America's finest crime writer returns to Louisiana with his Great creation, Detective Dave Robicheaux. When Dave Robicheaux discovers that Megan Flynn and her brother Cisco are back in town, his well honed instinct for trouble is aroused. Drawn as ever to those whom he feels need protection, he remembers how their father, a known communist, had ...
America's finest crime writer returns to Louisiana with his Great creation, Detective Dave Robicheaux. When Dave Robicheaux discovers that Megan Flynn and her brother Cisco are back in town, his well honed instinct for trouble is aroused. Drawn as ever to those whom he feels need protection, he remembers how their father, a known communist, had been killed by the Klan and the perpetrator never brought to justice. Although both children had gone on to achieve success in their careers - Megans photographs of the casualties of war have graced the covers of Time Magazine, and CISCO is a wealthy film director - Robicheaux perceiives that their veneer of surface respectability disguises murky depths. Then 2 boys are brutally murdered after allegedly raping a black girl, and an eye witness describes 1 of the murderers as Harpo Scraggs, a Government informant at the time if Jack Flynn's murder. Harpo's re-emergence, together with Megan and Cisco, stirs within Robicheaux a deep and irreversible need to resolve the past.In this complex and deeply compelling novel, James Lee Burke weaves a web of plots and subplots involving characters as rich and as perfectly observed as any in his previous novels. This is a novel about what it truly means to be black or white, to be politically disposable or indispensable. Dense with passion and compassion, Burke's writing simply gets better and better.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-04-27 After stepping into stand-alone territory with Cimmaron Rose (1997), Burke choreographs a masterful return to the lush and brooding world of volatile New Iberia Sheriff's Deputy Dave Robicheaux (Cadillac Jukebox, 1996). This tale's strength lies in breathtaking, moody descriptive passages and incisive vignettes that set time, place and character. Burke's major themes, that the past is key to the present and that money buys power, pervade this mystery. The narrative, with more twists and bounces than a fish fighting a hook, rises from the violent, unsolved murder 40 years ago of union organizer Jack Flynn. The story encompasses at least eight disparate but interlocking subplots: the crooked money behind a movie directed by Flynn's son Cisco; the hold that ex-con Swede Boxleiter has on Cisco's photojournalist sister, Megan; Willie "Cool Breeze" Broussard's theft of a mob warehouse; his wife Ida's suicide 20 years ago; the shooting of two white brothers who raped a black woman; alcoholic Lisa Terrebonne's haunted childhood; her wealthy, arrogant father's ties to Harpo Scruggs, a vicious murderer; the post-Civil War killing by freed slaves of a Terrebonne servant. Hired assassins, snitches, lawmen and FBI agents weave through the novel. Dave and his partner Detective Helen Soileau find the connections, but Dave knows that in the ongoing class war, the worst criminals wield too much influence to pay for their crimes. In rich, dense prose, Burke conjures up bizarre, believable characters who inhabit vivid, spellbinding scenes in a multifaceted, engrossing plot. $300,000 ad/promo; author tour. (June)
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