Tuesday, September 18, 2012

James Lee Burke writes another excellent story, reasserting his literary belief that wealthy individuals often take advantage of the less fortunate and government agencies do little to help.

Dave Robicheaux is recovering from a near fatal gunshot from action in a prior story.

He's been given morphine for the pain and as an alcoholic, he's having trouble with the medication. One night, a young woman named Tee Jolie visits and brings an i-Pod so he can listen to music. She tells him he's pregnant from a man who isn't divorced.

The next morning, Dave wan't sure if the events of the evening were a dream but the i-Pod is beside his bed. When he's well enough to leave, he learns that Tee Jolie has disappeared. Dave moves his recuperation up to high speed and is soon back to work, full time.

A professional killer comes to New Iberia. Her name is Gretchen Howowitz. As certain people threaten Dave's friend, Clete Purcel, Gretchen takes reprisal and Clete comes to feel that she is his daughter from a woman he hasn't seen in years. Gretchen doesn't admit this and the reader doesn't know for sure if she is the killer.

The story of why Gretchen is in town and Dave's search for Tee Jolie combine as a wealthy group of individuals seem to be behind a number of deaths and perhaps there is a connection to oil or art.

Burke's writing is always imaginative and eloquently descriptive. For example, "There was a Japanese tulip tree by the edge of the water...wind blew and a shower of pink and lavender petals on top of the water that slid in with the tide."

Dave and Clete are still haunted from events in Vietnam and the mere mention of a Vietnamese woman's name sets Clete off. Then we learn that this is the name of a woman he loved in Vietnam and was the only woman he really loved. These emotions seemed to make Clete a bigger person who could carry a love for so many years.

I was also entertained by the excellent characters and noted that as Burke ages, so do his characters. Not only are Dave and Clete older but two other major characters in the story are grandfathers.

A novel not to miss. It adds to Burke's legend as one of our greatest writers.


Dorothy Borders said...

Good review. I used to read every Robicheaux novel as soon as it came out, but I kind of lost interest after a while. I think they began to take a more violent turn that didn't really appeal to me. But maybe it's time I give them a try again.

Unknown said...

They do seem to have the same theme but this provided an interesting story.

sir jorge said...

Sounds interesting enough, I'll have to check it out, thanks for the review

Katy S said...

As a person who takes morphine for chronic pain, I can affirm that drinking is a complete no-no. I'll have a beer every couple of weeks, but I can no longer "tie one on"... I'm glad that the book made that obvious. This book is in a series I've been wanting to read; just another set of books I'll need immortality to get to, I'm afraid.

hgh said...

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Carol M said...

I've never read one of his stories. I've heard they are good.This sounds like a good place to start.

Unknown said...

Thank everyone for their comments.
I did someting new on this book.
After reading the story and enjoying the author's skill with words and descriptions and story telling, I got the book on tape and am now listening to the story.
It's an excellent addition to reading the book by itself.

catslady said...

This is a new author for me but it does sound interesting.

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