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Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) [Paperback]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Oct 2002 Dave Robicheaux Mysteries
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLING AUTHOR JAMES LEE BURKE THE NEON RAIN Detective Dave Robicheaux has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with killers and hustlers, with police brass, and with the bottle. Lost without his wife's love, Robicheaux's haunted soul mirrors the intensity and dusky mystery of New Orleans' French Quarter -- the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he becomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou. Thrust into the world of drug lords and arms smugglers, Robicheaux must face down a subterranean criminal world and come to terms with his own bruised heart in order to survive.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (21 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743449207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743449205
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,800,694 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


"The Washington Post Book World" Dialogue that's so right, so real, so true to the personality you'd swear the guys were right there in the room with you; and a setting...that's so vivid you can feel the heaviness in the air, see the heat lightning, and taste the sauce piquante. I love this book!

Book Description

The outstanding first book in the ever-popular Dave Robicheaux series. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE EVENING SKY WAS STREAKED WITH PURPLE, THE color of torn plums, and a light rain had started to fall when I came to the end of the blacktop road that cut through twenty miles of thick, almost impenetrable scrub oak and pine and stopped at the front gate of Angola penitentiary. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Dave Robicheaux first appears as one of the 'Bobbsey Twins from Homicide' with his difficult and unpredictable partner Clete Purcell.
As usual the prose is beautiful and captures the essence of New Orleans and the desperate characters within it.
This introduction to Dave documents his decline and fall from the New Orleans Police Department as well as the wagon. Bleak and in some respects more violent than later novels. Dave is very much alone in this tale, emotionally isolated in his boat house on Lake Ponchartrain and socially excluded from his colleagues at the police station following his suspension from duty. His relationship with his partner Clete, his only close friend is also strained to the limits as they both undergo life changing events in their own lives. Its not the best of the Robicheaux stories but will put a lot of the later plots into perspective and adds vital components of Dave's early life and character.
A must for all Dave Robicheaux and James Lee Burke fans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a great series 23 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read this when it was first published by Vintage (in the late eighties or early nineties !!!) in the UK. It's a great book, hard hitting & with an interesting main character in Dave Robicheaux. Burke writes really well - great dialogue & vivid descriptions, especially of landscape & weather. And the plot is good as well !!

Took me over 10 years to read the second book in the series (if memory serves I think it was because James Ellroy had dismissed Burkes poetic writing style & this had put me off)but Heavens Prisoners is just as good & am now on the fifth in the series. Looking forward to the rest, as well. Recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just great writing 12 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Having only just discovered crime novels, as a bit of 'light relief' from heavier fair, I have to say this was superb...simply great writing. Wonderfully atmospheric, full of local colour and great idiomatic language, balls out energy and narrative commitment. I definitely rate it as unputdownable and even better than P Cornwell.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dave Robicheaux # 1 8 April 2011
By Michael Finn TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Neon rain is the first of the books by James Lee Burke to feature Dave Robicheaux. He's still employed as a New Orleans homicide detective and by the time the book opens he's already managed to trigger events that will explode in his face with ever more violent consequences. Robicheaux is an odd character. A Cajun Viet Nam vet driven to alcoholism but now dry for some years. Lauded as an outstanding detective by his superiors but seen here to be more versed in the arts of violence and intimidation. He's a master of the N'awlins' jive-talk and colloquialisms, so much so many of the natives don't know what the hell he just said, though thankfully Burke never even attempts to annotate the accent. Intelligent and widely read, anecdotes and philosophical opinions flow from him like water - even sometimes bandied with the low-lifes and cut-throats that dog his world. His relationship with Annie displays the gentler side of his nature, to a degree patronizing, but never really becomes as real as the violence around him; it's a movie romance, accelerated to match the screen's pace and caught in dream-like glimpses. He's like the extra cog from another machine, jammed into the works and striking sparks from every other character he encounters. He does wax-poetic from time to time, often about the natural world beyond the fringes of the human one. He lives on a house boat, listens to classic jazz and eats industrial quantities of shrimp. It does all sort of work though, even if the character of our hero is quite hard to pin down. Burke writes well, his own voice is there from time to time, hiding among Dave's thoughts, and there may be an element of the author setting up the character for the long running series that is to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read! 16 May 2008
By Big Bertha TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being new to James Lee Burkes novels I started with this one as the first in the Dave Robicheaux series. (Much better than accidentially coming across one from the middle of the series and then having to go back to the beginning - which I've done plenty of times in the past!)

I was drawn in almost immediately as Robicheaux was summoned to see a guy on death row who warned him of a contract hit against him.
His investigation of a dead girls body in the bayou swamp whilst at the same time trying to work out who's targeting him makes for great reading.

Enjoyed this one and will read more by this author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Masterpiece 27 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Neon Rain provides the template for all the subsequent Robicheaux novels. In this book, rejected by countless publishers before its eventual appearance, Lee Burke sets out his stall of atmospheric, hypnotic prose combined with a semi-surreal insight into Louisiana's underbelly. This book could only have been written by someone who has hit bottom himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic. 11 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Part of my life, Clete Purcel, with his porkpie hat 'n Dave Robicheaux; as Chandlerite as they come, fifty years on.
Love the houseboat idea, 'n that American writers write real stuff, not cutsy non-critical stuff y' might get in my Island of "putting on the Green Jersey, 'n all the 'yesmanism'- the opposite of Philip Marlowe 'n his descendents.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Gritty crime novel based in New Orleans 10 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoy books based in New Orleans so was disappointed I didn't enjoy this book more. Some of Burke's phrases and descriptions were exquisite but overall I found his writing style heavy going and laboured. I felt it had been too worked upon and contrived. Added to the bleak outlook of the characters I found the read an "uphill battle."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Second time round
If you like cop thrillers but feel they lack depth then try this for size. I first read this ten years ago and The Neon Rain was the first purchase on my Kindle this Christmas. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Commodore 64
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Never not finished a book but there is always a first time
This was it

Will not be returning to this author
Published 4 months ago by A. Cross
4.0 out of 5 stars my first Dave Robicheaux novel
but it won't be my last. A little macho but well written

Really hate the minimum words per review rule.
Published 5 months ago by Lyn Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Great story - very emotive and a great introduction to Dave Robicheaux. Could hardly put it down. Will be getting the next one!
Published 7 months ago by N. K. Hollings
5.0 out of 5 stars An intro to the Robicheaux novels
Brilliant writing by JLB,
If you've never read one of his books you're missing out , one of the best american crime writers I've ever read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr Optimum
5.0 out of 5 stars American way of life
If this is a true reflection of how local law and order is administered I would stay away or risk being shot by a law enforces who can seemingly kill at will.
Published 9 months ago by Maurice Howse
5.0 out of 5 stars Robicheaux Rocks
Hey, it's only rock 'n' roll in the Big Sleazy. Luckily I love rock 'n' roll, coffee & beignets & Jim Beam with a Jax on the side. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Lily Black
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Everything written by James Lee Burke is well worth a read and you will never be disappointed. Comes highly recommended
Published 14 months ago by Ms Elizabeth M Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars The Neon Rain
Great protagonist. I will read further Dave Robicheaux novels.. THe author cracks up the suspense and then lessens it to make you resent any interruptions to your reading
Published 14 months ago by Yvonne Aston
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the heat
James Lee Burke transports his readers straight to the steamy heat of Louisiana with his beautifully painted pictures of the area surrounding New Orleans. Read more
Published 15 months ago by MIKE MORLEY
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