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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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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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • 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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • 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

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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

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One of mr. Burke's best

I've had the pleasure of reading and listening to the D.R. Series over the years.i grew up around police,and know several that is of the same mold.

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best yet

I began the series at book one in order to get to know the characters' development. In this one, both the characters and the story are the most interesting so far, in my opinion. I'm listening with Audible and enjoying the reading, also.

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These books are awesome.

not only is the narration exceptional but the description is so good you can smell the smells, here the noises and feel the atmosphere.

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Not as profound as most but definitely worth reading

Some of the metaphors did not hit home as much as usual. The ending was fabulous particularly the last line

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overlook the pronunciation of some words

this Dave Robicheaux mysteries was an enjoyable listen. having grown up in south Louisiana I noticed some words that were pronounce that they were spelled and not as they most likely were in New Iberia Louisiana. the victim Cherry Leblanc is referred to as "Le Blank" rather than "ley-blawn" where the awn is pronounced like awning and the N is soft. another victims last name is Prejean. the narrator says "pre gene" and in south Louisiana that is pronounced more like "pray-shawn" closer to the way Jean would be pronounced in French and with a soft n. there are a few other pronunciations that were noticeably off, Pirouge comes to mind, but it did not detract from the story. in this Dave Robicheaux didn't spend so much time mired in so much inner darkness that it was uncomfortable waiting to get to the end. mark hammer does a good job with the different voices. I enjoy listening to him and am able to get the feeling that I am home in south Louisiana (with those small pronunciation exceptions.)

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  • Harald
  • Anthem, AZ, United States
  • 01-31-16

Great book.

The book is really cool and bridges reality with fiction in a great way. Makes you want to see the old South.