8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This was my first James Lee Burke book but it certainly won't be my last! This is a writer who has been personally recommended to me by the equally great John Connolly and Greg on the book stall on Eastleigh market (the man knows his stuff!). I wish I'd acted on their advice a lot sooner now! This book was fantastic! It has everything that makes a book great. The characters are all louder than life and yet beautifully conflicted. The settings are so well described you can almost feel the humidity. Most importantly, the story is completely involving and keeps you turning the pages at a furious rate.
Dave Robicheaux is an immensely likable hero; a man who's faced down his many demons and come out of it stronger and with a pretty clear sense of what's acceptable in the battle against evil. Plus he's as tough as nails and not adverse to smacking a bad guy around the head with a shovel!
The novel also features that other staple of a great thriller, a formidable and ultra creepy villain in the shape of new wave Nazi Will Bulchalter. A man so insidiously evil you'll need to read on in the hope that he's going to get his come uppance!
I won't detail the plot because a synopsis can be read above, but, safe to say, there's not an ounce of flab on it (and if there was it'd be a beautifully written ounce of flab!).
In short, this is a fantastic book and should be read by any self respecting crime fan!
Other authors I enjoy are Michael Connolly, Jeffrey Deaver, Nelson Demille, Robert Crais and, in my opinion the only real competition to Burke's wonderfully lyrical prose, John Connolly.
If you like those guys, then you're going to love this!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2002
Another outing for Burke's ex NOPD homicide detective Dave Robicheaux and partner Clete Purcell. This time, the pair are battling Neo Nazis who are obsessed by a WWII submarine which sank of the coast of Louisiana. As usual, there is plenty of tough talk and brutal behaviour from Dave and Clete (The Bobsey Twins), as they serve justice in their own uncompromising way. This wasn't my favourite of the series (try "In the Electric Mist..." first), but it is entertaining, and Burke's descriptions of Louisiana are as evocative as ever.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2015
The story of a Nazi submarine being found off the shores of Louisiana 70 years after the Second World War may sound fanciful, but the key plot device in this pacey thriller is for real. As I was reading I thought: 'That's crazy.' Yet it rung a bell and I looked up a news story of an actual U-boat - it described how people had been searching for the sub for many years.
Anyway, JLB has a remarkable knack for taking real life and weaving it into his fiction (I especially enjoyed The Tin Roof Blowdown about Katrina and New Orleans in this respect). Neo Nazis soon turn up in the hunt for the sub in Dixie Jam City and Detective Dave Robicheaux gets mixed up (often in a very painful way). The fascists and various morally ambiguous local businessmen are up against each other - or perhaps in cahoots. It's DDR's job to unravel the mess.
One quote from Clete Purcell, the detective's hard-living buddy, stood out: "Life in there [he's referring to parts of New Orleans] is about as important as water breaking out the bottom of a paper bag. The city's going to hell, mon." It's an example of JLB's consistent use of his fiction to make social comment... and of course his gift for colourful, colloquial language.
Dixie City Jam is another good one...
on 5 July 2015
Robcheaux novels never fail to hit the target for me. Well written and the stories hang together beautifully. So evocative of the steamy south, and the ever present dangers that surround our hero. Some feel that the series is a little samey, but I don't care, I look forward to the next in line, which I am reading in order.