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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels began with this first hard-hitting entry in the series.

In The Neon Rain, Detective Robicheaux fishes a prostitute's corpse from a New Orleans bayou and finds that no one, not even the law, cares about a dead hooker.

More mayhem? Listen to more of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux thrillers.
©1987 James Lee Burke; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"With its fine local color and driving action, this novel is both chilling and first-rate entertainment." (Publishers Weekly)
"One of Burke's best." (New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


What a refreshing experience! This is a new author for me and I am delighted to have found him. The narrator is first rate. The only thing wrong was that it had to come to an end as all stories must.

  • Overall

Gripping story and masterful use of language.

The Neon Rain is the first audiobook I have listened to without having read the book first. I was completely caught up and fascinated by the story and the rich, almost operatic imagery James Lee Burke lays down to create the moods and colours of New Orleans at the end of the 20th century.
The narrator, Will Patton, delivers the work impeccably. The combination works flawlessly.
I am sure the book will be as gripping and dark on the page but listening to the story being read to me while lying in a darkened room was an intimate and often harrowing experience, redeemed by the basic decency of the main character and the talents of both artists.

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Bethlehem, PA, United States
  • 06-22-11

I May be Hooked on this Series

This was bought for a low price on special at Audible on a whim, mainly to listen to while driving my daughter back to New Orleans. This is a good detective story and in my non-literary opinion, extremely well-written. Mr. Burke uses eloquent prose. The reader is someone who I did not know by name but recognized quickly by voice. I did not like him too much in the movies he played in, but I think he does a superb job reading this novel. If you are familiar with Graham Greene spy novels, this book kind of reminded me of that tone. The heroes work in gray areas and are very introspective. You don't always reach the end of the story with a clear sense of winners or losers---like real life in most cases. This is not the last book of this series I'm going to read (my idealistic daughter does not consider audio books "reading", but it's that or nothing for me these days). I'd buy it again at the regular price.

  • Overall

It was a dark and stormy book.....

The narration was excellent, and I have to admit it was well written. But it was so dark - no "ups" of any kind, and very violent. Even the love interest part of the book was sad and depressing and I have to add that I found the violence and actions of the protagonist pretty far fetched for the outcome...............This writer and narrator have talent and if you like dark, gritty listens, this one is for you.....

  • Overall
  • Linda
  • Grand Island, Nebraska, United States
  • 05-31-11

Awesome book and expertly read by Will Patton

I enjoyed this audiobook ENORMOUSLY. The writing is engaging and colorful and I loved Will Patton's narration. I think I could listen to anything Will Patton reads- he does an excellent interpretation. I will be listening to the entire series.

  • Overall

Exellent story, excellently read.

For me, a great book sux if it is poorly read. A mediocre book comes alive if it is well read. In this case, a pretty good book is read very well indeed.

  • Overall

Firstclass writing!

Great characters, fascinating scenes and conversations, and good gritty story. Doesn't get much better than this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Diana
  • NORFOLK, VA, United States
  • 03-22-11


This was interesting enough, once I got into it I wanted to continue. Many twists and turns. OK for the price.

  • Overall
  • andrew
  • norfolk, VA, United States
  • 03-16-11

You won't be disappointed

Anything written by James Lee Burke will be, at the very least, great ... anything read by Will Patton, will be wonderfully entertaining ... they make a wonderful team!

  • Overall
  • Lloyd
  • Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 03-06-11

Book 3, Narrator 5

My first JLB book, not sure if I'm up for a 2nd. He writes well, but the story gets lost in his florid definitions. Everything's a simile, from the sweat on someone's brow to the sun setting over Lake Ponchartrain. Will Patton, though, is amazing. He does an incredible range of voices for each character, and I could see Dave Robicheaux or Captain Guidry standing in front of me, just from listening to him give them life. It's worth a credit for his performance alone.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful