Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana’

CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke is 528 pages in hardcover format. This is #19 in a Dave Robicheaux Novel.

Brief Description:

Languishing in a recovery unit on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Dave Robicheaux is fighting an enemy more insidious than the one who put a bullet in his back a month earlier in a shootout on Bayou Teche. The morphine meant to dull his pain is steadily gnawing away at his resolve, playing tricks on his mind, and luring him back into the addict mentality that once threatened to destroy his life and family.

With the soporific Indian summer air wafting through the louvered shutters of his hospital room, and the demons fighting for space in his head, Dave can’t be sure whether his latest visitor is flesh and blood or a spectral reminder of his Louisiana youth. Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman with a troubled past, glides to his bedside and leaves him with an iPod that plays the old country blues song “My Creole Belle.”

What Dave doesn’t know is that Tee Jolie disappeared weeks ago, and no one believes she reappeared to comfort an old man with a bullet wound. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the vivid memory of Tee Jolie, and when he learns that her sister has turned up dead inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf, he believes that putting the evils of the past to rest is more urgent than ever before.

Meanwhile, an oil spill in the Gulf brings back intense feelings for Dave of losing his father to a rig explosion years ago. As the oil companies continue to risk human lives in pursuit of wealth and power, Dave begins to see links to the Melton sisters, even when no one else shares his suspicions. Dave’s expartner Clete Purcel helps him search for Tee Jolie, though Clete fears for his friend’s mental health and safety. But Clete has his own troubles, too; he’s discovered an illegitimate daughter who may be working as a contract killer — and may have set her sights on someone he loves.

Creole Belle is a resurrection story for the ages, with James Lee Burke at the peak of his masterful career and Dave Robicheaux facing his most intense and personal battle yet, against the known and unknown forces that corrupt and destroy even the best of men.

My Review:

James Lee Burke does not disappoint you with his books.  They are so dark in some aspects, but then humorous in others.  There are many characters in this book and the majority of them are evil people.  In fact they seem to be so evil you would like to harm them yourself, just so they can’t hurt another individual.

I certainly like Gretchen being introduced.  She is definitely a chip off the old block.  She may not be bright and shiny like Alafair, but she does have feelings that are deep and she would defend the good from bad, just like Clete.  She seems to have no fear and I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, we will have to wait and see how it plays out in the future books.

The last 2 chapters of the book were so intense it was hard to read.  I wanted to read with my eyes closed as the pictures were not good ones.  But I think this makes for an excellent story because you could feel the emotions of both Clete and Dave and what they had been through in their lives.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars because it was so good I didn’t want to stop reading.  I felt real emotion for the characters and hated the bad guys.

 

 

THE GLASS RAINBOW by James Lee Burke is 560 pages in paperback form. This is #18 in The David Robicheaux Series.

Brief Description:

The brutal murders of seven young women in a neighboring parish pull Robicheaux from his New Iberia home into a case with all the telltale signs of a serial killer. Except that one of the victims, a high school honors student, doesn’t fit. Investigating with his friend Clete Purcel, Robicheaux confronts Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer — but shocking violence sends the already blood-soaked case spiraling out of control. And with his daughter, Alafair, in love with a man with dangerous ties to a once prominent Louisiana family, every dark fear Robicheaux harbors for himself and his daughter is on the precipice of becoming reality.

My Review:

I love the literary feel to these books.  You sometimes need a dictionary to see figure out the meaning of some of the words, but that doesn’t bother me at all.  Some of the writing is very poetic too.  This one had his daughter in it too throughout the book.  It gives you the sense of what a real family is about and how each family member deals with the other.  How sometimes a parent only want the best for their child and will do anything to keep them safe even though the child doesn’t think they need that.

These books are definitely about good and evil and how the evil is sometimes very hard to understand and why or how they have become so evil.  I like this aspect of the book and wish more authors would do this.

After finishing this one, I had to start the next one as James Lee Burke really left you hanging at the end.  I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  It was well written as always and I do so enjoy all the conversations Dave has with Helen and others.

 

 

WHITE DOVES AR MORNING by James Lee Burke is 305 pages in hardback form. This would be considered historical fiction and was written about the Civil War period.

 

Brief description:

861. Two young Southerners, friends despite their differing political views and backgrounds, enlist in the 18th Louisiana regiment of the Confederate Army: Robert Perry, wealthy and privileged, and irreverent Willie Burke, the son of Irish immigrants, face the trials of battle and find redemption in the love of a passionate and committed abolitionist, Abigail Downing, and in the courageous struggle of Flower Jamison, a beautiful slave. Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters, and penetrating a landscape of shattering Civil War bloodshed as few novels have, this epic from an American literary giant endows readers with the gift of experiencing the past through new eyes, while its timeless prose style–at once luminous and brutal–ensures the legacy of this bloodiest of conflicts will never be lost.
I loved this book and would recommend if you like to read about the Civil War period and like a little grit.  I feel that this was a true depiction of the life and times of all the people in that period.  Not just the Southerners, but the Northerners as well.  I felt moved by some of the words in this book.  To me he writes with words of a poet and very literary in nature.  It is even quite possible you may need a dictionary at times, but if read in the context can surely figure it out.
I have read most of the books that James Lee Burke has written and I think this is one of my favorites.  Very poignant, and left me with a feeling of woe.  I know from reading this book that these were not easy times and everyone worked for what they owned, even those that came from affluent parents.  Because it appears everything was taken from them and they literally had to start over.  A very interesting period in our history.  I am appalled at the conditions of that time and am glad I live in a more tolerant period.
I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  I feel that it is one of the best books I have read so far this year.