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Robicheaux
Cover of Robicheaux
Robicheaux
A Novel
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James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.
DAVE ROBICHEAUX IS A HAUNTED MAN.

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

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.
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About the Author-
  • James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He's authored thirty-six novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    Popular Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux tangles with mighty mob boss Tony Nemo; celebrity author Levon Broussard, whose Hollywood profits intrigue Tony; and New Orleans golden boy Jimmy Nightengale, whom Tony wants to make a U.S. senator. From the two-time Edgar Award winner.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 27, 2017
    Burke (Light of the World) once again features Dave Robicheaux—detective, veteran, widower, father, alcoholic—in this enthralling yet grim novel of crime, hate, and tragedy. Robicheaux may be at home in New Iberia, La., but he’s not safe from suspicion and self-doubt when the man who killed his wife is murdered. Together with his best friend, PI Clete Purcell, Robicheaux seeks truth, no matter how incriminating, even as more bodies fall and mysteries twine together. The cast is Shakespearean in its variety: a demagogue, a novelist, the mob, good cops and bad, victims of hubris and hate, and ghosts aplenty. No one here is blameless amid white supremacy, bigotry, misogyny, child abuse, flourishing sex and drug trades, and deep socioeconomic inequity, and Robicheaux and Clete never shy away from confronting what they see as the world’s evils. But as the stakes get higher, the friends—who are more than happy to risk themselves—must decide what it will take to protect those they love and respect. Along the way, Burke investigates accusations of rape, corporate colonialism, and Southern nostalgia, not always without his own bias. The novel’s murders and lies—both committed with unsettling smiles—will captivate, start to finish.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2017
    Five years after his last case in far-off Montana (Light of the World, 2013), sometime sheriff's detective Dave Robicheaux returns to Iberia Parish, Louisiana, for another 15 rounds of high-fatality crime, alcohol-soaked ruminations, and heaven-storming prose.Jimmy Nightingale's silver-tongued charm may destine him for the Senate, but he's certainly mixing with some dark powers along the way, most notably his backer Fat Tony Nemo, who's made his bones in politics, porn, and drugs. As part owner of a financial company that's issued a reverse mortgage on the house owned by Dave's old buddy Clete Purcel, Tony ends up with a fistful of Clete's markers, squeezes him hard, and isn't impressed when Dave borrows money of his own to retire the debt. Jimmy himself seems invincible until he's accused of rape by Rowena Broussard, the painter and photographer whose husband is eccentric novelist Levon Broussard, whose Civil War fiction Tony would love to film. When Jimmy indignantly protests his innocence, Dave points out, "People do things when they're drunk that they would never do sober." And Dave should know, because he himself is suspected of getting blasted and killing T. J. Dartez, the truck driver who accidentally killed Molly, Dave's third wife. Listening to Clete talk about Kevin Penny, the abusive father who's run off after getting bailed out of jail, Dave little knows how deeply implicated Penny will be in the two other cases he's entangled in. Fans of Burke's fiction who recognize the familiar types he evokes so powerfully--the corrupt politician, the plausible mobster, the attractive but damaged woman, the bully who preys on the weak and helpless--eagerly await the arrival of another stock character, the crazy hired killer who'll purify the landscape as remorselessly as a flash fire, and immediately recognize him in the person of Chester "Smiley" Wimple, who takes it upon himself to kill everyone who needs killing and a few who maybe don't.Despite a plot and a cast of characters formulaic by Burke's standards (though wholly original for anyone else), the intimations of mortality that have hovered over this series for 30 years have never been sharper or sadder.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 5, 2018
    Voice actor Patton does not disappoint in his reading of Burke’s 21st novel featuring Dave Robicheaux, the deputy sheriff of New Iberia, La. Dave is coming to grips with his wife’s death in a car crash. When the driver responsible for the crash is murdered on the same night Dave drinks himself unconscious, he becomes the prime suspect. This is but one story line in a book filled with them, as well as a large cast, including a narcissistic golden boy who’s testing the political waters; a legendary novelist whose best book is being turned into a movie produced by a loathsome, dying mobster; and Dave’s novelist daughter, Alifair, who’s writing the screenplay. Then there’s Chester (“Call Me Smiley”) Wimple, a seemingly simpleminded hit man who’s effectively ridding Louisiana of its evildoers. Reader Patton’s honeyed Southern accent proves a perfect instrument for presenting narrator Dave’s poetic descriptions of bayou landscapes as well as Dave’s melancholy moods. The would-be politician speaks with the blissful confidence of the very wealthy, the novelist’s approach is drily above it all, and the mobster sounds hoarse and very ill. They all take a rear seat when it comes to Patton’s creative interpretation of Smiley—lisping, babyish, singsongy, and, when tested, chillingly homicidal. This is another winning performance from Patton. A Simon & Schuster hardcover.

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A Novel
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