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)
living life and happy about it
I have been mildly disappointed in the last couple Dave R books. This one is back on track.
I would highly recommend this book. It's characters are simply endearing, beloved and well-developed. This is truly my favorite Dave Robicheaux tale out of all of the 19 books.
The dialog is natural and true to these characters. Nothing seems forced or contrived.
I am a huge Clete fan, however Will Patton IS Robicheaux. I have tried to go back to the earlier books but without Patton it's not the same.
YES! Will Patton is Dave & Clete!!!!
Emotion, dialect, suspense.
I have listened to every Dave Robicheaux book and this is the best so far and that’s saying something! I listen to & from work and I found myself sitting in my car as I could not tear myself away! The story was complex and exciting. Several threads all lead to an exciting end! Will Patton IS Dave Robicheaux ! Will Patton brings Dave Robicheaux & Clete to life! I had read all the books but when I heard the 1st audio book I listened to them all from beginning to end and relived them all differently. He mesmorizes you. I will look for more books read by him.
I had never read any of the Dave Robicheaux books, but I was looking for a new series and was encouraged by the overwhelmingly glowing reviews. What I expected was a rich and lovable character; what I perceived was a one-dimentional New Orleans cliche character who speaks only in homilies and analogies, and philosophizes ad nauseum about virtually everything. And I mean everything. He considers Florida's lack of seasons comforting because not having to worry about the advent of winter is analogous to lifting the burden of thoughts of death. His incessant philosophizing is sprinkled with anachronistically lofty literary references and thesaurus hunting words, showing, I guess, that he may sound and act like a hick, but isn't one. I found no real character development in him or his wife, while Clete and his daughter were much more dimensional. I believe that his higher education would have affected more than his occasional lapses into big words and profundity; as a character describes him: "you may be formally educated, but you're a coarse man, Mr. Robicheeaux". My thoughts exactly. He appears to intentially verbalize as crudely as possible, interspersed with occasional educated articulation.
In short, this is not the series for me. I prefer evolved protagonists who are really evolved, not just with a diploma. I find him and his portrayal of New Orleans cliche. I could see absolutely no relationship between him and his wife, and just a strangely superficial one between him and his daughter. I'm sure Will Patton is a good narrator, but I usually find him sounding a little too drawly. I know this is different from all the enthusiasts; but I don't believe this is an intellectual thriller or mystery.
As much as I love them, Burke has worn out these characters. David Robicheaux and Clete Purcell need to retire or Burke needs to find a new formula. Everything that made Robicheaux amazing has been wrung out of his character, and the only thing I can see that might save Dave is if Burke can take him to a new level. I wish that Burke would promote Dave to head the Sheriff's office and bring in a new, younger character for Dave to mentor and guide. Or perhaps Dave retires and takes up a PI license and a younger partner. Perhaps Alifair could fall in love with a young cop from New Orleans and bring him to Iberia Parish to be taught by her Dad. Clete could continue to be the thorn in Dave's side, but he is just too damned old to go on being that reckless and still get out of bed in the morning.
David Robicheaux is an old man. So is Clete. By trying to keep Dave from "living" his age (and Clete from dying from the abuse of his aged body,) Burke is turning Dave into a caricature and Clete into a cartoon. It makes me sad.
Robicheaux fans will probably like the book. It isn't going to get Burke any new fans.
The story was disjointed and made no sense. A guy old enough to have been high up in the Nazi SS was doing something in Louisiana at the time of the Gulf Oil spill. It defies credibility. It never did explain what any of them had to do with "Big Oil", although it apparently had something to do with all the murders, etc. None of the murders prior to the shoot out at the Nazi home were connected up with the Nazi. Also, It defies credibility to have that much criminalty and murders and just plain gore in such a small area of Louisiana. That being said, Burke still has a beautiful command of the language. But he has apparently run out of stories!
Not the genre. The author
Alll that Nazi torture stuff with the machines, etc.
The entire premise was completely unbelievable
I have always enjoyed Burke, so yes.
I get more flavor when Patton reads it.
Don't get so political with the stories. Seems to be more so with every book.
A journey through a dreamstate. A foreign country where words flow from a gentle waterfall of images of a fantasy New Orleans that may never have been, but surrounds you with a credible and meaningful reality that you hope will never end!
I have read all his books. Loved this one. The story keeps you guessing, the prose is rich, James puts you in the locals with texture and nuance. I get immersed in the southern culture reading his books. I love the south so this is fine with me. Narration is perfect for the story. Will Patton is always great. Looking forward to the next novel.
As usual, James Lee Burke is the ultimate master of descriptive prose in this new Dave Robicheaux novel. Will Patton's reading of Burke novels is of course 5-star. Great characters abound in this new one with sidekick Clete Purcel leading the way, but the storyline seemed to travel to and around so many topics, from the oil spill to nazi war criminals that one tended to give up on where it was all going, and just enjoy the ride.
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