In the summer of 1958, Dave Robicheaux and his half-brother Jimmie are just out of high school. Jimmie and Dave get work with an oil company, laying out rubber cables in the bays and mosquito-infested swamps all along the Louisiana-Texas coastline. They spend their off time at Galveston Island, fishing at night on the jetties, the future kept ...
In the summer of 1958, Dave Robicheaux and his half-brother Jimmie are just out of high school. Jimmie and Dave get work with an oil company, laying out rubber cables in the bays and mosquito-infested swamps all along the Louisiana-Texas coastline. They spend their off time at Galveston Island, fishing at night on the jetties, the future kept safely at bay, the past drifting off somewhere behind them. But on the Fourth of July, change approaches in the form of Ida Durbin, a sweet-faced young woman with a lovely voice and a mandolin. Jimmie falls instantly in love with her. But Ida's not free to love - she's a prostitute, in hock to a brutal man called Kale, who won't let her go. Jimmie agrees to meet Ida at the bus depot, ready for the road to Mexico. But Ida never shows. Dave and Jimmie want to believe she skipped town, but they know, deep down, that Ida Durbin never got to leave. That was many years ago - before Dave Robicheaux began his long odyssey through bars and drunk tanks and skin joints of every stripe. Before the Philippines and Vietnam.Now, an older, well-worn Dave walks into Baptist Hospital to visit a man called Troy Bordelon, who wants to free himself of a dark secret before he dies. A bully and a sadist, he has a lot to confess to - but he chooses to talk about a young girl, a prostitute who he glimpsed briefly as a kid, bloodied and beaten, tied to a chair in his uncle's house. Dave realises he can't let the past go. Ida's killers are still out there. So he begins his journey into the past - back to the summer of 1958 and a girl called Ida Durbin.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-06-06 Superb writing and a throbbing pace lift two-time Edgar-winner Burke's powerful, many-layered 14th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2003's Last Car to Elysian Fields), which involves venal and arrogant members of a wealthy family that can trace its lineage to fifth-century France as well as the machinations of the New Orleans mafia. A conversation between Robicheaux and a dying childhood friend about Ida Durbin, a young prostitute that Robicheaux's half-brother, Jimmie, loved and lost in the late 1950s, sets the ex-homicide detective on a path that eventually leads to several gruesome killings and his near downfall. Unemployed, his wife dead, his daughter in college, Robicheaux rejoins the New Iberia, La., sheriff's department at the urging of Sheriff Helen Soileau, who needs an extra hand as the murders mount. While the tendrils of the sometimes rambling plot unfold, Robicheaux and his impulsive former police partner, PI Clete Purcell, seek retribution for injustices caused by a wide range of corrupt villains. Burke masterfully combines landscape and memory in a violent, complex story peopled by sharply defined characters who inhabit a lush, sensual, almost mythological world. Agent, Philip G. Spitzer. (July 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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