'The crime book of the year is unquestionably James Lee Burke's HEARTWOOD ...there is no better crime writing coming out of America' EVENING STANDARD Deaf Smith, Texas, a small town with small town problems until the local boy made good Earl Deitrich decides that he isn't prepared to share his kind of good fortune with anybody else. Wilbur ...
'The crime book of the year is unquestionably James Lee Burke's HEARTWOOD ...there is no better crime writing coming out of America' EVENING STANDARD Deaf Smith, Texas, a small town with small town problems until the local boy made good Earl Deitrich decides that he isn't prepared to share his kind of good fortune with anybody else. Wilbur Pickett is a retired rodeo rider with big dreams. Dreams of a secure future for himself and his native American wife, a blind woman who sees more than a blind woman should thanks to her ancient heritage. When Wilbur happens upon a parcel of land with black gold waiting for the taking he also happens on Deitrich and a whole bunch of violent problems. Only lawyer Billy Bob Holland is prepared to stand up for Wilbur, to stand against the juggernaut that is Deitrich and his corrupting influence.
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Publishers Weekly, 1999-06-21 Burke's newer series hero, Billy Bob Holland (Cimarron Rose, 1997), could have been separated at birth from Burke's long-time protagonist, ex-New Orleans cop Dave Robicheaux. Although Holland is a lawyer in the rolling hill country north of Austin, Tex., he shares Robicheaux's sensibilities: he's brutally honest, haunted by his past, kind to children, protective of the underdog, a lover of the beautiful country in which he lives. Most of Burke's villains are arrogant millionaires; here, the dark heart belongs to Earl Deitrich from Houston, who spread his money around the town of Deaf Smith and married the prettiest girl, Peggy Jean Murphy, Holland's high-school sweetheart. Deitrich's pervasive evil extends from threatening Kippy Jo and Wilbur Pickett into ceding him the oil-rich Wyoming property Kippy Jo inherited from her grandfather, to arranging the false arrest of a business victim, to arson and murder in an alliance with a San Antonio Chicano gang. Meanwhile, Deitrich's insolent son Jeff elopes with the sister of the gang's leader; their breakup places Holland's own, illegitimate son in peril. Despite a circuitous, often confusing plot, the novel compels for its lush portrayal of exquisite countryside; its beautifully composed, mood-setting scenes that pace the action; and the leisurely introductions that give dimension to the many eccentric characters. At one point, a Deitrich victim sums up a consistent Burke theme: "Law punishes a poor man. Rich man don't have to account." Holland agrees, but succeeds in turning the tables in this rewarding novel. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.) FYI: Cimarron Rose won the 1997 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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