Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"...wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will reach the clouds? Lay first the foundation in humility." St. Augustus
Dave Robicheaux is working on three cases that he believes are somehow connected. The first, is the death of a young co-ed who is found dead of an apparent suicide but the facts do not add up. Then there is black vagrant, thought to be a victim of a hit and run. Not many people care for the loss of such an unfortunate person but to Dave, it is a matter of justice.
Back in the '80's Dave witnessed a friend who was gunned down in an armored car holdup. Dave had a problem with alcohol in those days and was unable to stop the holdup or save his friend's life.
Now, a young woman comes to town and is passing around money that has the color mark that indicates that the bills may have been stolen. The woman turns out to be the daughter of Dave's old friend. She and a group of unusual associates may be after the men who killed her father and now is an owner in a casino in New Orleans.
In addition to working with an agent from the FBI on the case involving money stolen from an armored car, there is a racial dispute between a black man who is known for selling drugs and two white college students. Later, when something tragic happens to one of the college students, the black man becomes the ambitious prosecutor's main suspect. However, Dave thinks that the man may have been set up by someone not wanting the student to be able to provide information about them.
James Lee Burke is a master and the reader is glued to the action as Dave tries to sort these misdeeds out. All of this is happening as New Orleans is on the verge of the hurricane Katrina and the devastation the storm created in the area. The approaching storm and the unsolved crimes keep the reader glued to the dramatic action as it unfolds.
Dave Robicheaux, with his sense of justice, his faith and his unstable temper is one of the great characters in literature. Together with his loyal but flawed side-kick Clete Purcel, these two characters leave an imprint that is unmatched.