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Heaven's Prisoners | [James Lee Burke]

Heaven's Prisoners

Vietnam vet Dave Robicheaux has turned in his detective's badge, is winning his battle against booze, and has left New Orleans with his wife for the tranquil beauty of the Louisiana bayou. But a plane crash on the Gulf brings a young girl into his life - and with her comes a netherworld of murder, deception and homegrown crime.
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Publisher's Summary

Vietnam vet Dave Robicheaux has turned in his detective's badge, is winning his battle against booze, and has left New Orleans with his wife for the tranquil beauty of the Louisiana bayou. But a plane crash on the Gulf brings a young girl into his life - and with her comes a netherworld of murder, deception and homegrown crime. Suddenly Robicheaux is confronting Bubba Rocque, a brutal hood he's known since childhood, Rocque's hungry Cajun wife, and a Federal agent with more guts than sense. In a backwater world where a swagger and a gun go further than the law, Robicheaux and those he loves are caught on a tide of violence far bigger than them all.

©1996 James Lee Burke; (P)1996 Simon & Schuster Inc., AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Heaven's Prisoners never loses tension-strongly recommended." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (283 )
5 star
 (107)
4 star
 (99)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (150 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (151 )
5 star
 (93)
4 star
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3 star
 (14)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    John Montrose, PA, USA 06-08-07
    John Montrose, PA, USA 06-08-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weak for Burke"

    I have read Burke and loved his great coloring, his pithy rendering of characters. Having never been on a bayou, I think I would know it if I was by his descriptions, even the smell of the place.
    Now comes the real challenge> getting someone to read the work, someone who will not run the whole thing into a ditch. But, here comes Will Patton and not only are Burke's words NOT sinking beneath the lily pads, but they actually soar to new heights. So infused is Will's voice in my mind now, I cannot read Burke any longer without hearing it in Will's voice and inflection.

    A rare conjunction of two wonderful talents! Crush some more mint into that Mint Julep and enjoy the trip!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Arlington, TX, United States 08-30-07
    Daniel Arlington, TX, United States 08-30-07 Member Since 2005

    Hopelessly addicted to Audio Books! I started listening as a distraction to the aggravation of driving, now I listen all the time :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flat"

    Overall, it is not bad, but not good either.

    Unfortunately the unabridged version is not available; I may have enjoyed it more.

    The stories premise and characters are interesting but it all comes together a little flat.

    The abridged version absolutely leaves you with an impression that this version leaves a lot of holes and story lines that don't add up.

    I first read the James Lee Burke / Dave Robichaux novels "Tin Roof Blow Down" and "Crusader's Cross". I enjoyed them so much I went back to listen to the entire library.

    I will keep going, but was a bit disappointed on this abridgement

    I gave it an extra star for the reader, Will Patton. He has become my favorite reader.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 07-25-13
    Pamela 07-25-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    65
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    "I hate abridged books!!"

    I read this ONLY because no one had an unabridged audio version and was developing an interest in this writer and character. I failed to look at the rest of Audible's Burke books. I just noticed that almost ALL the Robicheaux books are abridged. I had been looking forward to finding another detective series to read, but having them all be abridged is not only ridiculous on Audible's part, but now I have no intention of reading this series in this format. And considering how long this series has been available, I have to wonder--if it hasn't been made available YET in unabridged versions, then why would it happen now?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack St Petersburg, FL, United States 12-06-12
    Jack St Petersburg, FL, United States 12-06-12

    Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    58
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    "Hard Hitting Cajun Mystery"

    This is a short story and that is the reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5. You want more. the narrator does a fantastic job of being the hero. It is an exciting story. You will not be able to put this one down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jere Barnes Midland, TX United States 11-01-12
    Jere Barnes Midland, TX United States 11-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Love Dave Robicheaux and Will Patton's voice"
    If you could sum up Heaven's Prisoners in three words, what would they be?

    I have read this book, but Will Patton's voice is Dave Robicheaux to me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love everything about Burke's Robicheaux.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    I have read this book, but Will Patton's voice is Dave Robicheaux. The first time I listened to a James Lee Burke book, Will Patton was the voice and Purple Cane Road was the book. I have listened or read all of James Lee Burkes books including the Holland characters but Robicheaux is my man! Burke knows how to put music in the words and Patton knows exactly how to read them.


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

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to it twice in the past couple of months.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E.D. California 02-11-12
    E.D. California 02-11-12 Member Since 2008

    Goldenthreads

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    38
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    3
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    "Unfortunately adbridged"
    Where does Heaven's Prisoners rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    It's difficult to review a book that has only partly there. Who knows what's been left out? This was only available in the abridged, so no choice. Sometimes whole characters are cut. This one has the tone of the others, as far as I can tell, but some characterizations are shallow. Or have been so shaved down as to leave little information. I think the story is probably pretty good, but I advise anyone interested to either also buy the print book, or for Audible to get the whole book. There were certain jumps in the story, usually involving a character or how they feel about something. You can tell you've missed something.


    If you???ve listened to books by James Lee Burke before, how does this one compare?

    This one lacks something, like the rest of the book.


    What about Will Patton???s performance did you like?

    The narrator's performance was fine, he is the


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

    This book is short enough to listen to in one long session. It's the exasperation of the missing bits that makes you want to stamp off in a snit.


    Any additional comments?

    When is the whole book going to be available?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mabou, NS, Canada 02-06-12
    Dennis Mabou, NS, Canada 02-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Abridgment isn't the whole story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it and wish it had been unabridged.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Loved Burke's Faulknerian language and descriptions as he once again puts Dave through the wringer.


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

    There is nobody better than Will Patton for this languid southern style of book. Being a New England boy I would miss what I call, Living in the story, if I were to read it myself. Patton has the ability to put me in this forth dimension of being in the place with these people.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I'd even take my wife to see it.


    Any additional comments?

    Abridgements, while they make the book shorter - why one would want that I can't figure out - they also loose so much of James Lee Burke's language. And for one, like myself, whose undergraduate major was American Literature with a focus on William Faulkner, I give thanks Mr. Burke carries on that marvellous legacy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lindablue Salisbury, MD 09-26-09
    lindablue Salisbury, MD 09-26-09 Listener Since 2008

    I'm constantly listening to recorded books. Right now I'm a bit sick and weak, but can still enjoy a good listen. I'm so glad I have this resource available.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heaven's Prisoners is a good listen"

    I enjoyed this because it chronicled how Dave Robicheaux happened to rescue and adopt Alafair, his daughter. However, a lot of violence followed and was made worse because this download was abridged, so a lot of the non-violent parts of the story were cut. I always enjoy narrator Will Patton's southern draw, which seems perfect for Burke's often poetic prose. A movie of this book has been made--haven't seen it yet, but it will be nice to put faces on Burke's characters and to enjoy the Louisiana bayou scenery.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James United States 12-12-11
    James United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    12
    5
    Overall
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    Story
    "Classic Burke"
    Would you listen to Heaven's Prisoners again? Why?

    Yes. Burke has a gift for describing a scene in such detail that you feel as if you are there. His words have a sing-song quality that never seems to bog down the plot.


    What other book might you compare Heaven's Prisoners to and why?

    Any other Burke book. They are all first quality.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    Will Patton does a wonderful job of portraying Dave's vulnerabilities, while at the same time convincing the reader that Dave can handle any situation. His use of the accent also makes the portrayal more believable. The way Dave calls everyone


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Oak Harbor, WA, United States 11-07-11
    Dorothy Oak Harbor, WA, United States 11-07-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
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    "Gave up on this one!"

    I gave up on this book after Chapter 3. I don't mind my protagonists being a little flawed, but I found Dave Robicheaux to have very few redeeming qualities. He makes stupid decisions that puts his loved ones in danger and operates as a vigilante outside the law. The violence in this book is especially cruel. I found the narration on this to be very uneven. While I liked Will Patton in the first book, sometimes it almost seemed as if they had switched narrators in midstream - it didn't even sound like the same person. Even stranger - all of a sudden in a scene where Dave walks into a bar, music starts playing! I checked my iPod to see if it was malfunctioning. I don't like music in my audio books - I prefer books to be books. But it was especially jarring when it came out of the blue with no warning. I got this book for free and was glad I didn't pay for it, but that's several hours of listening time I'll never get back.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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