50 something listener with eclectic taste, but no patience with a poor story line. Midnight's Children is my favorite book ever.
I think I've finally figured out why I haven't enjoyed the last few Dave R novels. There is absolutely no sense of humor in any of these characters. Maybe sometimes Clete still has a glimmer, but not much. I realize the subject matter is not funny, but come on. Believable characters, which I always found Dave and Clete to be in the past, have more than one facet. Not any more folks. Way too grim for me.
" 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...
In this novel, the daughters of the central characters, Dave and Clete, are front and center in this mysterious, serial killer story. Alafair is in danger and Gretchen is not having any of it. Gretchen is a skillful "hit-woman".... and she puts her skills to work!
I love being completely transported into the world of Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. I like the smooth narration of Will Patton. When the story is over, I find it very hard, if not difficult, to get interested in a new author.... so I generally look for another James Burke novel.
In this novel, an escaped serial killer is looking to kill Alafair because of something she had written about him during his trial. During the investigation and hunt for the serial killer, Dave and Clete must sift through encounters with random people and situations to sort out the sinister picture being painted in this novel.
Will Patton.... you either love him or you don't! ... I love his southern drawl and the pace at which he reads... his accent may not be authentic but I don't care. I know Louisiana and there are lots of accents in that state. He brings JLB's written words to life!
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 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.
Many have commented on Burke / Patton combo. In audio book circles they most certainly must have made their mark.
If I'm ever in a hurry I just download the most recent Burke / Patton book and hit the road.
Don't even need to read the reviews.
All the virtues of a very good book are there. High end literature? No. But then that high end lit requires ones complete attention to enjoy.
These books are like going for a long walk in the bush with a talkative and interesting friend.
You still listen to everything your friend is saying, but it's not so taxing that you don't enjoy your walk. Or your friends jabbering for that matter.
Husband, Dad, Principal, Adjunct prof, RC Deacon, radio co-host, story teller, NYer, walker, & occasional sipper of fine whisk(e)y,
Dave, Clete and their family and friends are folks you wish you could know. Despite a well worn outline, at least for this listener - it doesn't get Old!
Burke's poetic writing and Patton's perfect reading. A true listening marriage made in heaven!
Yes. I don't want to give anything away...
He's perfect. I can't imagine listening to anyone else read James Lee Burke.
Yes. Fell asleep to it night after night because I couldn't put it away.
If you love audible books, don't pass this one up. It will transport you (like all great books do) into another world.
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.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
The bobsy twins from homocide are certainly back. Other reviewers have outlined the overall plot so I'll focus on the strengths and weaknesses of this book. As always this book has the beautiful poetic moving style of JLB's writing. I've enjoyed almost every book from this author and his latest doesn't disappoint.
The bad guys are truly scary and evil. There is one character who moves between good and evil and sane and insanity; his presence in the book is profound.
The plot kept my interest I didn't want to put it down. However I can't say I was sad when it ended either.
The character that is Clete's daughter, Gretchen, I found a bit annoying and unrealistic at times. Although as we all know, Will Patton has such amazing talent however I felt he was not really comfortable with Gretchen's character and unfortunately this was evident throughout the book.
Nonetheless overall this was a terrific mystery adventure story. I'm looking forward to Dave and Clete's next.