The twists begin when Trish Klein, the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy, starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim's child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And can Robicheaux make peace with his friend's murder in time to figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and death? Will his life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy?
In Pegasus Descending, James Lee Burke explores psyches as much as evidence, and tries to make sense of human behavior as well as his characters' crimes. Richly atmospheric, frightening in its sudden violence, and replete with the sort of puzzles only the best crime fiction creates, Burke's latest novel is an unforgettable roller coaster of passion, surprise, and regret.
©2006 James Lee Burke. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.
"The novel is steeped in complex personality studies, lyrical prose, and richly drawn depictions of Mr. Burke's beloved bayou country." (The New York Times)
"With peerless naturalistic descriptions and lush, metaphysical imagery, Burke creates another challenging morality play for his flawed, everyman hero." (Publishers Weekly)
"Everything that makes this series so compelling - the elegiac, seductively lyrical prose; the complex character of Robicheaux; the lovingly evoked bayou setting - is here in abundance....The fact remains that no serious reader of hard-boiled fiction should ever miss a moment of Dave Robicheaux in action." (Booklist)
Burke is one of the most descriptive writers I have ever read. I have read and listened to nearly all of his books. When he teams up with Will Patton there is no better listening experience. Kudos to both the writer and the narrator.
I have 'read' (always on audiobook format) many Dave Robicheux novels by JL Burke, and several of the 'linked' Holland boys novels from over in Texas / Montana, and somehow I feel this one, Pegasus Descending was only almost as good as the rest. Don't get me wrong, I really thought it was good, but something in it left me feeling that Mr. Burke had perhaps truncated this one after Katrina/Rita hit not allowing him to finish it with the depth and philosophical reflection that he is well-known for, and almost as if he had been writing it when the hurricanes hit and just lost his focus, probably as he relocated his own personal life and abode from the Gulf Coast to Montana... I like how he brings in the story of what Robicheux was doing during Audrey, and then in the epilogue submits a salute to the Coast Guard, and basically starts his messages of even further decline of Southern Louisiana, but of course, the Tin Roof Blowdown, clearly written later shows that he's not given up on writing about the Louisiana we all love so dearly. I have to admit that the Robicheux series is one I've read spottily for a number of years and have missed installments... Like everything else, I have my favorites, and this just wasn't a favorite, but it was still good...and I recommend it. I missed that he has let go his bait shop, and that Alafair and Baptiste were not even in this story... Maybe Baptiste got sacrificed to a former story? I know Alafair is still off at school as he mentions her coming home for the Holidays... Well, I just need to get his bibliography all in order and make sure I read through all the 'gaps', and maybe it'll make it. Well written with some wonderful philosophical soliloquies and words of wisdom spilling from the mouths of some of the least likely characters, typical of Burke, and well worth the listen! Just not Confederates in the Mist, but to each his own!
I followed up on the advice of other reviewers and read James Burke. This is my second book and I have not been disappointed. Burke's character development is multi faceted, real ... in a word, superb. Will Patton as the reader is perfect. Burke's insight into the New Orleans pre and post Katrina is captivating ... you can see, feel and actually almost smell the atmosphere. If you've ever been to New Orleans ...to Louisiana and the South, you'll get a kick out of Burke and his Dave Rabichaux character. Great action ... great characters ... a satisfying book expereince.
Though the author of multiple books, James Lee Burke avoids the Stuart Woods/James Patterson syndrome of rushing through the dialog and forgetting the narrative. Burke rewards the reader with lush descriptions of environment and emotion, and characters rich with history, attitude and depth. His stories, this one in particular, are not formulaic and manage to surprise and amuse.
With all due respect to Scott Brick (my favorite reader), who has become typecast and slightly weary in his "smart, young and sarcastic rebel with a righteous cause" roles, this could be the best read book I ever listened to. Will Patton injects an energy and attitude that’s the perfect complement to Burke’s writing. His different character voices are amazingly distinct, almost to the point where you listen hard to make sure it’s not a different reader. Where others are “reading,” Patton is “acting” and “projecting” like a Broadway star, and it comes across marvelously.
If you listen to pass the time and prefer a fast moving story, you probably won’t like this one. If you enjoy and appreciate the art of writing, and want to savor the experience of a commanding read, give it a shot.
Will Patton is a fabulous reader who makes all the characters and the setting come alive. Clete, Helen, Dave and Molly seem like people I''ve met. I can almost feel the humidity and smell the dust. I read and enjoyed James Lee Burke before I started listening to his books. But his books almost demand to be heard. Bravo!
It is hard to describe a story so well written and narration this tremendous. I was swallowed up and could not wait for each time that I slipped back into the tale. The narration was so amazing that I would like to listen to another book by this narrator to see if this story was just perfect for him or is he that good with any story. There were no extremes or excesses that are hard to believe. The caracters were real and their emotions were palpable. I am sorry it is over
The excellent narration almost makes up for the flaws in the narrative. I missed the bits of humor in JLB's previous book "Crusader's Crossing" and got tired of Dave's self-rightousness.
However, I look forward to what JLB will do in Iberia Parish in the wake of Katrina.
When I find myself not wanting to get out of the car, running in the house to continue where I left off, and finding reasons to listen to a book, I know I have found a winner.
This is one of those books, and I picked it off the best sellers list; a first for me.
<b> I put the rest of his books on my wish list.
<b> Bravo, is all I need to say........ </b>
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
Yes. In fact, I have been doing so for about twenty five years now. Mr. Burke's sense of place is magnificent. He describes Iberia Parish and New Orleans so perfectly that you can almost see, feel, smell and taste them. Further, he addresses moral, ethical and personal areas, particularly around issues of conscience, that few other writers would ever even attempt to discuss.
Although you always know that Dave Robicheaux will eventually come out on top, his road there is strewn with vicious characters who put him into very dangerous plights. His buud, Clete Purcell, is a walking hand grenade, ready to explode at any moment with his own brand of hurt from his time in Viet Nam. Dave is also hurt and vulnerable to depression, particularly when he feels the racist big shots running the towns. Dave's sense of morality is a complicated, developing thing. Everything about his life is interesting to the reader. I may not have read all of his books, but it is hard to imagine Mr. Burke writing anything below truly extraordinary prowess and sensitivity. He puts most other thriller writers to shame.
I have. I can't name them right here, but his voice is quite distinct. His portrayal of Southern accents is awesome. At times there is some overlap between the voices of Dave and Clete, but this is a quibble. He holds my interest almost as well as Mr. Burke's content does.
I can't possibly do that, for reasons I am not really sure about. Twelve hours is a long time, and I can't think of anything I do without stopping for that long. I find it nice to read several hours, and then in a few days come back to the book, as the talents of these two men are things to savor, and I like to make them last for a long time.
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