I think I agree with other reviewers in that I really don't like the character of Alafair in this book. Her role was distracting or maybe just not very well written. Aside from that, it's Burke's usual fight for the underdog with his wonderful, lyrical prose and commentary about human nature and human struggles.
Even if the mystery were not riveting, which it is, Burke's skills of engaging the listener in and environment sent me to research more about the setting. I thought I knew what a Bayou was but I really do and have a much better sense of Louisiana geography in general.
The characters are well developed, the narrator brought them to life. Thoroughly enjoyable. I am off to visit Dave and Clete again soon.
This book is killer excellent! I have read and loved all of the James Lee Burke novels featuring Dave Robicheaux, and really didn't think it could get any better. But...this book is fabulous! Burke's poetic, flowing, writing style pulls the reader into the world of southern Louisiana, in a story that is absolutely riveting. No one can turn a phrase like James Lee Burke because he makes all the characters - bad guys and good - three dimensional and alive. The rain becomes a character in a James Lee Burke novel! Each character can be visualized; their flaws and foibles apparent and real. Dave has been the tarnished hero in all Burke novels, but here, he shines, and his humanity is unquestionable. Loved this book, and yes, it may very well be the best Dave Robicheaux to date, but I hope that it is not the last!
I have truly enjoyed all the Dave Robicheuaux books, but really, how many times do we need to see Clete give some guy a swirly or pistol whip someone? The violence is getting old, sorry. One reviewer mentioned these guys are getting up there in years - is that how life is in the Big Sleazy really? if so count me out, its not glamorous or even interesting anymore.
I do love the narration by Will Patton, and I love how Mr. Burke has written in Alafair's education at Reed College (I visited there with my daughter and got to see Alafair Burke's real thesis project) - that was cool.
But I will hesitate to buy the next novel, its getting old Mr. Burke.
I couldn't stop listening to this fantastic audiobook. Mr. Burke's prose is beautiful and Will Patton's narration is perfect. The author treats the listener as an intelligent companion: the sights, sounds and smells of Lousiana are cracklingly alive and Dave Robicheaux is wise, dark, honest and decent. The story is multi-faceted and compelling. I'm thrilled to have found such a fabulous series and highly recommend this audiobook.
Will Patton you rule! Mr. Burke please,
"keepem' comin' "! I noticed one person's review complained that Mr. Patton doesn't sound like the real Louisiana. Well, I've been there and frankly if Mr. Patton read the book to us in the "real Louisiana" most of us wouldn't understand it! Thanks to him for realizing this and making the adjustment. I'm a Vietnam Combat wife, it always galls me the way I take a backseat to my husband's combat/veteran's friends. James Lee Burke always finds a way to make me understand this flaw in my marriage, thanks Mon!
The protaganist's penchant for soliloquy and for using four syllable words whenever possible gets old really fast. If you love Hemingway's spare style, you won't like James Lee Burke. The plot is interesting but I got really tired of our hero's philosophizing ad nauseum.
This audio is rated highly because of Mr. Burke's exceptional prose and Will Patton's southern narration. Without having completed listening to the book, I have determined it will be my final Burke novel. The contradiction lies in Mr Burke's painting palatable beauty along with overwhelming evil. I have read or listened to all Mr Burke's novels to date. I have reached my tolerance for depravity. I will miss the lyric beauty.