They're out there, under the salt - the bodies of German seamen who used to lie in wait at the mouth of the Mississippi for unescorted American tankers sailing from the oil refineries of Baton Rouge out into the Gulf of Mexico. As a child, Dave Robicheaux had been haunted by the sailors' images. Years later, Robicheaux, a detective with the New Iberia sheriff's office, finds himself and his family at serious risk, stalked for his knowledge of a watery burial ground by a mysterious man named Will Buchalter - a man who believes that the Holocaust was one big hoax.
©1994 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio
I love the way James Lee Burke writes, and I love the characters in his stories, Cletus Purcell has to be one of the great literary personalities of all time. The setting it enthralling as ever, but the foe in this story is just a little to much of a ghost and Dave R. is just walking into too many traps set for him in this one without seeing the writing on the wall. All of that said, I still liked the book, enjoyed Cletus having a prominent role and enjoyed the various characters and how they were developed. I really love the narration in this series and really do not understand the controversy, it is first rate as far as I am concerned. All things considered I am looking forward to the next in the series as even a flat spot in this collection is better than the best works by most authors.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Maybe I overdosed on James Lee Burke. This is my sixth Dave Roubicheaux novel and the last three I listened to back to back to back. Mark Hammer's tongue is wrapped around bayous, filagreed iron window screens and Spanish moss. He speaks through a veil of humidity and swampy muscle. He somehow makes the rich vocabulary and elegant metaphoric Roubicheaux musings seem plausible from the mind of this hard-scrabble back gator country lawman.
This time it took just a tad too much to do it. Burke is a poet first, a sociologist second, a dramatist third, a gently liberal social commentator, and ... oh yeah... a detective mystery procedural writer. Here it is the last that seems to be stretched a lot too thin. The characters were either too complex for the plot, or too comic-book skinny to hold up its pants.
I'm going to take a break from Dave, Bootsey, Alafair, and Cleetus. If you've not listened to a Roubicheaux novel... start from the beginning. You'll think, feel, and even tear up. But maybe you'd do well after the first five to pause before beginning this one. Just like I'll take a break before downloading the seventh....
whole book is very scary and all I can think of is if Will Patten had read this with a actors flare.. holy cow it would have blown me away.
When Dave Robicheaux made the mistake of letting people know he had an idea as to where a World War Two U-boat sunk in the Caribbean might be found, suddenly he has too many people wanting him to lead them to it, including a man calling himself Will Buchalter. With informants dying on him left and right and apparently Bootsie intending to enter the alcoholic state he's fought so hard to put behind him, Dave doesn't know quite whom to trust--and with reason.
Action packed as usual. Although I realized in this one I was perhaps quicker on the uptake and even less trusting than Dave himself, as I had the accomplice pegged pretty quickly on while Dave was still trying to sort out his feelings toward the individual.
Clete is my hero! This situation was no disappointment. Storyline did not end well and a few matters during the story were left unfinished. Nonetheless, James Lee Burke continues to deliver homegrown, relatable suspense. And don't have to be a southerner or a cajun for that matter to enjoy his storylines and descriptions of environment to enjoy it and put yourself right in the scene.
There seemed to be a lot of convenient events keeping Dave on the trail in this book. Still had me carrying my phone into the house from the car with the audible app still playing.
James Lee Burke's writing is like poetry. Amidst the ugliness of hate and crime, he describes the surroundings so beautifully. Dave's thoughts about his past, his culture, his family, and his struggles are blended so seamlessly. I, also, really enjoy the relationship between Dave and Clete. Every interaction between them is entertaining.
I hope Brother Oswald makes future appearances in the Robicheaux series-loved his commentary on Dave's intellect, lending subtle humor to a dark story.
Any of John Sandford's "Prey" books. The writing style is very different but a lot of similar themes and has the common thread of a character study of the protagonist throughout the series.
I have come to appreciate Mark Hammer's narration more than I have in the past, having preferred Will Patton. But, Hammer's performance blended with James Lee Burke's poetic prose resulted in a great listening experience. You really feel inside the story and where it's happening, and you feel that you are experiencing Dave's life and thoughts along with him.
Tommy talking about the part he played in Hippo's brother's death and his regret.
I liked how the author makes the characters multidimensional. The criminals sometimes show grace and humanity, and the "good" guys sometimes are self-serving and flawed.
Although Burke presents his main character as a flawed but savy detective, his storyline reveals him to be repetitively clueless in recognizing the obvious dangers to himself and his family and a continuing failure to take appropriate preventive protective measures. Also, some actions of the minore characters are just way over the top. If this pattern continues I may just stop reading the rest of this series.
Not the genre, just this James Lee Burke
Narrator's (location appropriate) accent was sometimes very hard to understand with slurred presentation.
This may be my last Burke novel. The plot is preposterous in many places. (Warning: plot spoilers dead ahead.) Why would a German submarine have a 42 pound, jewel encrusted swastika and Hitler's 'plan for America' on board? Why would even a Neo-Nazi psychopath want the sub so badly? Would any real person risk his life to save a man (he thought) who had brutally tortured him or a woman (as it turns out) who terrorized his family? How can Clete continue to get away with his shenanigans (as much as I like them)? How many times can one novel contain some variation of 'Are we CLEAR on that now, podnah?" To top it all off, are Rush Limbaugh listeners (Burke makes a very thinly veiled allusion to them) really responsible for the Neo-Nazi movement and do they really not care about black people being slaughtered, as Burke clearly implies? I've contributed enough to the support of self-righteous liberals like Streisand, Baldwin, Penn and Damon. I didn't realize until this book that Burke has the same mind-set. I wish someone had warned me.
I gave it two stars instead of the one (or less) it probably deserves because there are some funny lines and, despite a great deal of over-elaborate description and psychological musing, it is pretty well written. Unlike many Burke reviewers, I think Hammer's narrations are excellent.
This narrator is unbelievably versatile and makes the story so authentic with his accent and changeable voice. I've tried reading these books in print but Mark Hammer makes it much more real!
Burke can be wordy but those extra words are always well said and beautiful.
Thank you, Mr Burke for a wonderful character and a great series...
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