" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
James Lee Burke writes in his usual poetic literary form that paints a vivid & authentic picture in ur mind like a painter on a white canvas while Will Patton, who I believe is the ONLY voice of the series does an amazing job as always creating a distinct voice for every character. The last book 'Creole Belle' is one of my favorite books in the series although I was forced to either listen to an abridged version of books before 'Crusaders Cross' to listen for Patton narration or read the hard copy, because I refuse to listen to Mark Hammer & his monotone voice that literally puts me to sleep. I'm not from the south, & Hammer could very well have a great southern voice but its the only 1 voice he uses for every character.
What happens when a rodeo clown, his mysterious girlfriend, an escaped serial killer looking for Alafair, ex hit-girl (kinda), & a family of malicious 'old-money' Montanan-ian's walk into a bar where the Robicheaux family, Clete, & reformed daughter are spending vacation time in?? Well, u know one fact for sure... things won't turn out all copasetic. I've felt that in the last few books the relationship divide between Dave & Clete was morphing into something new, but I think in this book the duo falls back to old times. Dave continues to battle his demons while giving an internal dialogue that borders on a meta-physical/profiling examinaton of the nature of evil in each slimy character, dialogue, & events that occur (there is a great line that Dave says suggesting he needs a chaperone when examining the depths of his own mind); while Clete leaves the analytical for Dave & just wants to rock & roll; BUT instead of trying to tame the animal that lives in Clete, Dave just lets his friend live & let be because he's not the only one that 'needs to/feels obligated to' watch his friends back anymore; just like Clete can't think of only himself anymore now, he has years he feels responsible to make up for with lost family... This dynamic between friends & family is a great storyline in itself, but add to it a serial killer whose determined to pay back the favor Alafair did for him in writing during his trial & how any of these random people & encounters can somehow be a small part of an overall larger & much more sinister picture is exactly what Burke does best. No one does skin crawling evil like Burke & u won't be disappointed.
I can't say this is the best that Burke has written in the series, considering the last 3-5 books he's written were spectacular but most books that are only average for Burke would be a highlight for another author. No one matches DLB's writing style & how he can transport the reader from the swamps of Louisiana or this case the wild outdoors of Montana. Cheers Clete, & the Dr. Pepper is on me Dave because its well worth the credit...
I have listened to all the Robicheaux novels and this won wore a little thick. The book could have been shrunk by deleting much of the over the top philosophizing. Also, one cannot help but think that it is time for Dave and Clete to get their heads shrunk.
Will Patton does his usual job, but even his performance seemed a bit too much in this book.
I know I should wait until I am finished listening to the book but I am 3/4 of the way through the second part and ready to just give up. Only with Will Patton narrating was I able to even get this far. This story just rambles on and on and on and most of the things the characters are doing are just simply stupid at best! The story line is absurb. Save your money.
Got to be with my too girls from Tx and Mt! All is right....
Many have observed the synergy between James lee Burke and Will Patton. Their artistic talents stand well enough on their own, but when put together they deliver on a scale equivalent with Sean Connery and Ian Fleming. Remarkable.
For audible mystery/ thriller addicts, any of the Robiceaux series are a no brainer. So any critique I have has to be taken with the understanding that this book is well worth it's price.
I've stated before that I'd feel safer in the Louisana of True Blood than that of Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. This one is set in The Bitteroot Valley of Montana, but the results are the same. Our heroes are magnets of violence, cruelty and evil. Their lives are a constant contradiction, hating bad language and marital infidelity while shrugging off cruel violence. They grew up poor and with mean, ignorant parents, but quote Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Tennyson and various poets in the midst of unimaginable chaos.
When I read other great crime authors like Connelly, Slaughter, Nesbo and the like, I always marvel at the realism in each of their works. Robicheaux, Purcell and company are truly larger than life characters and their adventures are likewise. Nevertheless Burke's prose and style are matchless in this genre. So in a very real sense, for me anyway, all of the Robicheaux series is more like a Western fantasy world.
I suspect Burke wrote himself into one of the key supporting roles in this one. Dave, Clete and their daughters and Dave's wife Molly are vacationing at the home of a famous crime ) novelist (a New Orleans' native) in the Bitteroot Valley of Montana.
Guitarist with The Prudes
Another great adventure, the kids are nearly as badass as the parents now. I look forward to the next installment. I hope we get back to New Orleans and more sedate cerebral mystery.
Finished this about 5 months ago, so things a bit foggy, but here goes: Innumerable verbal confrontations with undesirables help each of our feisty gang to conclude bad people are really quite a pain, and so dispatch a few of them, but not before administering a batch of homilies and lectern poundings to ensure we know what's good, wholesome and worth fighting for, except I'm still not quite sure I got it. Love Will Patton's work - it's pretty well the only thing worth listening to here.
I think Burke has been eating a lot of spicy food and having some crazy dreams to think up this story and the previous book. A little far fetched especially when it comes to Cleat daughter being a hitman (or hitwoman) but you have to love the one liners he comes up with for Cleat and Dave. Corny... yes but very funny. I am a fan and if you are already a Robicheaux fan then download this book and enjoy the ride.
Another great book by Burke. Will Patton brings the story to life. I wish it was not so violent, but then it wouldn't be Dave Robicheaux novel. Great ending!
I'm a Robicheaux/Purcell fan, so don't look to me for the most objective of reviews.
Dave seems to have left his maudlin, end-of-life worldview behind since the last couple of books, and Clete is as sparkling and ridiculous as ever. The plot contains its usual bunch of miscreants and mean rich people doing unspeakable things.
The real star of this book was Montana's Bitterroot Valley, which Burke captures in such evocative detail that it almost drives you out the door to head west. The guy is a landscape poet.
Gretchen, Alafair and Molly all have roles in this book, although I don't enjoy them. Alafair is such a hard character - but she never fought in Vietnam, she never worked for NOPD - she's just a stubborn and lippy pain in the butt. Gretchen, who's had a crappy life, is a much more sympathetic character and softer, even though she kills a few folks.
Will Patton nails the narrative - a perfect fit for Burke.
This is a typical James Lee Burke story with all of the usual cast of amusing and entertaining characters
This is a very good Dave Robichaux story with all of the expected twists and turns. The presentation is lacking. The speaker's attempts at emulating the accents of the characters and the speech patterns especially of the women in the story is poor enough to be distracting.