[[ PDF / Epub ]] ★ The New Iberia Blues Author James Lee Burke – Stevemiddleton.info
The Louisiana bayou in all its musty, shaded glory is almost another character in Burke s Robicheaux series, a crime fiction series that is deeply character driven, dark, gloomy, haunted Dreams, fantasies, and twisted pasts merge with current cruel truths here Everyone in this whether a midget gunman, Hollywood royalty, or a picture show detective has a checkered mysterious past Everyone here is haunted by the ghosts of their past And, Robicheaux is like a drowning man struggling to stay above the surface weighted down by the horrors of his past from his Vietnam days to the wives who passed on to the victims he can t fix or find justice for You don t necessarily know if the violated corpses are the product of the freaks from Hollywoodland come to visit their sick hell on the wilderness or from vengeful ones escaped from prison or vowing to get even for all the troubles in their world or from someone else corrupted by their inner demons The novel is not a fast paced shoot em up action Jackson tale but it s one of despair, distrust, and desolation An entire world is brought to life in these pages and it s a joy to read this tale What a terrific addition to a series Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review. You know what you re going to get when you pick up a JLB novel the story will be gutsy and the language ornate the plot will be convoluted and the thread of the piece sometimes hard to follow But one thing you can be sure of is that if you have any appreciation at all of his gift then day you pick up his next book will be a good day a very good day.I ve been following the adventures of his Louisiana based cop Dave Robicheaux for years and I ve grown to love him, with all his foibles, and his side kick Clete Purcell too To me they re the best pairing in crime fiction Hell, they re the best pairing in any brand of fiction Dave is getting on in years now, but he still wears his detective s badge with pride He s not wedded to rules in the same way some cops are but his heart is in the right place and his determination to track down the bad guys is unrivalled Clete his ex partner from his NOPD days doesn t work to any rules at all, and has been described by the author as the nemesis of authority figures and those who sought power over others a one man demolition derby.In this episode a young woman is found impaled on a cross, floating in the sea off Cypremort Point The location is close to the sometime home of an old friend of Dave s Desmond Cormier is a local boy made good, a movie maker who made his fortune in Hollywood He s returned to Southern Louisiana to make a film and his whole entourage is in town Is Desmond or a man who is staying with him in any way linked to this strange, ritualistic death Dave s daughter, Alafair, has gotten wrapped up in the film making endeavour and is spending time with one of the producers, much to Dave s chagrin Throw in an escaped prisoner running loose and the return of one of JLB s legendary bad men, Smiley Wimple, and you have all the ingredients for a pretty wild romp And as the body count mounts Dave, with Clete in tow, desperately tries to make sense of it all and track down the killer s.This book is replete with dreamlike encounters with characters from Dave s past and throughout we get the the clear message that he is beginning to see the coming of the end of days as he ruminates and broods over the ruination of the land he loves, the ostentatious displays of wealth he sees around him and the general greed of today Above all it s his perception of the loss of Acadiana the physical and cultural changes to the French Louisiana region his mother and father inhabited and which he was born into that distresses him most As always with this writer, the prose is top drawer and the characterisation is brilliantly done In my view he writes the best literary crime fiction out there I enjoy his books than any other author I can name Long may he keep writing and turning out novels of this quality.My sincere thanks to Simon Schuster and NetGalley for providing an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Shocking Death Of A Young Woman Leads Detective Dave Robicheaux Into The Dark Corners Of Hollywood, The Mafia, And The Backwoods Of Louisiana In This New York Times Bestselling Mystery From Modern Master Publishers Weekly James Lee Burke Detective Dave Robicheaux S World Isn T Filled With Too Many Happy Stories, But Desmond Cormier S Rags To Riches Tale Is Certainly One Of Them Robicheaux First Met Cormier On The Streets Of New Orleans, When The Young, Undersized Boy Had Foolish Dreams Of Becoming A Hollywood DirectorTwenty Five Years Later, When Robicheaux Knocks On Cormier S Door, It Isn T To Congratulate Him On His Golden Globe And Academy Award Nominations Robicheaux Has Discovered The Body Of A Young Woman Who S Been Crucified, Wearing Only A Small Chain On Her Ankle She Disappeared Near Cormier S Cyrpemort Point Estate, And Robicheaux, Along With Young Deputy, Sean McClain, Is Looking For Answers Neither Cormier Nor His Enigmatic Actor Friend Antoine Butterworth Are Saying Much, But Robicheaux Knows BetterAs Always, Clete Purcel And Davie S Daughter, Alafair, Have Robicheaux S Back Clete Witnesses The Escape Of Texas Inmate, Hugo Tillinger, Who May Hold The Key To Robicheaux S Case As They Wade Further Into The Investigation, They End Up In The Crosshairs Of The Mob, The Deranged Chester Wimple, And The Dark Ghosts Robicheaux Has Been Running From For Years Ultimately, It S Up To Robicheaux To Stop Them All, But He Ll Have To Summon A Light He S Never Seen Or Felt To Save Himself, And Those He LovesStephen King Hailed New York Times Bestselling Author James Lee Burke As Good As He Ever Was With The New Iberia Blues, Burke Proves That He Just Keeps Getting Better Booklist, Starred Review , And Is One Of A Small Handful Of Elite Suspense Writers Whose Work Transcends The Genre, Making The Leap Into Capital L Literature BookPage SMILEY IS BACK As those of us who have followed the Robicheaux novels know, whenever Smiley appears, bloodshed occurs One of the creepiest, original, multifaceted characters in fiction, it is so much better if he considers you his friend Or if you re a child, he loves children and ice cream.For that matter Dave himself is a complicated character A man who as s police officer has seen the worst of humanity, but who is also loyal, protective and at times noble He carries his past around like a ball and chain, in fact at times he actually can see, or believes he can see people from the past One never reads these novels expecting a straight line that goes from A to B No, these novels like Dave s thoughts take many twists, turns and side roads as the reader is a sounding board for many of his ruminations I wondered if human nature and our susceptibility to evil would ever change, or if we would continue in our war against the earth until we disolved all our landmass and our structures and ourselves and returned the planet to the watery blue orb it once was Now, I haven t told you much about this particular storys plot, and I don t intend to reveal much There are bad people, dead bodies, tarot cards, a man convicted wrongly of arson, prostitutes, bad cops on the take, and a few mafia guys thrown in Yet,it all pulls together, in one way or another In fact I can t or won t ever rate a novel this author writes anything less than four stars, I am too in awe of his talent So this is without apology a very biased review. 3.5 starsIn this 22nd book in the Dave Robicheaux series, the detective is after a brutal serial killer The book can be read as a standalone, but familiarity with the characters is a plus When people report hearing screams on the bayou near Cypremort Point in New Iberia, Louisiana, Sheriff s Detective Dave Robicheaux and Deputy Sean McClain drive over to investigate One of the homes in the area belongs to award winning Hollywood director Desmond Cormier who s in town to film a movie and the detectives go there first..to see if he heard anything Dave knew Desmond a quarter century ago, when the director was a poor New Orleans schoolboy with big dreams and the filmmaker invites the detectives into his home On Desmond s patio they meet Antoine Butterworth, an arrogant Hollywood tagalong who s exercising in the near nude Dave takes an instant dislike to Antoine, who he considers a sociopath and pervert, and Dave s opinion of Desmond drops a few notches as well These feelings get even stronger when Dave spots a body in the bayou, and Desmond and Antoine claim to see nothing.The corpse, secured to a large wooden cross, turns out to be Lucinda Arceneaux a preacher s daughter who helps get wrongly convicted men out of prison Lucinda s death is followed by a series of vicious murders, each one connected to an abstruse symbol from the tarot The main suspect for the crimes is Hugo Tillinger, a convicted killer who broke out of a Texas prison Hugo had been in contact with Lucinda..and was recently seen in New Iberia by Dave s friend Clete Purcel Hugo thinks the movie people will prove his innocence and make a documentary film about him Hugo isn t the only suspect however Other possible killers considered by Dave and his boss Sheriff Helen Soileau are a weird little assassin named Chester Smiley Wimple who looks like a huge maggot with red lips the financiers of Desmond s movie New Jersey mafiosos, Miami drug dealers, and Middle Eastern oil sheiks and people on the film crew.While Dave is investigating the killings he has a personal crisis brought on by the ugliness of the crimes his life as a lonely widower horrible memories of the Viet Nam War and the despoliation of southern Louisiana which has been ruined by greedy developers and corrupt politicians Dave is also at odds with his daughter Alafair, a law school graduate who writes novels and screenplays Alafair is working on Desmond s movie and hanging out with Lou Wexler a handsome, well built producer much older than herself Dave thinks all Hollywood people are bottom feeders and has an especially bad feeling about Wexler, who drives a red Lamborghini and flies in private planes Moreover, Dave disapproves of the age difference between Alafair and the producer All this turmoil ALMOST drives Dave a recovering alcoholic back to the bottle Dave has a few terrible weeks during which he obsesses constantly hangs out at a blues bar frequented by hookers experiences dry drunks, and does things he shouldn t Dave s attitude about Alafair and Wexler is ironic since Dave himself is infatuated with his new partner Bailey Ribbons a pretty woman at least 30 years his junior Dave tries to play it cool, but Bailey insists age isn t important and practically throws herself at him This is what I call male fantasy writing and I wish James Lee Burke had left it out Dave and his fellow cops continue to pursue the perp, sometimes with the help of Clete Purcel who s quick with his fists and his guns Of course the killer is eventually identified and the motive revealed, but it doesn t ring true to me, and the connection with the tarot is especially obscure The book has a variety of memorable characters, including a poor black prostitute whose pimp is a dirty cop a black blues singer with a small child corrupt deputies in the Sheriff s Department Why oh why does Helen keep hiring these people a Miami hitman Dave s pets Mon Tee Coon a raccoon and Snuggs a cat and As always in this series, the author s atmospheric depiction of southern Louisiana the flora, fauna, swamps, tides, sunrises, sunsets, clouds, rain, food, and so on is superb..and I felt like I could see and smell the region I actually went to school there shout out to Cajun restaurants The plot of the book is engaging, but is almost overshadowed by Dave s continuous introspection and poor behavior I hope Dave gets over himself in future books Still, James Lee Burke is one of America s best mystery writers IMO and his novels are always worth reading Thanks to Netgalley, the author James Lee Burke and the publisher Simon and Schuster for a copy of the book You can follow my reviews at A solid 4 stars.I first started reading James Lee Burke s books than 20 years ago My late father in law recommended his books to me, saying He writes the most vivid metaphors that I have ever read According to the author biography, he is now 82 years old He still has the gift of writing vivid metaphors that let the reader taste, smell and feel the swamps, bayous and everything else in Louisiana.This book has his main character, Detective Dave Robicheaux trying to solve a series of ritualistic murders Clete Purcell, his friend and former police partner, is along for the ride.Some quotes Evil has an odor It s a presence that consumes its host We deny it because we don t have an acceptable explanation for it It smells like decay inside living tissue Unless you are familiar with the nature of Southern white trash, you will not understand the following They are a genetically produced breed whose commonality is a state of mind and not related to the social class to which they belong Economics has nothing to do with their origins or their behavior You cannot change them They glory in violence and cruelty and brag on their ignorance, and would have no problem manning the ovens at Auschwitz I We had slipped into Indian summer without being aware of it The sky was as hard and blue as porcelain, the oak leaves red and gold and clicking like crickets when they rolled across the lawn in the wind Thanks to Simon Schuster for sending me this eARC through NetGalley. 4.5 stars For good or bad, my preoccupation with death and the past had defined much of my life, and a long time ago I had made my separate peace with the world and abandoned any claim on reason or normalcy or the golden mean Waylon Jennings said it many years ago I ve always been crazy but it s kept me from going insane World weary New Iberia Police Detective Dave Robicheaux returns in James Lee Burke s 22nd book in this series, The New Iberia Blues Dave is visiting local boy turned film wunderkind Desmond Cormier at his waterfront estate, looking at the water through binoculars, when Dave thinks he sees a body tied to a giant cross, floating on the waves.As Dave is than prone to seeing things that don t exist, like the ghosts of soldiers he fought with and those he killed in Vietnam, he asks Cormier and his odd friend, Antoine Butterworth, what they see Both claim to see nothing, yet Dave was right there was a woman floating on the waves, and she has been crucified to a wooden cross.The woman had apparently worked for The Innocence Project, but was recently interested in a career in film Cormier and Butterworth both claim never to have seen her before, but how did she wind up in the water near his house Meanwhile, Clete Purcel, Dave s loyal yet troubled best friend and former partner, witnessed an escaped death row inmate from Texas running for shelter, and no one is quite sure whether he is guilty of the horrible crimes of which he is accused, or if he happens to be the victim of his overzealous nature.The crucified woman s murder is just the tip of the iceberg in a series of increasingly ritualistic, grotesque murders which rock Dave and his colleagues They don t know whether these crimes are the act of a deviant killer who believes in the occult, or if they re simply being staged to appear that way And as Dave s suspicion of Cormier and Butterworth and their movie making colleagues grows, he and his colleagues also run afoul of the mob, corrupt cops within their own parish, and a deranged man with a strange honor system It s than enough to make Dave question everything he believes in, including his hard fought sobriety, and puts at risk everyone and everything he loves.James Lee Burke is one of the finest living writers today I have been reading his books for 30 years now, and not only is his storytelling top notch, but few match his talent for imagery and setting as well When I first started reading his books, he described New Orleans so vividly that when I made my first trip there, I was amazed at how spot on what I pictured in my mind was to the reality I saw Here s just an example of his poetic imagery The sunrise was striped with pink and purple clouds, the live oaks a deep green after the rain, the bayou high above the banks, the lily pads and elephant ears rolling with the current It was a study in the mercurial nature of light and shadow and the way they form and re create the external world second by second with no guidance than a puff of wind Burke s books are brooding and atmospheric, meditations on good and evil and man s penchant for both , and the demons that haunt us They re also stories about fierce love, friendship, and loyalty, and how sometimes our need for self preservation leads us down paths we d be better off avoiding The New Iberia Blues is trademark Burke full of twists and turns, tremendously thought provoking and dense with philosophical and psychological insight, and a sometimes troubling look at the horrible things people do to one another, sometimes for no reason at all.These books aren t as fast paced as typical crime novels, but they re just so well written I enjoy the time to marvel at Burke s language and the complexity of his flawed characters Reading this series for as long as I have always feels like reuniting with old yet troubled friends, and I am so grateful to have discovered Burke all those years ago.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.You can follow me on Instagram at 3.5 starsIMHO opinion I think it is about time that Dave Robicheaux retires I know from previous novels that he is a Vietnam veteran and based on what I have read it sounds like he served early in the conflict In this story I learned that he saw the movie My Darling Clementine in 1946 and graduated from college in 1960 He must be about 80 years old now and is still an active duty detective His boss has been calling him Pops for years Dave is supposed to be a recovering alcoholic I am not an expert but it is my understanding that in recovery you are supposed to avoid people, places, and things Dave does not avoid any of these How many times has he been shot now He sees ghosts and even those closest to him worry about him.These gripes aside James Lee Burke is a very talented author His prose is lush and vivid The characters are fascinating When you read a Dave Robicheaux novel you are transported to the bayous of Louisiana You can hear the music and taste the foods That is how good the writing is In this outing there is of course Dave Robicheaux with all of his character flaws He is joined by his best friend and former partner, Clete Purcel who has plenty of his own flaws And Smiley is back Readers of earlier novels may remember Smiley A very creepy character He loves children, ice cream, and Wonder Woman Everyone else well you d better hope you are his friend And then there are the Hollywood characters in town to film a movie and bringing mayhem with them.Desmond Cormier is an acclaimed director in town to film a movie He is also someone Dave knew from when he was a child in New Orleans filled with dreams Now Dave and his partner, Deputy Sean McClain, are knocking on his door in response to reported screams on the bayou near Cypremort Point Dave is talking with Desmond when he looks through a telescope on the deck and sees a woman nailed to a cross floating in the bayou She has only been dead for a few hours but this is only the first in a series of seemingly ritualistic murders.As always Dave Robicheaux seems to be battling an idyllic past with the demonic present The casinos and the mob, the corporations, and the Hollywood types Each taking a piece and destroying Robicheaux s beloved Louisiana But at the end we are left with hope that Dave, with his partner Clete and daughter Alafair, will always triumph In the battle of good vs evil there is still hope. I speak my mind because it hurts too much to bite my tongue.Much like ol Detective Dave Robicheaux and his die hard friend, P.I Clete Purcel, who have always led their lives in that manner in New Iberia They ve been joined at the hip since they were beat cops in New Orleans The panoramic views just get swampier like the bottom feeders who roll in with satchels filled with crime and mayhem Murder pops up on the daily menu.Some talented authors bring the Thanksgiving feast between the pages But, hear me now, James Lee Burke brings the feast with an abundance of all the trimmings Savory, spicy, and especially tangy Each phrase wraps around like tendrils focused on finding that featherbed in your mind The descriptors are vibrant and the dialogue slams down a clenched fist on a hard surface Such good, good stuff.Burke creates a bit of heaviness in the Robicheaux scenario this time We feel Dave s angst as the years and the mind spiders are catching up with him Although he still hits the ground running, this long term good vs evil has taken its toll But there seems to be an everlasting flame in both Dave and Clete that keeps their finger on the pulse of the underbelly in Bayou Teche So many years behind the wheel allows you to sniff out the scent of the deadly from afar.Dave visits a former New Iberia down in the mouth kid who made it big in Hollywood as an award winning director and film maker Desmond Cormier has brought along a sleezy actor and friend in the likes of Antoine Butterworth They have set up filming not far from the spacious home of Desmond While looking through a telescope on Desmond s patio, Dave spots something floating in the bayou It turns out to be a dead woman strapped to a wooden cross with a Maltese cross around her ankle Needless to say, the stakes are gonna be high in this one.The New Iberia Blues is a deliciously tangled web with even Dave s impressive daughter, Alafair, in the mix She s a lawyer turned screenplay writer and has been hired by Desmond Cormier for his latest film This could be a big break for her Dave s not having the same kind of thoughts about now.Tie in an escaped convict, a new partner, tarot cards, the Mob, a very short pale psychopath, and plenty of gris gris floating with bad fortune on the bayouand you ve got a stellar offering from one of the best fiction writers in the businessJames Lee Burke Be still my heart. It has little too much navel gazing for me There s a tarot obsessed serial killer and Smiley is back Creepy, tormented, little guy, but somehow likable I want him to know that I m his friend.