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)
I have been a James Lee Burke fan for years, having read every single one of his books once and sometimes twice, or more. This is the first book I have listened to and at the beginning I had great fears because Dave was such a close friend.
Will Patton does an absolutely amazing job of narrating Pegasus Descending. Though I had a different voice for Dave (a good friend is from Baton Rouge and I was using that deeper more accented voice in my head), Patton very soon won me over.
I have always been in love with the beauty of the language that Burke uses. "...sunset like the gilt edge on a Bible." He summons such detailed images to your mind like no one else can do. There is a small scene where Robichaux is drunk and he's watching the man next to him in a bar peel an egg. I was in that bar, smelling the smells, seeing the little chip of egg shell on the man's finger. Maybe I was tipsy too. It's a small, but amazing scene.
The story is one of Burke's best. Robichaux has been settled down in his heart by his new wife and this gives him a new maturity and grace. It's a quite wonderful change to see. The characters are terrifically written and Will Patton does a most excellent job, an award-winning job with the voice of Monarch. He's captured the winningness of his personality as well as the evil and danger that lurks there.
I would guess that there is a not a person who reads that would not love this book.
If you haven't read the Robichaux series from start to finish, you have such a treat ahead for you. I wish I could have them surgically removed from my brain so that I could again read them for the first time.
I think there are 15 books in this series and Robichaux is FAR from becoming a tired, re-formulated hero (such as Lucas Davenport). I hope Mr. Burke has 15 more books in him.
I have most of Burke's books in print, and now I want to own them all in Mr. Patton's voice.
Really, I can't recommend this highly enough.
If you've done any listening at all, you know that a narrator can make or break a book. The combination of James Lee Burke's writing and Will Patton's narrating a Dave Robicheaux story is on a par with Dean Koontz and David Aaron Baker's rendition of the Odd Thomas books. The narrator makes the book come alive. I've listened to The Tin Roof Blowdown and Crusader's Cross, and both are worth a re-listen, but this is Burke at his best. Audible has some other Dave Robicheaux books but I probably won't listen to them because they have a different narrator. This is not a criticism of the narrator, but Will Patton is the embodiment of the New Iberia detective. I never have trouble identifying the character speaking because of the many voices Patton uses. His Louisiana accent gives a marvelous flavor to this very well written book. Burke's wonderful descriptive phrases are generously scattered throughout the book. I bought the book for my wife to read and she enjoyed it as much as I did (she prefers reading, go figure). I would give this book more than five stars if I could.
One of James Lee Burke's best!!
I would rank it 1-2 with his "The Tin Roof Blowdown".
It's definitely a "can't put down" listen!!
A couple breaks Dave Robichaux gets are a bit far-fetched, but it doesn't distract from story.
Burke is always good, but this one may be his best. All elements of his writing and storytelling are at their peak here, from his vivid imagery and apt metaphors to his dark insights into human nature, and he tells one of the most riveting stories Robicheaux has yet wandered through, all with an attention to language most writers these days don't even understand. This is a great novel for Robicheaux fans, and a great place to dive into the series if you've never read him before.
Will Patton is a very good reader, even though he sounds more Dixie than Cajun and screws up Clete Purcell something awful, not to mention a few local names. He's smart and has an appreciation for Burke's language, and you feel that in this narration. Overall, this is a book to make you fall in love with James Lee Burke, and I can't recommend it enough.
I love this series for the same reason the other reviewers have listed. The imagery, the unending depth of the characters, and the story lines that are complex without losing you. But one of my favorite parts of this story was the FBI agent who was charmingly bumbling. I laughed outloud (in public) a few times during this story, mostly when she was involved. In the end, it was a little odd, because she didn't end up playing a key role in the story--I hope he brings her back in future books.
I love Burke, I respect his views, I love his themes. This series gets better and better.
If images had calories, this book would bust the most generous diet. It is as rich and complex as a thick steamy gumbo and just as satisfying. Both story and narration are totally entertaining. This book is very well suited for audio. I'd consider listening to this one more than once.
This book was wonderful. James Lee Burke has the best way of weaving sights & sounds & smells together that you will wonder in your older yrs if your memories are books you have read or actual events that took place in your life.
Thank you for a wonderfull 12 hrs.
I've only read two Dave Robicheaux novels, but if they are all this good I'll be amazed. The story is feels rooted in reality, if not implausible. A gritty detective story with all the necessary elements, sexual depravity, evil psychopaths, corrupted DAs, alcoholic sidekicks, femme fatales... At it's heart is Dave Robicheaux, a man of feeling and depth, with a willingness to kick ass of those who deserve it.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
Burke is an author I place apart from all the other cop/thriller/espionage/etc... writers because of the poetry that comes out of his writing... don't get me wrong, sometimes its a little too much to spend 2 pages describing what a porch looks like but at the same time he can describe a backyard that extends into water in such a way I feel I'm breathing in the air, sitting next to Dave, & smelling the different flowers & fresh cut grass transporting me into a whole new place.
As with most Robichieux books, they start one way & end up all over the place in an ending that leaves ur head spinning & wondering where the start button was for this particular book & if its the same book u pressed start on! Yet Burke will bring it all together in the end & make the book fit like a jigsaw puzzle.
In this book u not only see the 'old Robo' that was in his downward spiral days as he helplessly watches one of his friends go back to the mud, then he runs into his old friend's daughter but she's a character u have no clue what way the wind is blowing & of course Clete is magnetized by her & the fun (structural damage, physical damage, & overall destruction at an extinction level to those around him) they have together. But as always, things don't appear as they seem & lets see u guess exactly who gets who & who is working for whom & how Dave finally buries more than his guilt & past historical mistakes.... A great book
I can't say its a top 3 because everyone narrated by Patton is so much better in my opinion than Hammer & I can't give all the books a fair review when an abridged gets substituted... Audible, PLEASE do all the unabridged Robo books with Will Patton as the narrator... PLEASE... I grew up nowhere near the south or near a place that has its own geographic dialect like Creole or the other twangs in N.O. or the neighboring states but Patton sure has me convinced much more because of his ability to provide variety in the tones of characters, I think Hammer just drones on in one monotone that very well could be southern but not everyone in the south sounds like each other just like all us Yankees don't sound like Southies from Boston. Either way, with all the books since 'Pegasus' I think Patton combined with the literary quality of Burke, u can put them all ('Tin roof', 'Swan', 'Glass Rainbow', 'Creolle', & the pre-ordered 'Light of the World.) in a SOLID category of entertaining, walk the line craziness as even the relationship between Dave & Clete is slowing morphing into something else... ENJOY
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