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Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) [Paperback]

James Lee Burke
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Jun 1996 Dave Robicheaux Mysteries
Dave Robicheaux is trying to put a life of violence and crime behind him, leaving homocide to run a boat-rental business in Louisiana's bayou country, but when a two-engine crashes in the Gulf, he is drawn into a chilling and terrifying investigation.

Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (13 Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099574810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099574811
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,870,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, many featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He won the Edgar Award in 1998 for Cimarron Rose, while Black Cherry Blues won the Edgar in 1990 and Sunset Limited was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger in 1998. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.

Product Description


HEAVEN'S PRISONERS-book Elmore Leonard Author of "Pronto" Burke tells a story in a style all his own: language that's alive, electric; he's a master at setting mood, laying in atmosphere, all with quirky, raunchy dialogue that's a delight. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

New to Orion, the second Dave Robicheaux novel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
I WAS JUST OFF Southwest Pass, between Pecan and Marsh islands, with the green, whitecapping water of the Gulf Stream to the south and the long, flat expanse of the Louisiana coastline behind me-which is really not a coastline at all but instead a huge wetlands area of sawgrass, dead cypress strung with wisps of moss, and a maze of canals and bayous that are choked with Japanese water lilies whose purple flowers audibly pop in the morning and whose root systems can wind around your propeller shaft like cable wire. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Heaven's Prisoners is the second book in the Dave Robicheaux series. Following his departure from the New Orleans Police Department he sets up home with his wife Annie in the swamp and bayoux country of the New Iberia of his childhood.
One day whilst out fishing in the gulf he witnesses a plane crash which heralds the start of a tragic series of events.
Dave explores the darkest corners of his soul as he battles with his alcoholism and tries to conclude some business with an old school friend Bubba Rocque.
This book is an important link into the future stories and introduces some of the key characters including his daughter Alafair and Batiste the paid hand at Dave's boat and bait shop.
Not the best of the series but an emotional and revealing insight into the complexities and dichotomy of Dave's character. An introduction to the Dave's world in southern Louisiana as we later come to know it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The return of Robicheaux 6 April 2001
By A Customer
With Heaven's Prisoners, James Lee Burke delivers an excellent sequel to The Neon Rain and ensures the success of his fictional detective, Dave Robicheaux.
The plot centres around the crash of a light aircraft into the Gulf, and it's passengers, both dead and alive.
What differentiates this book from the morass of dull "Thriller-by-numbers" is not only the plot, but also the creation of a truly lasting central character and the delightful and thorough description of the book's setting.
In Dave Robicheaux, James Lee Burke has created possibly the finest fictional detective of modern times. In my opinion, only Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus is worthy of comparison to Robicheaux. Both Robicheaux and Rebus are deeply flawed men, deemed under-achievers by their peers, haunted by personal demons, yet great believers in truth and justice, but not necessarily their respective judicial systems. The reader cannot help but be drawn to Robicheaux as Burke cleverly engenders feelings of sympathy and compassion for his character by subjecting him to some quite horrific twists of plot and fate.
Burke's literary talents are also exhibited by his portrayal of Southern USA and it's inhabitants. His love of this troubled part of the USA is apparent in every word as he transports the reader to the bayous and bars of the South with a detail again reminiscent of Rankin's Edinburgh.
A great novel by any standards, Heaven's Prisoners depicts good and evil, not in black and white, but in myriad shares of grey which is infinitely more satisfying. Devotees of great crime fiction could do no better than to discover James Lee Burke and Dave Robicheaux.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unbeatable for atmospheric writing 10 Aug 2011
Please get a list of all dave robichaux books ---currently 13--- & apart from the first you are in for a real treat. His ability to conjure up the sounds -sights- & indeed smells of the deep south is awesome-must go and have some fried shrimps with my po-boy sandwich !!!
chris marsland
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cliched But Riveting 7 Jan 2010
By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE
Given the clichés it employs this novel should be absolutely appalling.

The main character, Dave Robicheaux, has every quality you might expect from detective in this type of thriller. He is a recovering alcoholic, a Vietnam veteran, a good guy who defies authority and will cut corners when he needs to, but is fundamentally a decent man. Naturally he has relationship difficulties and is haunted by his personal demons.

In spite of all this, Heaven's Prisoners is an excellent novel. The pilot has many twists and turns but whilst it is convoluted, it never stretches the reader's credulity. Robicheaux battles to discover the truth behind a plane crash and not only does he have to take on the bad guys but he also faces obstruction from the authorities.

The real reason all of this works is the quality of Burke's writing. He creates believable characters. He portrays the setting with descriptions that give the reader the feeling that he can not only see but also hear and smell the surroundings. Above all he has a natural story teller's gift and this novel not only maintains the reader's interest but also engages him emotionally.

This is the first of this series I have read but I look forward to the rest and cannot recommend this highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 10 Aug 2009
I discovered James Lee Burke while on holidays earlier this year and I have now bought several of his books and I found this particular book very hard to put down and I can thoroughly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story without a boring page. 21 July 1999
By A Customer
For lovers of crime novels, you should ask yourself why you haven't read any of Burke's novels before, and if you are tempted this time, I assure you it won't be the last. There is a series of Burke novels with this character (Dave Robicheaux) and many more besides without. You could keep yourself happy for months on Burke's novels alone. This may be one of his best and therefore a good starting point, but "The Neon Rain" was his first Robicheaux book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start 18 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amazing description and characters. Genius. Can't wait to read the next 19 or so Dave en crew in the series...........
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dave Robicheaux - how the character is shaped 21 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Our Louisiana detective brought out of temporary calm "civilian" life by some traumatic experiences. Back into action with a vengeance - literally. Introducing the fictional version of Dave's adopted daughter Alifair. This sets the tone and style for much that follows in succeeding books. The atmosphere and scenery of southern Louisiana is lovingly described. Robicheaux is one of the great fictional detective heroes. Once you've read this - you're hooked!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars heaven's prisoners
Another brilliant book by JLB. Unputdownable. Looking forward to the next instalment, will download something later today for tonight's bedtime reading!
Published 20 days ago by Anniechan
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading
I love these books by James Lee Burke they are excellent and this book enthralls from beginning to end enjoy!
Published 10 months ago by susan boddington
5.0 out of 5 stars Another epic
James Lee Buried writing is such that you feel they you are living the life. It's not a novel its a work of art.
Published 10 months ago by Mr M D HOLLAND
5.0 out of 5 stars As per usual.
James Lee Burke's Robichaux books have become my main read as of late. This is as good as all the others I have read. Thank you Mr Burke for giving me so much pleasure. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Chasler3321190
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavens Prisoners.
My husband enjoyed this book, it was ok. but nothing special, he felt that it was more loke a short story.
Published 17 months ago by Bi jim
4.0 out of 5 stars A long and rich crime story
This is the second book by James Lee Burke that I've read (Cimarron Rose was my first). This has a similar style and while it was enjoyable I think that probably all his books have... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ransen Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavens Prisoners
One of Burkes earlier novels and just as good as all of the others.

A great story that takes you into the deep south and really keeps your interest.
Published on 5 July 2012 by Brian Sculliom
4.0 out of 5 stars another good Robicheaux novel
Being new to James Lee Burke, I am trying to read all the Robicheaux books in order, so I can learn how the main character unfolds. Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by Pat
4.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Second Instalment in the Robicheaux Series
"Heaven's Prisoners," (1988), is the second installment in the American author James Lee Burke's New York Times bestselling Dave Robicheaux series. Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2010 by Stephanie De Pue
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