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)
It was so wonderful to have Burke do Robicheauz again. Fantastic, flawed characters we love engaged in a compelling story. While there is the predictable shades of violence in this book, the over-the-top violence that Burke used in his second Hackberry Holland book that made it unreadable for me, is gratefully missing here. I had lost hope with Burke’s last book, but this one restores my eagerness to read the next Robicheaux novel.
This is James Lee Burke’s best book of the Dave Robicheaux series, to date. Funny, serious, deadly a classic series with great characters, plot, story line.
Will Patton is superb as usual.
The Dave Robicheaux collection would make a great SERIES of movies.
This is by far one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. It was my first Audible.com book, and I feel it was an excellent choice to become 'hooked!' Will Patton does more than read the story ... he immerses himself in it, with many moods and voices, pauses and sighs at the right places, and took me right along with him. I thoroughly enjoyed it ....
I was sometimes bummed that I had to 'come back' to my own life and stop listening for awhile. My earbuds were never far from my reach though, so that I could dip back into Robicheaux's and Cleet's life again.
James Lee Burke is one of the most beautifully visual authors I've ever read. I am not a traveler, but I confess that I've thought more than once that I must visit New Iberia, Louisiana. He makes the listener so "right-at-home". The characters are familiar now, and the style is comfortable. But after listening to 6 Burke books (5 featuring Robicheaux), this may have been the best. And just a word about Will Patton: PERFECT. I am a fan of great narrators, and Patton is as good as they come (and I've had the opportunity to hear him do 2-3 others in addition to the Burke books...including Deliverance). He absolutely OWNS the voices of the characters in these books. His range of delivery while still staying tight and true to individual characters is simply amazing. I would put him alongside anyone, including George Guidall (generally my favorite) and Roy Dotrice (a true tour-de-force on the Game of Thrones books). I would give this audio book my highest recommendation!
Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.
Dave and Clete are tough,cynical, alcoholic,and world-weary, and operate on the edge of the legal system. Yet they ask seek the answers to life's eternal questions. Is it justice to blow away a piece of pond scum or should they make the tax payers bear the cost of his incarceration? Does the little guy still count in a world controlled by petro-dollars? Where does friendship end and duty begin? Does anyone really care about the down-trodden? Do the rich always win?
Burke takes his characters from a Nazi prison camp, a mob family, hit men, pillars of the town, and everyman, and endows them with more idiosyncrasies than are found in a tax code. The occupants of Creole Belle are as loathsome as they are interesting and more than they appear. There emerges some good in some of the evildoers and some bad in the good-doers.
Will Patton's narration is as smooth as a mint-julep on a summer evening, and he makes the listener feel like he's sitting cross-legged listening to his grandfather on a columned veranda.
With each of these books, the characters engage you, the prose is beautiful and the stories intriguing. This one doesn't disappoint! I loved it! Clete and Dave are getting older, but they still "rock"! Will Patton is the absolute perfect choice for the narrator. I am not looking forward to the day they "retire". I love this series!
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.
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