The insides of all of them were black-green with sludge and mold, their exteriors spray-painted with code numbers to indicate they had already been searched for bodies. The petrochemical companies have cut roughly ten thousand miles of channels through the wetlands, allowing saline intrusion to poison and kill freshwater marsh areas from Plaquemines Parish to Sabine Pass. He is simply our best writer of fiction today. All while the storm turns the Big Easy into a lawless wasteland of apocalyptic proportions. Hence, when the evil mercenary with the seventh-degree black belt goes off to shoot one of them, he suddenly can Let me start by saying that this book epitomizes the reason I try to avoid reading series books. It's done in such a way, though, that the reader never loses track of what's going on.
But yet, the depth of Burke's anger at what happened in New Orleans, the failures and abandoment, certainly is well-grounded. Here is another superb piece of N'Awlins noir from James Lee Burke, one of the best mystery writers out there, period. James Lee Burke provides one of the most satisfying glimpses into a unique culture, dark practices, strange and unpronouceable foods, stirring music, a world dripping with booze, twisted by crime, and inhabited by impoverished people who live in the clutches of a culture that has produced mardigras, boudin, etoufee, and zydeco. And he knows their past - as dark and murky as a night on the Louisiana bayou. But as the specific murder case he pursues sinks into a moral quagmire linking all social strata — implicating upstanding insurance men, industrialists and clergy alongside petty thieves, Mob bosses, rapists, lone psychopaths and drug dealers — his own sanity, integrity and family come under mortal threat, triggering increasingly excessive violence to keep internal and external demons at bay. But, I think, in Burke's worldview, so is life -- convoluted and messy and with a lot of loose ends that don't quite get tied up. His writing is rich, gritty, often nastalgic and violent as our world can be.
Her body was dumped in the bayou bordering Purple Cane Road, and the cops who left her there are still on the job. Robicheax provides the voice for all those enraged by a government that is I could hardly watch the news coverage of Katrina. Robicheaux has many of the qualities that your usual pulp detective possesses, e. There are more, but you get the idea. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for in 1990 and in 1998.
The first portion of the book is good writing, though it's about subject matter not all will appreciate finding when looking for an entertaining detective story. This is the second Burke novel I've read, and I'm starting to really appreciate his style: passionately moral and teeth-grindingly realistic. Bill Ott I'm not at all sure I really got what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans until I read this book. As James Lee Burke's new novel, , begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. It is a work of profound historical value and importance. But that was before Katrina. In a singular style that defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina.
Tin Roof Blowdown takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans, and Burke's descriptions of the devastation of both the inhabitants and the city are graphic and disturbing. The gray, throat-gagging odor of decomposition permeated not only the air but everything we touched. These manic manoeuvres of splitting, denial and projection serve to fully implicate the respectable fractions of society colluding in processes which generate and nourish patterns of foul play, while insulating the untarnished detached self from both the seething mass of ignorance below and venal dissolution above. It is a stunning book, and a brilliant piece of Southern Gothic literature. In which case, as an allegory of the contortions of mainstream America avoiding recognition of its deep intrinsic culpability in the tragedy of New Orleans, perhaps The Tin Roof Blowdown is a minor masterpiece after all.
When he talks about that I wondered for a moment if it was way over the top, and then I realized in some very basic way I felt the same. He remembers well that Bush never came to visit the destruction but he does not remember that Bush offered to call in the national guard and was turned away by the governor or Louisiana. There are some fine, poetic passages and descriptions, and plenty of tough, terse dialogue that any writer would be proud to produce. He is going to need it because this time Dave himself, and his family, come under fire from some of these goons. But that's what I like about them. I applaud Burke for realizing that the story of Lousians is not a linear telling of history and present practices, or a before and after Katrina comparison, or painting a bleak picture of a subordinated people. I just had my skin stripped off the other day.
I have not read his other work, so it's hard to judge. This guy is supposed to be the ultimate evil in the book and he's actually a bit more on the sympathetic side. Soon several suspects, including an whose daughter may have been brutally by the men, and a whose house they raided, start emerging from the woodwork. When I bought the book, I was a bit reluctant, wondering how in the world he could take such haunting images as were created by the aftermath of that killer storm, and diminish them enough to allow us to focus on the foibles of his characters. The mess of characters doesn't get perfectly organized and explained by the end, but that didn't bother me too much. Trying to find a handle on them was impossible. Burke is a student of the human condition and really brings empathy to good guys and bad guys alike.
In the midst of it all is Robicheaux, doing his best to help regulate the post-Katrina madness, all the while on a dogged search for a pair of dangerous fugitives, a dope-addicted, fallen priest, and a vigilante insurance salesman who takes his family's protection too far. Right-wing talk shows abounded with callers viscerally enraged at the fact that evacuees were receiving a onetime two-thousand-dollar payment to help them buy food and find lodging. You can feel the rage and pain. In the whirling winds of Hurricane Katrina's landfall, a junkie priest takes a bus into the 9th Ward. The suspense is simply gone. I think the reality was far worse. James Lee Burk has always painted very vivid and poignant pictures of New Orleans and the area surrounding it.