Dave Robicheaux is back, in a gorgeously written, visceral thriller by James Lee Burke, “the heavy weight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed” (Michael Connelly).
Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song "Creole Belle" on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf. Meanwhile, there has been an oil well blowout on the Gulf, threatening the cherished environs of the bayous.
Creole Belle is James Lee Burke at his very best, with beloved series hero Dave Robicheaux leading the charge against the destruction of both the land and the people he has sworn to protect.
©2012 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
“This tale plays out much like The Glass Rainbow—intimations of mortality; melancholic musing on the pillaging of once-Edenic South Louisiana; cathartic, guns-blazing climax—but, as always, Burke brings something new to the table...Dave and Clete may still be unbowed, but they are certainly broken—and all the more interesting for it.” (Booklist)
“Another stunner from a modern master.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Great news for readers who feared that Burke had left Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Robicheaux dying at the end of The Glass Rainbow (2010); Dave and his old friend Clete Purcel are back for an even more heaven-storming round of homicide, New Orleans–style.... A darkly magnificent treat for Dave’s legion of admirers.” (Kirkus Reviews)
No matter where you go, there you are.
I have read every word the man has published (that I was able to find) and this one really got to me. When one reads Burke, the plot is nearly superfluous as he paints flawless dioramas of life, its beauty, its evil, its life-giving and its life-taking and many of the nuanced, indelible connections twix the two.
I used to think his ending were weak. But now I understand there are no 'endings', just pauses where one can reflect or suffer.
His brief description of withdrawal from drug/alcohol addiction was crystalline in its accuracy. My soul ached as I read it.
One of the few authors where it absolutely does not matter where in his bibliography you start. There are simply pauses in between.
Absolutely! Thanks to Will Patton!
It is difficult to determine a favorite character because James Lee Burke creates characters like Charles Dickens did years ago. They are alive; they are vivid; they are complex; they are real people with their heroic abilities and lingering weaknesses. They fight injustice; they take on corrupt corporations, government and evil people and they also fight their own demons. That said, Dave Robicheaux is one of my favorite characters in all literature. And in the J L Burke series, dear old lovable Cletis is not far behind.
Most moments in a James Lee Burke novel are moving and I consider "Creole Belle" as one of his best. This novel is filled with memorable and deeply moving scenes; Clete's revelation to Gretchen particularly moved me.
This is something I've never done before. I finished "Creole Belle" and then went immediately back to the beginning and I'm now re-listening to the story. James Lee Burke takes on the BP oil spill off the Gulf coast, Nazi war criminals, systemic racism, human torture, complacent law officers and other manifestations of the "dark clouds" of humanity. However, amid this battle waged primarily by Dave and his loyal and dangerous friend, Clete, there is humor (I thought this was J L Burke's most humorous work), there is love between fathers and daughters, husband and wife, friends, colleagues - and all clothed in the author's beautiful poetic language.
I believe many books and stories are read and forgotten. "Creole Belle" will stay with you as long as you live.
And long live James Lee Burke! Long live Will Patton!
Yes! Thanks to Will Patton. He makes the story live.
Yes. Love the characters. Like seeing old friends.
He is the only one that should ever be allowed to preform this series.
Mr. Burke can't write this series as fast as I would listen to them.
Tell us about yourself! I'm a teacher who loves cycling and plugging into a book for 10 or more hours on long bike rides.
I've listened and read all the Burke books and I was stunned by the depth of description of the natural world of the book and the touch Burke has on the dark depths that Clete is drawn into. His description of the inner life of his characters is simply amazing. Every character is alive, real, and feels honest. Will Pattons voice is so smooth and fits the characters with perfection. I kept wanting to share with my wife the language of Burke as it spoke so powerfully and was so unique it stuck to me. I rank this one as his best one yet. Is there violence? You bet. Are there EVIL people? Always. The relationship between Clete and Dave as they face their own limits is so clearly portrayed through it all with the sound and images of Viet Nam always near the surface.
Yes, The narration is spectacular, storyline is great. The depth of the characters and the author's observation is part of my favorite things about this series.
The characters now seem like old friends.
The accents are great. I feel like I know the main character better "listening to him think". He's great
Looking forward to the next one!
There is new life in the series. Not just the survival of Dave and Clete, but the appearance of a new (and most likely long term) character, a 20 something hit woman. Besides developing an intriguing character in Gretchen, Burke seems to have planted enough seeds to sprout a new sequel with her character front and center.
The assault of the black female deputy by the retired red neck sheriff.
Will Patton as usual was superb! You could tune into any part of the book and believe he was reading poetry.
The Gulf Coast hit by another force of nature.
intensely satisfying read/listen
Dave Robicheaux is a flawed but admirable character, attempting to wipe out the powerful, corrupt sinister evil that threatens his family and his Louisiana and has an equally flawed but often admirable sidekick, Clete; they are the Bobbsey Twins of NOPD.
All of the scenes where Daveand and Clete deal with ghosts from the past and present, doubting their past actions and their sanity.
too many to note
It is an exciting trip to a place where there is warm air that smells of salt and rain and tropical flowers. James Lee Burke’s writing and Will Patton’s narration do not disappoint!
As a huge James Lee Burke fan, I didn't think anything could be better! And then, Will Patton was reading James Lee Burke...and things were better! I would read anything narrated by Will Patton and have read everything by James Lee Burke. Creole Belle is another terrific Dave Robicheaux book and I enjoyed every page. James Lee Burke has no equal with his descriptions, dialogue and characters. I just wish he wrote faster...
This pair is so good I would never dream of considering the print version
James Lee Burke's books have never failed to keep me on edge. He has a way of bring you in and not letting go until the last word.
His cajun accent is so believable I would not recognize his normal voice.
No..It totally held my interest from start to finish.
I only wish he would write more.
From 4/12/15 on, I will only rate a book 5 stars if it so good I will listen to it again. To date, the Bino series tops that list.
The combination of Burke's prose and Will Patton's performance make this novel and the whole series of Dave Robicheaux novels irristable. I'm going to make a few critical observations, but nothing here should prevent you from purchasing this book. It's a solid 5 star experience.
The Louisiana represented in True Blood seems far safer to me than the one Burke portrays. The violence seems to never be bridled and is often glorified. His heroes and villians seem impervious to the ill effects of gross amounts of boozing, drug abuse, fist fighting, and even aging. The evil he writes of seems to cover every part of the state, oozing out of every pecan tree, bayou, bar, oil rig and plantation. He seems to attribute this to the rich and powerful, as if he is the original "occupy Louisiana" spokesman.
I cannot recall one character, large or small who does not have a ridiculously unique French/Cajun name. Well I suppose Clete Purcell is a rather large exception, but I always get a kick out the names in Burke's books.
The two dark knights have mystical, even supernatural visions and abilities. They see ghosts, hear music that is not playing, read minds, can look into your eyes and determine whether you are good or evil. This is explained by their past experiences, and Burke makes it clear only those who have had their experiences can know how this is done. Never mind that is unlikely any cop in real life who shared and lived through even one of their adventures could never serve again.
Whether you are conservative or liberal, we can all agree politics in Louisiana is rotten to the core. This is not because of Big Oil or Katrina or a fumbling federal government, though they have not helped matters. Louisiana and particularly New Orleans's problems are self inflicted. Mr. Burke seems to be blaming the rest of the country or some nefarious industry for their problems while celebrating the people who keep the state down.
Nevertheless I would never think of changing a word of this book. I loved every second of it.
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