A masterwork of detective fiction--the most suspenseful, thematically dazzling accomplishment in the Robicheaux series. While Hollywood shoots a Civil War movie in the New Iberia parish, Robicheaux tries to contain local dissension about the way the movie company's money is making its way into the community--and gets busy with the real business of ...
A masterwork of detective fiction--the most suspenseful, thematically dazzling accomplishment in the Robicheaux series. While Hollywood shoots a Civil War movie in the New Iberia parish, Robicheaux tries to contain local dissension about the way the movie company's money is making its way into the community--and gets busy with the real business of murder.
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Another great book by James Burke. Slice of life in the bayou country of Louisiana.
Dec 10, 2008
Great Title, Good Book
In Confederate Dead, bayou detective Dave Robicheaux takes on a mob-financed movie production and a string of butchered prostitutes. Steeped in swampy mystery, Confederate Dead is a very competent detective story-- even if it doesn?t quite live up to its title.
Instead of the inspired lunacy suggested by the title, we have a fairly typical police procedural that includes a short-sighted, politically motivated boss, a charming criminal lots of colorful low-lifes and, of course, the damaged but valiant tough guy detective. The twist, in this case, is that the detective occasionally talks to a dead confederate general. Frankly, as the story progressed, I wanted to know more about the ghost and less about the case.
Still if you?re a fan of hard-boiled detective stories (and not just buying it for the title), I?d give this my full recommendation.
Publishers Weekly, 1993-01-25 In the sixth Dave Robicheaux mystery (following A Stained White Radiance ), Burke explores new narrative territory with qualified success, leading his Cajun detective into a series of dreamlike encounters with a troop of Confederate soldiers under Gen. John Bell Hood. Soon after the severely mutilated body of a young woman is found in a ditch outside the southern Louisiana town of New Iberia, deputy sheriff Robicheaux busts Elrod Sykes, star of a Hollywood movie being filmed nearby, for drunk driving. Sykes says a skeleton wrapped in chains was unearthed during filming in a marsh where, in 1957, Robicheaux witnessed--but remained silent about--the killing of a chained black man by two white men. As the belatedly guilt-stricken detective tries to identify that victim, another young woman is brutally killed. Then, Sykes's co-star is shot to death, perhaps having been mistaken for Robicheaux, who gradually connects the recent murders to Louisiana mob-kingpin Baby Feet Balboni, a key backer of the movie. With the help of FBI agent Rosie Gomez and the intermittent, often elliptical advice of the ghostly Gen. Hood, Robicheaux nails the psycho--but not before the man has kidnapped the detective's young daughter Alafair. Burke's evocative prose is well suited to the misty bayou scenes in which past and present mingle, but the links between the two eras are weak, and some of the contemporary characters lack definition. 75,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB selections; author tour. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, 1994-06-20 This is the fifth mystery featuring Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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