One of five early Jame Lee Burke titles new to Orion - alongside Black Cherry Blues, A Morning for Flamingos, Heaven's Prisoners and Neon Rain Great series look Tremendous sales for all his titles - he consistently sells over 50,000 copies in paperback Burke has won the Gold Dagger once (Sunset Limited) and the Edgar Award twice (for Black Cherry Blues and Cimarron Rose) 'Critics are running out of superlatives to describe the writing of James Lee Burke' Observer 'American crime fiction has no finer prose stylist than James Lee Burke' Los Angeles Times
James Lee Burke is the author of twenty-two previous novels, including twelve featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.
The investigation of a bullet shot through the windowpane of Welton Sonnier's home brings New Iberia, Louisiana, sheriff's deputy Dave Robicheaux (In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/1/93) back into contact with the Sonnier family (Welton, Lyle, and Drew), who, along with their abusive father, could have been the model for the dysfunctional family. As Dave investigates, he is drawn into their lives and begins to suspect that the father did not die in an explosion years ago, as everyone believes. Dave is also coping with his wife's lupus and threats made against his family because of his current case. Burke has once again written a perceptive, finely observed, and complex story, which is further enhanced by Mark Hammer's fine performance. Hammer, who has read other Burke titles for Recorded Books (e.g., Black Cherry Blues, Audio Reviews, LJ 3/15/93), has a voice that is ideally suited to the region and the dark nature of Burke's narrative. This title is sure to be relished by those who love a good story. Highly recommended for most libraries.-Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, N.C.
Sadistic villains and interior demons plague Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux as the murder of a local cop draws him into the painful conflicts of the Sonnier family, with whom he grew up near the bayous. Weldon Sonnier, an oil speculator perhaps involved with organized crime in New Orleans, is married to the sister of racist Louisiana politician Bobby Earl; Lyle Sonnier is a televangelist with a widely publicized gift of healing that antagonizes the detective, whose wife has lupus; Weldon and Lyle's sister, Drew, whom Robicheaux loved as a teenager, is New Iberia's liberal eccentric. Harshly abused as children, the Sonniers exert a strong pull on Robicheaux, whose desire to help pits him and his former New Orleans police department partner Cletus Purcel against southern Louisiana's fierce Mafia leader and his hired thugs, one of whom, Robicheaux observes, has a face with the ``moral depth and complexity of freshly poured cement.'' While attending AA meetings, trying to cope with both his response to his wife's illness and his moral rage at Earl's politicking, Robicheaux pursues killers through biker bars and unearths long-buried secrets in the Sonnier past. Burke ( A Morning for Flamingos ) resolves the complex case in a satisfying climax as Robicheaux comes to terms with social ills, the evil of individuals and his own helplessness to overcome them. $100,000 ad/promo. (Apr.)
James Lee Burke is the heavyweight champ, a great American novelist
whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed. *
Michael Connelly *
A gorgeous prose stylist. * Stephen King *
Richly deserves to be described now as one of the finest crime writers America has ever produced. * Daily Mail *
The gentle giant of US crime writers, Burke always ensures that his Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux grapples with hot topics as much as with his own inner demons. * i newspaper *
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 *
The king of Southern noir. * Daily Mirror *
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 *
One of the finest American writers. * Guardian *
When it comes to literate, pungently characterised American crime writing, James Lee Burke has few peers. * Daily Express *