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Lucas Smothers, nineteen and from the wrong end of town, has been arrested for the rape and murder of a local girl. His lawyer Billy Bob Holland is convinced of Lucas's innocence but proving it means unearthing the truth from a seething mass of deceit and corruption. A corruption endemic in the way it can be only in a gossipy small town where everybody knows everybody else's business. Billy Bob's relationship with Lucas's family is not an easy one years back he was a close friend of Mrs Smothers, too close according to her husband Vernon. And when Lucas overhears gruesome tales of serial murder from a neighbouring cell in the local lock up, the waters are muddied even further and Lucas himself looks like a candidate for an untimely death.
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Promotional Information

All James Lee Burke's Phoenix paperbacks are now in the same stunning livery James Lee Burke has won the CWA/Macallan Gold Dagger once and the Edgar Award twice His novels have sold over 350,000 copies in paperback alone 'Still the greatest, bar none ... there's nothing currently on show to match, let alone better, Burke's latest' LITERARY REVIEW 'James Lee Burke could not write badly if he tried...brilliant' EVENING STANDARD 'He writes explosively about crime and elegiacally about America. And he does so with style and passion enough to turn admirers into addicts' LITERARY REVIEW 'This superb crime novel shows Burke to be at the height of his powers' SUNDAY TIMES

About the Author

James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, including twelve featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.

Reviews

When it comes to literate, pungently characterised American crime writing, James Lee Burke has few peers. * Daily Express * One of the finest American writers. * Guardian * His lyrical prose, his deep understanding of what makes people behave as they do, and his control of plot and pace are masterly. * Sunday Telegraph * The king of Southern noir. * Daily Mirror * There are not many crime writers about whom one might invoke the name of Zola for comparison, but Burke is very much in that territory. His stamping ground is the Gulf coast, and one of the great strengths of his work has always been the atmospheric background of New Orleans and the bayous. His big, baggy novels are always about much more than the mechanics of the detective plot; his real subject, like the French master, is the human condition, seen in every situation of society. * Independent * Richly deserves to be described now as one of the finest crime writers America has ever produced. * Daily Mail * A gorgeous prose stylist. * Stephen King * James Lee Burke is the heavyweight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed. * Michael Connelly *

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