been modeled on Robicheaux: it seems that nothing can kill Robicheaux, and yet no one who loves him will live long.
I started listening/reading the Robicheux books out of order, so this one really gave me some insight into the "Bopsie Twins from Homicide". Robicheux is really trouble in this one (even more than the others), but like all of James Lee Burke's books it is well written and Will Patton does yet another amazing job with the narration.
I love the BBC and British mysteries, but my tastes are very eclectic. I live with my husband and menagerie of rescued cats and dogs.
I'm kind of interested in the story in this novel, but I just can't stand listening to any more of this narrator's overly-sincere, "Wow, this is SOOOO deep" style. I was prepared to endure the southern accent; I know where the book is set. But even that got on my nerves after a while. I live in the south, and even for me it was a bit much.
But the thing that has made me abandon this book is that Patton has affected that kind of tone that I associate with someone talking too slowly, in a kind of whispery voice like he's talking to someone he's trying a little too hard to convince he's non-threatening. I did listen to the sample and knew this might not be my favorite narrator, but I hadn't counted on how much worse the effect gets the longer you listen. My advice is if you don't care for Patton as you listen to the sample, skip this one.
This was my first read to intro to Burke. I read it some 20 years ago and it started a love of the trials of Det. Dave Robicheaux. I appreciated the narrator's use of voice and thought that when his padner Clete Purcell called out "Streak" that was how it was supposed to sound. I have always enjoyed Mr. Burke's descriptive of life in the bayou country, such that some of the speech patterns have slipped into my head as well. It is spoken at a nice pace and I loved every minute. I plan to purchase the whole series. Yours, Mr. Bill
I enjoy the Robicheaux series and this book is early in the chronology. Not everyone will make it through Detective Robicheaux's trip, but it is great to see snap shots of enduring characters. Will Patton is the only voice I can imagine for the Acadian cop. James Lee Burke's writing brings up memories of drinking Dr. Nut with crunchy ice... although I've never tasted the soda.
Great story, Will Patton is brilliant - The Burke/Patton team is always worth the listen - moving, lyrical, engrossing. I can't get enough of Dave and Burke/Patton ! Highly recommend.
To get a better idea of my background. I am a working class white male in my forties. I love good fiction, and I love smart books. I have drifted towards a lot of European writers like Reginald Hill, Val McDermid.,Etc....
First Burke book. Not impressed. The guy survives a million unsurvivable situations. He has a hypocrytical moral dilema with his partner.. Three is being generous, but I have heard worse. Sorry
The main character, Dave Robicheaux, is a really tough guy who also has a heart, flaws, and brains. In his capacity as a detective with the New Orleans PD, he throws himself into danger and comes out with just scratches. This mystery, involving corrupt cops, mafiosi, and Dave's family, maintains a nice pace (there are a few exceptions, where you zone out because there's some sort of meaningless musing about, for example, a landscape) and has some great New Orleans flavor. The narrator does a nice job with various accents, making it easy to keep the characters straight and reinforcing the fact that it takes place down South (at least for me, who has never been to New Orleans and so my impression comes from TV).
I chose this because I was hoping to find another cannot-put-it-down series, and it seemed highly rated on Audible. While I may read another one at some point, I didn't find the characters and/or story compelling enough to want to dive into the next one right away (as I have done with other mystery series, such as the Longmire series by Craig Johnson). A good listen, but not a great one.