A Novel

Book - 2018
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Baker & Taylor
Struggling with PTSD, alcoholism and wrenching loss, Dave Robicheaux discovers that he may have committed a homicide he is investigating and endeavors to clear his name and make sense of the killing. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Creole Belle.

& Taylor

While investigating a homicide, Dave Robicheaux, who is struggling with PTSD, alcoholism, and the loss of his wife, suspects he may have been the killer and endeavors to clear his name and make sense of the killing.

Simon and Schuster
New York Times Bestseller

James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.


Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America: this nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2018
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501176845
Branch Call Number: M BURKE 2018
Characteristics: 447 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 12, 2018

This novel is the best of the Robicheaux books, and at 21 novels so far, that is high praise indeed. The protagonist lives in the twilight between good and evil, with an appreciation of all of us who don't see the real evil, only a manifestation of it. Robicheaux fights the good fight, all the while fighting the good and evil in his own soul. So much of the story resides in the fever dreams that haunt and give clarity to Streak's life.

If you read this only for the plot, you are missing the greater part of James Lee Burke's true genius. He excels in descriptions of the Bayou and its people that provide atmosphere to the story. It is so finely crafted that despite its lack of pretention, his works should be considered as true literature, not stuck in a genre. His observations about human nature are spot on. He distills the essence of The Serenity Prayer down to two words, and despite the main character's foibles and melancholia, he always presents a hope for humanity, even if he has a hard time buying it for himself.

lindab1111 Mar 03, 2018

James Lee Burke is a master of crime fiction. The plots are complex, engrossing and not clichéd. Dave and Clete, the 2 main characters are flawed, intense and womderfully human. It is sometimes difficult to tell who is the most vile villain in his books. Serial killings and the search for justice take Dave and Clete into the heart of New Orleans. The book did not have a tidy conclusion and the twisted threads of the story made it impossible to predict the outcome. Love that Burke can write about wonderful heartbreaking characters and some complex but loathsome characters with such skill.

Feb 21, 2018

Not an easy character to like but perhaps the best medium to showcase the American Gulag we call Louisiana. The only place I have ever lived I truly disliked because of the deeply ingrained corruption and hate I felt among some of the native folk. Angola is a blight on the universe and should quite simply be erased from existence. The people of the bayous are from another world and another time.

Jan 31, 2018

ROBICHEAUX is the 21st novel in James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series. Dave is getting older and haunted by all sorts of things, including his wartime experiences, alcohol abuse, and current cases. His mental anguish weaves through another great Burke novel along with the most dysfunctional collection of characters I can recall seeing together, and the story taking taking place, as usual, in a world far apart from that most of us know. Burke does a great job of weaving together a complex, yet exciting story. The book also has his usual pithy social and philosophical comments sprinkled in, and that reflect both ancient wisdom and current social trends. He even inserts a possibly very flawed person as a political candidate who is caught up in the story line as suspect or savior (in the political sense). We are told in the book's epilogue that this person becomes a US Senator - which leaves open the hint of a 22nd Robicheaux novel perhaps in the works. Burke is one of the great novelists of our time. Great read.

Jan 16, 2018

what does the pop-up forbidden mean?

Jan 09, 2018

No- he is still living- and in fact has some book recommendations in the latest "Week" magazine

Jan 04, 2018

didn't Burke die a few years ago? if so, the title card should reflect that important fact. if not, my bad.


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