Celebrated crime master and two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke returns with a gorgeously crafted, brutally resonant chronicle of violence along the Texas-Mexico border.
Sheriff Hackberry Holland patrols a small Southwest Texas border town, meting out punishment and delivering justice in his small square of this magnificent but lawless land. When an alcoholic ex-boxer named Danny Boy Lorca begs to be locked up after witnessing a man tortured to death by a group of bandits, Hack and his deputy, Pam Tibbs, slowly extract the Indian man’s gruesome tale. It becomes clear that the desert contains a multitude of criminals, including serial murderer Preacher Jack Collins (whom The New York Times called “one of Burke’s most inspired villains”).
Holland’s investigation leads him to Anton Ling, a mysterious Chinese woman whose steely demeanor and aristocratic beauty compel Hackberry to return to her home again and again as the investigation unfolds.
James Lee Burke is at his engrossing and atmospheric best in this, his 13th novel, as Hackberry plumbs the depths of man’s inhumanity to man - from killers-for-hire, to the U.S. government, to the misguided souls in search of a better life across the border.
©2011 James Lee Burke (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
“[O]utstanding.... The richness of Burke's characters, always one of his strengths, reaches new heights.... The intricately plotted narrative takes numerous unexpected turns, and Burke handles his trademark themes of social justice and corruption with his usual subtlety.” (Publishers Weekly)
“As Burke steers the elaborately structured narrative toward its violent conclusion, we are afforded looks inside the tortured psyches of his various combatants, finding there the most unlikely of connections between the players. This is one of Burke’s biggest novels, in terms of narrative design, thematic richness, and character interplay, and he rises to the occasion superbly, a stand-up guy at the keyboard, as always... Though he is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series, the broader canvas of this Hackberry Holland adventure makes a fittingly grand stage on which to play out such a landmark event in American publishing.” (Bill Ott, Booklist)
“The dialogue scenes, along with the action sequences, the South Texas landscape and the indelibly conflicted characters make you want to give Burke a medal.” (Kirkus Reviews)
I love Burke, and love Will Patton beyond words, but this book is such a disappointment. Burke has slid from fierceness to violence, from passion to rage, and neither slide serves any purpose. Layer the endless gratuitous violence onto a story that isn't compelling, and no character to care about, and it is a book not worth the time, nor money. It is sad he???s decided to hide his amazing talent.
While the narrator is very good, as usual, the plot is more contrived and less believable than with Burke's previous books.
I give it only a so- so review.
I'm sorry if you are looking for objectivity in a review, because you'll find none here. I love everything this man writes. The narration by Will Patton is the only thing that could possibly make it better than it is.
James Lee Burke is a great writer. I have been listening to his books for years and they get better and better. The same flawed hero's and even more flawed villians but the pyschological depth of the writings gives me chills.
As an entreprenuer, it is hard for me to shut off my brain! It is also hard for me to sit still! I love audibles! I can exercise, work on "chores" , travel and be entertained! Always looking for a good story!
I must admit, I love Will Paton's reading James Lee Burke novels. However, at first I had to divorce myself from thinking I was listening to Clete...since this is a totally different novel. However, I appreciate James Lee Burk's writings and his gift of detai,richness and insights into humans nature. I loved the book and hated for it to end.
I usually like Burke novels even though they are violent. This is over the top on that score but the worst part of this novel is ALL of it. The story could not be more contrived than if two 12 year old boys were trying to outdo each other with impossible plot lines. I couldn't finish it and I tried several times.
James Lee Burke wrote an outstanding book "Rain Gods" and narrated perfectly by Will Patton. I was totally mesmerized by all the wonderful characters especially Preacher. A true modern western in every sense. This book did not let me down. I was totally transfixed to this desolate area of Texas and the lives of all these people. I have to say I again was disappointed when I finished the book. I wanted it to go on and on. I did rerun many of the descriptions that Preacher or Hackleberry used towards each other. Such poetry in his descriptions of the landscape! Oh how I hope he writes another book in the continuing saga of Preacher and Sheriff Hackleberry. There is absolutely no one else that bring these characters to life the way Will Patton did. Thank you so much James Lee Burke.
James Lee Burke is a poet masquerading as a mystery writer. Will Patton's voice is husky- smooth, languid when needed and pitched just right. Feast Day of Fools is one of Mr. Burke's best efforts and nearly peerless.
I just love listening to James Lee Burke's prose. It is poetry to me.
I can't decide which I like better, Hackberry Holland or Robicheaux although I can't help but think Huckleberry every time I hear Hackberrys first name. I think it is Burke's characters that keep you on the edge of your seat. There are always some nut jobs in his books along with some purely evil people. I can't wait to hear what they will do next.
Will Patton always teams with James Lee Burke to give steller performances. Patten is a good actor and unlike some other popular readers, he does not chew the scenery or over emote. He could recite McGuffey's reader and I would listen until he finished.
In a word YES. But I did not just want to, I listened all night long without sleep.
I you like film noir books, then get this one. If you like Mysteries and Thrillers, then get this one. If you like Adventure stories, then get this one. If you liked Psycho, the movie, then get this book.
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