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The Tin Roof Blowdown Paperback – 26 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; This is a First Edition of This Edition edition (26 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753823160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753823163
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,802 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

Review

This crime writer wears Faulkner's mantle now (Boyd Tonkin INDEPENDENT)

Brutal, lyrical and brilliant (GUARDIAN)

James Lee Burke is one of our finest writers of crime fiction (DEADLY PLEASURES)

Book Description

A powerful evocation of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating effects on New Orleans.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Hobson on 21 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This novel is the latest in the Dave Robicheaux series. Robicheaux is Burkes flawed hero; an ex-alcoholic cop and a man so basically fair and decent that he almost represents another age. A violent man too, when pushed.

The Tin Roof Blowdown takes place against a backdrop of Hurrican Katrina and the destruction it caused to New Orleans. Called from his local district of New Iberia to help out in beseiged Big Sleazy, Robicheaux gets caught up in the dissapearance of a Catholic Priest, a random shooting that turns out to be anything but and the theft of money and jewels from a member of the mob. Burke weaves a story so involving and creates characters that you care for so much that it was difficult for me not to read this book in one sitting.

Burke does not deal in black and white but in the struggle between light and dark (and the grey areas in between) that wages in all of us. His wrongdoers are often people who have made poor choices or ordinary people caught up in circumstances that they feel unable to control.

Dave and Cletus (his ex-partner and the sort of man we'd all love to have at our side when our backs are against the wall)are characters so real in my mind that I can think of very few authors capable of drawing them so vividly. This book is a triumph and although it is part of a series of books about Dave Robicheaux I would not let that stop you reading it. Read it and I guarrantee you'll want to start at the begining and read them all; it really is that good.

James Lee Burke is one of America's finest authors and I would urge you to check him out. Not only is he an excellent storyteller but as a social commentator on the basic human condition and the immense greed and wickedness that thrives in the 21st Century, he has no peers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Murphy on 13 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I fell in love with the writing of James Lee Burke when I came across "Cimarron Rose". At last, I thought, a crime writer who dares to use an adjective here and there, even, gasp, adverbs. Burke has an expressive flow to his prose which carries you along, effortlessly, as though transported on a current of warm air. This makes his work ideally suited to settings in the southern states - the fictional town of Cimarron Rose is located in Texas - where the heat, dust and occasional hurricane provide the ideal backdrop for his laid back style.

For those paying attention the word "hurricanes" was a clue. "The Tin Roof Blowdown" is set in New Orleans at the time of That hurricane. Dave Robicheaux, hero of many previous Burke novels, witnesses the destruction of his city. Then he sees it destroyed a second time, by another blow down. Then a third, by government inaction and the profiteers who descend like vultures on the corpse. Robicheaux's city dies three times, just like his comrades during a fire fight in Vietnam long ago. And there are other deaths too. Two looters are shot in a wealthy suburb and Robicheaux must find the killer, his investigation bringing his own family under threat as powerful men seek to conceal exactly what the looters had stolen.

It's a lot simpler than it sounds. Burke isn't a fan of tight plotting and is quite capable of shamelessly introducing a new suspect two thirds of the way into the tale if he feels the action is starting to flag. He's not averse to the occasional bout of improbability too - how many rapists are stupid enough to leave the stuffed toy carried by their last victim in the back of their van, along with the rope used to bind the victim?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 31 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is my first James Lee Burke novel but unlike some of the other reviewers here I didn't find it a problem not knowing the rest of the series. While this certainly fits the crime fiction mould, it spills over the edges so much that it's almost a crime itself to confine it to such a narrow genre. It's dark and gritty and consistently disturbing, and the subtexts include Dante's Inferno (which gets name checked in the book) as well as the more apocalyptic parts of the bible: particularly the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Burke gives us a vision of a kind of hell, but one which is shot through with rare but precious rays of light.

I found this an uncomfortable book to read (in the same way that I found Munich an uncomfortable and difficult film to watch) and had to read something lighter in between. But that in itself is the mark of a writer who is able to transcend the boundaries of crime fiction and who has, here, created something far more morally and emotionally unsettling than I would usually expect to find in a crime/thriller novel. Most of all Burke lays out a coherent moral vision which might be rooted in the bible but which is completely at home in C21st America.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Elaine Bull on 13 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Once again Burke delivers!
We all saw the images of the misery caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans now we can read the thoughts of a man who saw it all.
Once again marvellous characters - some good some bad - ain't we all!
The reader can actually smell the distruction and putrefaction of a society brought to its knees by nature and the failures of the powers that be. Here nature wins - both the elements and the innate "nature" of man!
A book which is very hard to put down but one which you hope never ends!
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