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The Neon Rain [Paperback]

James Lee Burke
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 Jun 2005

Introducing the New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux.

Johnny Massina, a convicted murderer bound for the electric chair, has warned Dave Robicheaux that he's on somebody's hit list, and now the homicide detective is trying to discover just who that is before he ends up dead.

Meanwhile he has taken on the murder investigation of a young black girl found dead in the Bayou Swamp - a case no one seems keen for him to investigate. But Robicheaux persists and uncovers a web of corruption that some would kill to protect, leading him to a terrifying confrontation with the one horror he fears most of all.

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The Neon Rain + Black Cherry Blues + Heaven's Prisoners
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (16 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753820331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753820339
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,623 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! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The outstanding first book in the ever-popular Dave Robicheaux series.

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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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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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5 of 6 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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Cajun thriller 14 May 2009
By Officer Dibble VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Complex crime thriller based on Louisiana police Lieutenant Robicheaux who gets way out of his depth investigating gun-running to nasty regimes in South America. He seems to combat every type of villain imaginable in what is a highly violent,adult and morally ambivalent novel.

Gave a strong feeling of the people and place of Cajun Louisiana from a compelling opening scene on Death Row. The hero often agonises about the job's rights and wrongs before seeking solace in his slightly homespun Vietnam memories.

At times the whole world is against Robicheaux right up to Washington level leading to his ultimate, and unsatisfactory, decision to resign. It is a strong page turner and intro to a promising series but see if you too find the last few pages curiously flat?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story Masterfully Written.
I've read most of the books on the series , but not in any particular order. It was great to read about how it all began. I'm now reading book 2. Read more
Published 1 month ago by rettie777
5.0 out of 5 stars the introduction of Dave Robicheaux
Unfortunately I started in the middle of the Robicheaux series so it was good to go back to the beginning. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JOHN MURPHY
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic.
Part of my life, Clete Purcel, with his porkpie hat 'n Dave Robicheaux; as Chandlerite as they come, fifty years on. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mark O'Shea
2.0 out of 5 stars Gritty crime novel based in New Orleans
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... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diana J Febry
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 8 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 9 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 10 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 12 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 14 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 14 months ago by Maurice Howse
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