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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1994 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 08-09-13

Eloquent√ Lyrical√ Sloooooooooow √√√

Maybe I overdosed on James Lee Burke. This is my sixth Dave Roubicheaux novel and the last three I listened to back to back to back. Mark Hammer's tongue is wrapped around bayous, filagreed iron window screens and Spanish moss. He speaks through a veil of humidity and swampy muscle. He somehow makes the rich vocabulary and elegant metaphoric Roubicheaux musings seem plausible from the mind of this hard-scrabble back gator country lawman.

This time it took just a tad too much to do it. Burke is a poet first, a sociologist second, a dramatist third, a gently liberal social commentator, and ... oh yeah... a detective mystery procedural writer. Here it is the last that seems to be stretched a lot too thin. The characters were either too complex for the plot, or too comic-book skinny to hold up its pants.

I'm going to take a break from Dave, Bootsey, Alafair, and Cleetus. If you've not listened to a Roubicheaux novel... start from the beginning. You'll think, feel, and even tear up. But maybe you'd do well after the first five to pause before beginning this one. Just like I'll take a break before downloading the seventh....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Jury out on this one

I love the way James Lee Burke writes, and I love the characters in his stories, Cletus Purcell has to be one of the great literary personalities of all time. The setting it enthralling as ever, but the foe in this story is just a little to much of a ghost and Dave R. is just walking into too many traps set for him in this one without seeing the writing on the wall. All of that said, I still liked the book, enjoyed Cletus having a prominent role and enjoyed the various characters and how they were developed. I really love the narration in this series and really do not understand the controversy, it is first rate as far as I am concerned. All things considered I am looking forward to the next in the series as even a flat spot in this collection is better than the best works by most authors.
Recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Audio, audio...it's the voice

Where is Will Patton when there is a Dave Roubiceaux book, I listened all the way to the end, but for me it was not an enjoyable experience. I though the story was a little disjointed, and with a different voice than how I perceive the main character should sound...No, in the future it will be Burke and Patton or no purchase

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The dangers of doing the right thing

What did you love best about Dixie City Jam?

James Lee Burke's writing is like poetry. Amidst the ugliness of hate and crime, he describes the surroundings so beautifully. Dave's thoughts about his past, his culture, his family, and his struggles are blended so seamlessly. I, also, really enjoy the relationship between Dave and Clete. Every interaction between them is entertaining.<br/>I hope Brother Oswald makes future appearances in the Robicheaux series-loved his commentary on Dave's intellect, lending subtle humor to a dark story.

What other book might you compare Dixie City Jam to and why?

Any of John Sandford's "Prey" books. The writing style is very different but a lot of similar themes and has the common thread of a character study of the protagonist throughout the series.

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

I have come to appreciate Mark Hammer's narration more than I have in the past, having preferred Will Patton. But, Hammer's performance blended with James Lee Burke's poetic prose resulted in a great listening experience. You really feel inside the story and where it's happening, and you feel that you are experiencing Dave's life and thoughts along with him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Tommy talking about the part he played in Hippo's brother's death and his regret.

Any additional comments?

I liked how the author makes the characters multidimensional. The criminals sometimes show grace and humanity, and the "good" guys sometimes are self-serving and flawed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this one is scary

Would you consider the audio edition of Dixie City Jam to be better than the print version?

un known

What three words best describe Mark Hammer’s performance?

flat-nasal-ugggggg

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

whole book is very scary and all I can think of is if Will Patten had read this with a actors flare.. holy cow it would have blown me away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bonnie
  • Sequim, WA, United States
  • 11-26-12

Dave against the Neo-Nazis

When Dave Robicheaux made the mistake of letting people know he had an idea as to where a World War Two U-boat sunk in the Caribbean might be found, suddenly he has too many people wanting him to lead them to it, including a man calling himself Will Buchalter. With informants dying on him left and right and apparently Bootsie intending to enter the alcoholic state he's fought so hard to put behind him, Dave doesn't know quite whom to trust--and with reason.

Action packed as usual. Although I realized in this one I was perhaps quicker on the uptake and even less trusting than Dave himself, as I had the accomplice pegged pretty quickly on while Dave was still trying to sort out his feelings toward the individual.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not my favorite

I am a diehard Burke fan, but this book was not one of his best. There were too many times he seemed to be filling the page with any descriptive term he could imagine. Less would have been more. It was difficult to keep characters straight, too many story lines.

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Finished it...barely

What would have made Dixie City Jam better?

It was too long, which is hard to say about a story about Dave. I read about half the book when it was published but it didn't "grab me" the way the others before had and I just couldn't stay with it and it got tossed to the side and I never finished it. I don't regret using a credit for the book and I did finish it this time.

Would you ever listen to anything by James Lee Burke again?

Listening to Burning Angel as I write this review, so the answer is a resounding YEP!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It's JLB, even a clunker is worth the time.

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Good stuff

If your a fan this is another gem. Mark Hammer is great makes you feel like your right there in New Orleans

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Grand slam

Clete is my hero! This situation was no disappointment. Storyline did not end well and a few matters during the story were left unfinished. Nonetheless, James Lee Burke continues to deliver homegrown, relatable suspense. And don't have to be a southerner or a cajun for that matter to enjoy his storylines and descriptions of environment to enjoy it and put yourself right in the scene.