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Publisher's Summary

James Lee Burke's most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.

Dave Robicheaux is a haunted man.

Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he's investigating, one that involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave's beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is not only a propulsive and thrilling novel but a harrowing study of America: this nation's abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America's favorite characters in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.

©2018 James Lee Burke (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Modern Day Master Work

If you haven't read James Lee Burke yet, you must get to know him. There may be no finer American writer alive today. The characters, place, and stories he offers are soul searing and profound. Along with Will Paton as narrator Burke's audiobooks are my standard for 5 stars. Do not miss Robicheaux. These are audiobooks I go back to, discovering more layers each listen. Set in the New Orleans area, the Robicheaux novels brings place to mind with the heat, lushness, and dankness palpable. It is like going on vacation to NOLA but getting caught in a dark web. Time with Dave Robicheaux and his oddly charming partner Clete Percel is probably my favorite escape. Knowing their backstories from previous works brings richness to this book. But you can pick up and put this plot in order easily. So much of what Burke does is magical. He leaves me haunted, loving Iberia, thinking deeply, and always wanting more.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

No One Writes Like James Lee Burke!!

I have never read an author who continues to get better with each novel as does James Lee Burke. Both Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell have aged and grown, especially Clete. They still have their demons; they still drive each other a little crazy. But, they stare into the heart of darkness whether it is within themselves or in the post edenic world of southern Louisiana. It is the integrity with which they live, and the understanding that they will not be able to right every wrong that gives them a depth of character that is unmatched in the noir crime genre.

Plus, no one writes about Louisiana like James Lee Burke. I can barely tolerate the humidity of my current state of North Carolina, and there is no way I could live in the gulf regions of Louisiana. But, his writing of the land choking with vegetation, the sunrise and sunsets upon the water, the storms, all seeming to scream of the power of creation is so attractive that I want to live there nontheless.

This is my first listen to a James Lee Burke novel as an Audible audio book. It was excellent.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The Man, the books, the legend


In 1987 Burke introduced us to Dave Robicheaux in the novel *Neon Rain.* A haunted Viet-Nam vet and Detective in the French Quarter. Det. Robicheaux had lost his wife, was struggling with his own addictions and demons while battling the worst of the crime lords inhabiting the underbelly of New Orleans. I didn't think he'd survive that one, and here we are, more than 30 years and 21 novels [?] later and Robicheaux is every bit the ballbuster he was...a little more dented and bruised (which has only added character). I can't think of any characters, at least in this category, that are as richly developed or as entertaining and complex as Burke's, especially with his Robicheaux series.

Burke's plots are complex and greatly layered. You could read this as a stand-alone book, but you are going to miss the history. This latest adventure has Robicheaux dealing with some ugly new business as well as reliving the automobile crash that killed his wife. He also teams up with his old buddy (and former homicide partner and fellow Vietnam vet) Cletus Purcel, the two just barely keep each other's heads from going completely under as they slide under that thin line dividing Good from all injustice.

James Lee Burke is an American treasure; this prolific author amazes me with his talent for writing, imagination, and dedication to his art and his fans. He consistently turns in novels that feel like a passionate (and successful) attempt at a masterpiece, never a half-hearted called-in addition to a series. In my opinion, no one does it better or has kept this level of devotion stirring in me. As a reader, I feel lucky to have a writer of such genius, writing so beautifully, creative mysteries that keep me absorbed and still wanting more. I am often so mesmerized by the beauty of his sentences that I have to remember to follow the storyline -- and that is not hyperbole. Kirkus said it perfectly: *another 15 rounds of high-fatality crime, alcohol-soaked ruminations, and heaven-storming prose.* It's like reading a modern day Faulkner writing the character of this Cajun super-hero.

And Will Patton! I have to repeat myself -- this is perfect synergy. Will is phenomenal as Robicheaux; an over-used cliche, but it is what it is. I agree with the great reviews already here and suggest that if you aren't yet familiar with this author, you have some of the best reading you can do still ahead of you.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Burke, Robicheaux and Patton: nothing better!!!

Having read/listened/loved every Robicheaux novel written, I was eager and excited to once again be transported by the singularly exceptional characters, Louisiana language, culture and historical storyline that stays consistent throughout them all in an exciting journey; picking up where the last adventure left off and leaving me wanting to keep on reading and reading more. Mr. Burke has a unique perspective and writing style that Will Patton brings to life like no one else could. If, you don't know Dave Robicheaux, my advice is to start reading from the beginning and you too will feel compelled to just keep riding along on a grand adventure.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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James Lee Burke's best ever

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

If you've ever read and enjoyed a book by James Lee Burke, run to buy this one. It's his best ever.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clete and Dave - especially as read by Will Patton.

What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

Patton's ability to create so many easily distinguished characters using only his gifted voice and his sense of timing - once again bring Clete, Dave, and a dozen other characters to life. His ability to create believable South Louisiana characters - both from New Orleans and from Bayou Country - is astounding. No native could do it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

It doesn't need a tag line.

Any additional comments?

I'm getting ready to begin again at the beginning.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

I will be chewing on this book for some time. Kept my interest Through out. wow

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A good continuation, revisiting old friends

If you're this far into the series you don't need to hear about the plot or who is who. All your old friends are here and they all do what you expect of them. This book didn't really advance any of the big overall themes all that much, but it continued them in a fond way. It was as well read as always. I have no real complaints, but it did feel like a "middle" book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great book.

I love to hear Will Patten read James Lee Burke's novels about Louisiana . I am a big fan of James Lee Burke.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Very Disappointing

Not my favorite Robicheaux audible. The story lagged,Will Patton had varying audio levels so I was constantly adjusting my volume on. headphones Did Tony Nine Ball really need to talk so loudly? I love Burke and Patton combo, just not this one.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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James Lee Burke

The master of the "thinking man's novel". No one does better and no one delivers it like Will Patton.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful