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In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead

A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 6
Narrated by: Mark Hammer
Series: Dave Robicheaux, Book 6
Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (622 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Now in audiobook edition, the sixth Dave Robicheaux novel by acclaimed New York Times best-selling novelist and Edgar-winner James Lee Burke.

The image of the dead girl's body lingered in detective Dave Robicheaux's mind as he drove home. After seeing the young victim's corpse, the last thing he needed to come across was a drunk driver. But when he saw the Cadillac fishtail across the road, Robicheaux knew the driver was in trouble. What Dave didn't realize, was that by pulling the car over, he was opening his murder case wider than he could ever imagine.

The driver, Elrod Sykes, in New Iberia to star in a movie, leads Dave to the skeletal remains of a black man that had washed up in the Atchafalaya swamp. So begins a mystery that takes Dave back to an unsolved murder - a murder that he witnessed in 1957. Haunted by the past as he confronts the gruesome present-day rape and murder of young prostitutes, Robicheaux must also contend with a new partner from the F.B.I., and the local criminal gentry. But for Dave, the answers he seeks lie somewhere in the bayou mist with the ghosts of soldiers long since forgotten...

A masterwork of detective fiction, In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead is James Lee Burke's most suspenseful work to date.

©1993 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Burke is awesome again, Hammer is really good.

I found this story to be very entertaining and Hammer's reading surprisingly good. This is an early Robicheaux story, his daughter Alifair is only 11. I liked the inexperienced but reliable and honest sherrif', the ghost of General Hood is marvelous, the Hollywood scenes are as humorous as they are intriguing.

There is great chemistry in Dave's partnership with the FBI agent, as well as with his daughter. This is just another Burke novel worthy of anyone's time!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-26-13

Great author

but I’m not enjoying his subject matter and plot choices.

I love this author’s writing style, the phrases he uses, his rich and creative descriptions, and the way he develops characters. In my review of Black Cherry Blues I give examples of some of his phrases. He is a great writer, but his subject matter is too depressing for me. He writes about man’s cruelty to man, torture and killing of blacks, women, prisoners, and others, and getting away with it. I’ve read three of his books, but with great reluctance I do not plan to read anymore.

Dave is a flawed hero but a good cop. There were two instances of hero stupidity which bothered me. One example: Dave asks his friend Lou to be his backup when Dave went to a dangerous place to meet someone. They arrive, that person is not there, so Dave tells Lou to leave but Dave will wait a little longer. So Lou leaves and then something bad happens to Dave.

I was also troubled by the way the author had Hog Man delay telling things to Dave. Hog Man knew things. But the first time Dave talks to him, Hog Man just tells him part of something. The second time, Hog Man tells Dave to come to him for info, but then doesn’t tell Dave anything. The third time Hog Man calls Dave offering to tell him the rest. I didn’t see a reason or motive for Hog Man to keep doing this if he was going to tell it all eventually. I felt the author was playing me, disrespecting me. It was a contrivance, not supported with thought.

Technically there is a happy ending with some but not all of the bad guys dealt with.

There is some fantasy. Dave talks to the ghost of a civil war general several times. That was interesting, but it didn’t add to the main story and it wasn’t complete enough on it’s own. There was a neat occurrence linking the two stories toward the end. But something more should have been done with the secondary story.

The narrator Mark Hammer was good.

Genre: mystery suspense with a little fantasy

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 08-09-13

Powerfully, Complexly, Effectively... Wonderful!

Burke is a master craftsman. And here, in collaboration with one of the finest actors who's ever worked in this media, Mark Hammer, he's molded together a master work. The intricacies of this storyline could have failed with a numbing clatter - but Burke is a romantic master. He walks a conundrum's edge between honor and sin, loyalty and evil, gallantry and melancholy... like a Wallenda on a wire. Hell, Burke dances on the wire.

With all of the charm of a great southern novelist, Burke tells another of his stories flawlessly to the accompaniment of mystic's harmonic line. It works both rationally and emotionally.

BUT... don't start with this novel. This is my fifth Dave Robicheaux story and there are enough hints here to smother some of the best mysteries of the earlier adventures. Start there and work your way here... If for no other reason than to bath in the lyrical power of Mark Hammer's stunning talent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better than I thought

If you could sum up In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead in three words, what would they be?

Very - good

What aspect of Mark Hammer’s performance would you have changed?

he is so dry I can't tell when he changes characters. his voice is so gravely & nasal i can not picture him as Dave. No disrespect to Mr. Hammer. I just don't care for his reading in these novels

Any additional comments?

I would love to have the whole series re read by Will Patton.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, but no Clete?

That’s like Batman but no Robin, Starsky and no Hutch, Bert without Ernie. Cmon Man, Clete is the Man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant. Quite intense.

Having seen the movie, I was hesitant about buying the book. The difference is like apples and satellites. There's no comparison My only complaint about the narration? Mark Hammer didn't cut it as a singer. Otherwise, quite well done (IMHO).

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love this series!

Narrator is awesome and his reading of the book enhances the story! would highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very well written and beautically descriptive.

Good, interesting story, performed well. I will try more books by the author and the narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a very visual read

This is my second time through the Dave Robicheaux series. James Lee Burke's writing is so descriptive and visual that when I read, it is tho I'm watching a movie. Mark Hammer is one of the best narrators I've listened to and I search out books read by him. I could have listened to this story for free by another narrator, and even started to, but had to go back to Hammer's narration. I feel it is perfect for Burke's stories and Robicheaux's character.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Southeast Louisiana comes alive

It is clear the author has a commanding knowledge of his material. The atmosphere is palpable and a credit to the author. I also enjoy Mr Hammer's narration, conveying all the world-weariness of someone who has been in law enforcement for most of his adult life.

One incredibly minor quibble (that some enterprising audio editor can correct) When the narrator pronounces the New Orleans suburb of Metairie he pronounces it as MetAIRY. It is pronounced MET a REE. Old timers say MET-REE, omitting the middle syllable. Admittedly a minor thing but as a former resident of that suburb it takes me out of the book momentarily, though it hasn't dimmed my enthusiasm for this series, which is terrific!