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Publisher's Summary

A troubled young woman breezes into Detective Robicheaux's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of his friend: a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life.

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Burke and Patton: what a pleasure.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. In fact, I have been doing so for about twenty five years now. Mr. Burke's sense of place is magnificent. He describes Iberia Parish and New Orleans so perfectly that you can almost see, feel, smell and taste them. Further, he addresses moral, ethical and personal areas, particularly around issues of conscience, that few other writers would ever even attempt to discuss.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Although you always know that Dave Robicheaux will eventually come out on top, his road there is strewn with vicious characters who put him into very dangerous plights. His buud, Clete Purcell, is a walking hand grenade, ready to explode at any moment with his own brand of hurt from his time in Viet Nam. Dave is also hurt and vulnerable to depression, particularly when he feels the racist big shots running the towns. Dave's sense of morality is a complicated, developing thing. Everything about his life is interesting to the reader. I may not have read all of his books, but it is hard to imagine Mr. Burke writing anything below truly extraordinary prowess and sensitivity. He puts most other thriller writers to shame.

Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have. I can't name them right here, but his voice is quite distinct. His portrayal of Southern accents is awesome. At times there is some overlap between the voices of Dave and Clete, but this is a quibble. He holds my interest almost as well as Mr. Burke's content does.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I can't possibly do that, for reasons I am not really sure about. Twelve hours is a long time, and I can't think of anything I do without stopping for that long. I find it nice to read several hours, and then in a few days come back to the book, as the talents of these two men are things to savor, and I like to make them last for a long time.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Bravo

When I find myself not wanting to get out of the car, running in the house to continue where I left off, and finding reasons to listen to a book, I know I have found a winner. <p> This is one of those books, and I picked it off the best sellers list; a first for me. <p><b> I put the rest of his books on my wish list. <p> <b> Bravo, is all I need to say........ </b>

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing author and amazing narrator!

Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

Duh, Monarch Little. Although he does a great job with Coco Aber, too. All around, Will Patton is just an extremely gifted narrator.

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

I just love JLB's writing style. Ex. In a flashback, Dave decided after a brief stint at sobriety to head to the bar for a drink. So he got himself all dressed up and (I paraphrase) "pretended that I could throw lighted matches into a gas can without consequence." I love the way I can enjoy the image that creates and at the same time be following a great storyline. Thank you to JLB for being such an amazing writer.

Any additional comments?

This is a good Dave Robicheaux novel. I was very engaged by the storyline throughout. The characters were memorable, but not as strong as in some of his other books. The ending came on quickly once I got to the end of the book and as I sometimes have to do at the end of a Dave novel, I had to sit and think about all the loose ends and make sure I understand how they all tied up, how everything was connected, who was responsible for what, etc. I actually listened to this audio twice, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time. Decent book, but Swan Peak is still my favorite.

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Amazing story and narrator, from one who has little comfort in stories from the Deep South. English BA, psychologist. If souther

I was reticent to listen to this book. I don't care for prison movies or stories about the south. But the reviews were good, and I am running slim on books to listen to.
After hearing the narrator on the sample , I knew I would be comfortable with someone who could actually speak the language of the story.
At times the names did get confusing. But, this was of no matter against the story. Dave's wife could have had more of a role. She is the beginning of a great character. I will look look forward to listening to more stories in this series.
Give it a good try, it is more than worth it. Luckily , with Audible you have nothing to lose. I am usually a Mitch rapp, Davenport , flowers.....demille fan, along with all the others that fit in. This was similar, but so much richer. Made me want to go back to places I thought I would never attempt to see. It also brought a tear at the need. It's the only book that done that and only one that made me laugh out loud. (That was a different book.)

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Loved every word!

Burke is a masterful weaver of words and Patton's voice...the beautiful garment. I am a new and forever fan of both gentlemen.

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Ok

Ok, not his best. I've read other books by James Lee Burke that I liked a lot more. Check out "Tin Roof Blowdown ".

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Great listening

Would you listen to Pegasus Descending again? Why?

Mr. Burke is an exceptional writer. Mr. Patton is an exceptional narrator. Dave Robicheaux is a heck of a cop. Get this book. You will definitely find it entertaining.

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Will Patton is phenomenal!

The story was excellent! If you are a fan of who-done-it detective novels you will love this one. Burke's superb plot told with Patton's gruff makes this one a real treat.

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  • Sattvala
  • Harpswell, ME United States
  • 02-08-16

Fabulous

If you could sum up Pegasus Descending in three words, what would they be?

Lyrical, mesmerizing, beautiful

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pegasus Descending?

Any time Clete Purcell is in the scene

Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

Crete Purcell

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Just loved it

Any additional comments?

I listen to everything narrated by Will Patton - if he read the phone book I would stop everything and listen.

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A few things..

Firstly, I'm genuinely a fan of Mr. Burke's writing and also of Mr. Patton's skills as a narrator, so I make these comments as kindly as I can..
Mr. Patton, please take the time to learn how to pronounce words like beignet and pirogue, so my suspension of disbelief isn't bitch slapped, while I'm in the throes of enjoying your talents. Thank you :)
Mr. Burke, how is it possible that every person, civilian or otherwise, uses the same slang regardless of who or where they are? Most people have ways of speaking about things like "taking the bounce" that differ from each other, so it gives me pause when everyone says things exactly the same way. Also, not unlike wearing too much cologne, is the tiresome overuse of the Bobbsey Twins descriptor.. I love your writing, and those two characters, please don't make me roll my eyes. It distracts me from the narrative.
Lastly, the way you convey Dave's singular love for, and attention to, his wife is the way women anywhere would hope their men love them. Thank you for that. It's earthy and tenderly palpable. You are a very fine writer, i barely want to read anyone else.
Oh one last question, Is Trishklein one word or two? ;) Were you worried either Dave, or your readers would forget which Trish you were speaking of if Clete only referred to her by her first name only?