On its surface, life in Houston in the 1950s is as you'd expect: stoic fathers, restless teens, drive-in movies, and souped-up Cadillacs. But underneath lies a world shifting under high school junior Aaron Broussard's feet. There's a class war between the "haves" and the "have-nots" as well as a real war, Korea, happening on the other side of the world. It is against this backdrop that Aaron comes of age, trying to understand how first loves, friendship, violence, and power can alter what "traditional America" means for the people trying to find their way in a changing world.
"A Deeper Darker Burke (Patton--You're Awesome!)"
From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, House of the Rising Sun is an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance, and retribution that follows Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland on his journey to reunite with his estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army.
"Okay…I'll Say It"
Why we think it’s a great listen: When it comes to author/narrator pairings, nobody tops James Lee Burke and Will Patton in the Robicheaux thrillers. Beloved Burke hero Detective Dave Robicheaux here returns to New Iberia to solve a series of grisly murders. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit.
"Best Yet... Almost"
It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp.
"Outstanding Addition to the Holland/Texas Saga"
New York Times best-selling author James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels began with this first hard-hitting entry in the series. In The Neon Rain, Detective Robicheaux fishes a prostitute's corpse from a New Orleans bayou and finds that no one, not even the law, cares about a dead hooker.
"The perfect combination of author and narrator"
Dave Robicheaux had begun to put the pieces of his broken life together again when an old friend turned up on his doorstep, dredging up old memories and new threats.
Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.
"YES!!! Dave and Clete back in Louisiana once again"
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.
"Weak for Burke"
The 40-year-old crucifixion of a prominent labor leader named Jack Flynn remains an unsolved atrocity that has never been forgotten in New Iberia, Louisiana. When Flynn's daughter, Megan, returns to the site of her father's murder, it quickly becomes clear that her family's blood-stained past will not stay buried. Megan gives her old friend Dave Robicheaux a tip about a small-time criminal named Cool Breeze Broussard, scarcely suspecting that the seemingly innocuous case will lead Robicheaux and his partner into the midst of a deadly conspiracy.
"Narrated by Mark Hammer AND Will Patton?"
When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he'd hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won't escape so easily.
"Divided Loyalties and Sultry Prose"
In Light of the World, sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair about possible other crimes committed by Surette, the killer escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana - where an unsuspecting Dave happens to have gone to take in the sweet summer air, accompanied by Alafair, his wife Molly, faithful partner Clete, and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz.
"Burke is still the best"
Swan Peak finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.
"Christmas/Birthday in July"
Dave Robicheaux felt the bone-grinding pain rip through his body as the .45 did its damage. Through the agonizing haze that enveloped him, he heard an almost inhuman laugh - the hideous, victorious cackling of Jimmie Lee Boggs - a sound he would never forget. It had started out as an ordinary prisoner transfer, then turned into a blood bath when the convicted murderer got hold of a gun.
"Burke is an outstanding novelist"
They're out there, under the salt - the bodies of German seamen who used to lie in wait at the mouth of the Mississippi for unescorted American tankers sailing from the oil refineries of Baton Rouge out into the Gulf of Mexico. As a child, Dave Robicheaux had been haunted by the sailors' images. Years later, Robicheaux, a detective with the New Iberia sheriff's office, finds himself and his family at serious risk, stalked for his knowledge of a watery burial ground by a mysterious man named Will Buchalter - a man who believes that the Holocaust was one big hoax.
"Jury out on this one"
Dave Robicheaux returns in another Bayou adventure, this one more gruesome and gut-wrenching than any that have come before. Hurricane Katrina has ravaged New Orleans, leaving the streets and buildings flooded and the city awash with opportunists, looters, and vicious criminals. There is no order, no law. Police are shooting randomly at innocent people, prison guards have abandoned their posts, and bodies float through the streets and hang from trees.
"How Does One Manage?"
When former Klansman and piney-woods outcast Aaron Crown is finally imprisoned for a decades-old murder, it is to Detective Dave Robicheaux that he proclaims his innocence loudest. Crown seems to be a lightning rod for every kind of trouble that the state of Louisiana can unearth. A documentary film writer seeking to prove Crown's innocence is found murdered; a button man for the New Orleans mob accuses Robicheaux of taking a pay-off to ignore Crown.
But it is when Buford LaRose -- scion of an old Southern family and author of a book on the Crown case -- is elected governor that Dave Robicheaux's involvement with Aaron Crown deepens to a level he can barely fathom. And it is Buford's social-climbing wife, Karyn, with whom Robicheaux had an affair years before, who proves to be his most poisonous adversary.
Filled with thrilling adventure, lightning-paced action, and street smart realism, Cadillac Jukebox is a brilliant addition to Burke's standout Dave Robicheaux series.
"Good, But Not Burke's Best"
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.
Critically acclaimed and best-selling crime writer James Lee Burke returns to Louisiana where his ever-popular hero, Dave Robicheaux, sleuths his way through a hotbed of sin and uncertainty.
"Another delicious book from JLB"
Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux knows the Sonnier family of New Iberia - their connections to the CIA, the mob, and to a former Klansman now running for state office. And he knows their past - as dark and murky as a night on the Louisiana bayou. An assassination attempt and the death of a cop draw Robicheaux into the Sonniers' dangerous web of madness, murder and incest. But Robicheaux has devils of his own. And they've come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator - and the people he holds most dear.
"A great writer at work here"
Detective Dave Robicheaux becomes entangled in the affairs of the Fontenot family, descendants of sharecroppers whose matriarch helped raise Dave as a child. They are in danger of losing the land they've lived on for more than a century. As Dave tries to discover who wants the land so badly, he finds himself in increasing peril from a lethal, rag tag alliance of local mobsters and a hired assassin with a shady past.
"HAUNTING: A Mystical Bayou Cop Story..."