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Feast Day of Fools: A Novel | [James Lee Burke]

Feast Day of Fools: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1144 )
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  •  
    Vicki The Woodlands, TX, United States 10-10-11
    Vicki The Woodlands, TX, United States 10-10-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Will Patton is the perfect narrator for this book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Hartford, ct, United States 10-08-11
    Kathleen Hartford, ct, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolute Perfection"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 10-05-11
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 10-05-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The dynamic duo"
    What did you love best about Feast Day of Fools?

    I just love listening to James Lee Burke's prose. It is poetry to me.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    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.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    In a word YES. But I did not just want to, I listened all night long without sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Travelers Rest, SC, United States 10-01-11
    Nancy Travelers Rest, SC, United States 10-01-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SUPER ~ RELENTLESS ~ HEARTFELT ~"
    If you could sum up Feast Day of Fools in three words, what would they be?

    SUPER ~ RELENTLESS ~ HEARTFELT


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The story was constantly moving forward and second guessing was a real treat.


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mr. Patton is Hack Holland!!!!!!!!!!!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Most of the one-liners were right on the mark and were good for a laugh.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    atilio United States 04-27-13
    atilio United States 04-27-13 Member Since 2008
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    "not good"

    This book is pointless. It has no mystery, no action, no character development, no insights into the human condition. What else makes a good novel? [your answer here]; it doesn't have that either.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. G. Hebbard Cedar Park, Texas, USA 11-16-11
    L. G. Hebbard Cedar Park, Texas, USA 11-16-11 Listener Since 2008

    Attaboy

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    "Another best buy."

    How can we go wrong with JL Burke and Will Patton? What a team! This is yet another tale that kept me and my interest throughout.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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