Helping the Fontenot family of sharecroppers from being forced away from their longtime home, detective Dave Robicheaux discovers a link between the eviction and the murder of a New Orleans fixer's girlfriend. Reprint. Tour. PW.
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James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of thirty previous novels and two collections of short stories, including such New York Times bestsellers as The Glass Rainbow, Swan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Last Car to Elysian Fields, and Rain Gods. He lives in Missoula, Montana.From Booklist:
Like a Cajun fiddler who won't let go of the last plaintive notes in a slow waltz, James Lee Burke seems able to sustain indefinitely the fever pitch of melancholia that drives his Dave Robicheaux mysteries. Wherever on-again, off-again cop Dave turns in his New Iberia, Louisiana, home, he's surrounded by the past--its slow-moving, wisteria-blooming glories and its slavery-induced horrors--but, more and more, it's the present he can't escape, the ever-encroaching floodwaters of modernity, bringing with them the drug dealers, the land developers, the dirty politicians, and the right-wing crazies, all looking to displace the memory of what was with the nightmare of what is. The battle continues here, as Dave becomes involved in the struggle of the Fontenots, descendants of black sharecroppers, to keep the land they've lived on for more than a century and which a mysterious right-wing group seems to covet. Swirling around the action is the enigmatic figure of Sonny Boy Marsallus, former soldier of fortune turned avenging angel, hunted by both mobsters and right-wingers. To Dave, Sonny is a stand-up guy who "proved to the rest of us that you could live with the full-tilt boogie in your heart." But Sonny is dead, maybe, and Dave is drifting without moorings, wondering if "history might not be waiting to have its way with all of us." It's amazing that Burke manages to keep playing this same gut-wrenching tune without its beginning to sound like fingernails on a blackboard, but every time our ears start to hurt, he finds a new way to bend the same note, and we're hooked again. Bill Ott
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