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)
I would listen to anything written by James Lee Burke and Narrated by Will Patton. When you put the two of them together, the result is dynamite!
I think Cleet being sick. I really didn't want anything to happen to him since he is a favored character. I won't say what happened to him so as not to ruin it for anyone else.
Dave Robicheaux is, of course, my favorite! Will Patton has a natural southern accent. Not many narrators can pull that off.
I love this book just as much as I have all the others from James Lee Burke. Did not disappoint!!!
I couldn't wait for the follow-up to The Glass Rainbow to come out in audio and, when it did, I was not disappointed. The story and characters (especially Clete's secretary!), as always, were wonderful and imaginative. And, best of all, Will Patton's narration was spot on! I will definitely listen to this one again. A toast to you, James Lee Burke, for yet another awesome novel!
First let me say that Burke has not lost one iota of his descriptive talents. There are passages in Creole Belle that take my breath away. I had to share them; they were too good to experience alone. But sadly he's run out of plot lines, revealed all his characters' inner demons and angst. It's the same tale Burke has spun over and over, another visit to Dave's oft confessed moral struggles. Once again, we are introduced to unethical, self-important. rich villans held in check only by the maligned ex cops who in the end burn down the house. Earlier novels had a touch of preachiness, but in this one, Burke's anger at big oil is explicit. His rage at the BP oil spill is front and center and very close to the boiling point. I share his rage, but not here, not so explicitly, and not draped over the same plot one more time. I just felt tired before I got to the end. It was better to have Dave and Clete take that ride on the river boat with dignity than to drag them out of the river to plod through one case too many.
I love James Lee Burke and have never been disappointed. But this one just seemed overwritten. About 50 pages of Dave's politicizing could have been excised and tightened everything up.
Will Patton is one of the best narrators around. His Clete Purcell is absolutely perfect in my estimation.
Vintage JLB, with his violence, his lyrical settins, his magical realism, and what I can't resist: his keening elegy to a Louisiana that is fading, fading, but not quite extinguished.
JLB writes for the English major and warrior spirit in his readers. The reader is alternately word-struck and pumped full of adreneline during the whole-shebang-fourth-of-July-fireworks finale in this book.
Clete Purcell plays a key role in this book, and he's a larger-than-life train wreck, as usual. Some of the reviewers found the book angry, but I don't know how anyone who loves Louisiana and its once-glorious natural treasures can be anything but angry at the systematic catastrophes caused by human activity there. JLB's level of anger seems appropriate to me. Somebody has to speak up for this lost biodiversity and culture that is unique in the world.
Will Patton is spectacular, as always. A perfect match.
JLB writes stories with such depth. What I love most about his books are the history that he writes about. It’s wonderful to be able to in vision the sights, smells and feel as though your right in the middle of things. A word about the narrator, Will Patton, OMG why does that guy not read every audible book out there? I could listen to him forever. His voice is like silk across your body. He knows how to use his voice to command his words. Love him. Wonderful listen.
His masterful voice with all its inflection and tone, to make it sound as if you are right there. This would not be a best seller in my mind if it were not for Will Patton.
I have a job that makes it possible for me to listen to books, I will not put this one down.
James Lee Burke's fantastic ability to paint the story coupled with Will Patton's ability to bring it to life is unbeatable, epecially when the story line includes Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcel. I have listened to hundreds of books and this combination is far ahead of anything I have listened to. I hope Mr. Burke keeps this combination coming!
Yes, the story and its plot were superior!
Everthing. I love Will Patton's narrations!
New Orleans, the city that never sleeps
The angst of the heroes we know. Burke's descriptions are evocative and often lyrical, but they bog...down...the...plot. This novel was not outstanding but if you like the author, you will get what you have come to expect. Not great, but the references to the damage done by the oil spill are poignant and remind the reader of the massive destruction done to the residents of not only Louisiana but to all of us.
Cleet's voice sounds like Patton deepened his voice and then they speeded up the soundtrack. I loved his narration but I found that part of it disconcerting.
Yet another superb Burke story, with superb prose, with a depth of character seldom if ever matched by other modern writers. A treat to the literary senses all around. Other reviewers have outlined the basics of this complex tale but a troubling political agenda that has long been the underpinning of Burke's work has finally bubbled to the surface in an in-your-face, no holds barred manner. Mr. Burke's political leanings have been apparent to us all over the years but we were willing to overlook this, with a nod & a wink and an "oh well", for the sake of unsurpassed story, literary environment and character development & complexity. Added to the mix in audiobooks is Will Patton's reading which really puts all others to shame.
A misguided, misinformed, very liberal agenda which can only be described as hubris has become the forte of the modern liberal artisan. Think of those Hollywood stars whom we have long admired for their on-screen character(s), who then with unqualified arrogance think that we are interested at all in their political agenda or opinions. You begin to seriously wonder if those movies were really that good and you wonder if you will ever see another of their efforts nor enjoy it.
At the end of this reading, or in this instance storytelling, you get the feeling that you need a bath.
Let's put it another way - if I agreed wholeheartedly with Mr. Burke than we would both be wrong.
Regardless of your opinion as to the above, get this audiobook and judge for yourself. It is a must own for any Burke fan. I regret the 3 star overall rating but that disappointment that I was left with was worth at least a 2-star minus. I lament my lost anticipation of another Burke effort.
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