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A Dave Robicheaux Ebook Boxed Set: Jolie Blon's Bounce, Last Car to Elysian Fields, Crusader's Cross

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Three classic novels from the Bard of the BayouThis boxed set includes three novels featuring fan favorite Detective Dave Robicheaux as he does battle with the forces of evil, and with his own soul, in Louisianas famous bayou country. New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke is a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and in 2009 was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Three classic novels from the Bard of the BayouThis boxed set includes three novels featuring fan favorite Detective Dave Robicheaux as he does battle with the forces of evil, and with his own soul, in Louisiana’s famous bayou country. New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke is a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and in 2009 was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. Jolie Blon’s Bounce New Iberia, Louisiana, is reeling from a one-two punch of brutal rape-homicides, and drug-addicted blues singer Tee Bobby Hulin has been tagged as the prime suspect. No stranger to bucking popular opinion, police detective Dave Robicheaux is convinced they’ve got the wrong man. But while placating a town on fire for swift revenge, Robicheaux must face his own demons in the form of Legion Guidry, a diabolical figure whose hardcore brand of violence left Robicheaux humiliated and addicted to painkillers. With his longtime friend, the boozing and womanizing Clete Purcel, Robicheaux treads among land mines of injustice, mob payoffs, and deadly secrets, all the while guessing: whom can he trust—and whom should he fear? Last Car to Elysian Fields For Dave Robicheaux, there is no easy passage home. When an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan, is brutally attacked in New Orleans, Robicheaux knows he has to return there to investigate, visiting old ghosts and exposing old wounds. The trouble continues when Father Jimmie asks Robicheaux to help investigate the presence of a toxic landfill near St. James Parish, which in turn leads to a search for the truth behind the disappearance many years before of a legendary blues musician and composer. Trying to connect these seemingly disparate threads of crime, Robicheaux finds himself drawn into a web of sordid secrets and escalating violence that sends echoes down the lonely corridors of his own unresolved past. Crusader’s Cross Time and suffering have taught Detective Dave Robicheaux that memories—including those of a strange and violent summer from his youth—are best left alone. But a dying man's confession forces Robicheaux to raise new questions about a decades-old mystery with a missing woman at its heart. Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin, and Robicheaux's half brother, Jimmie, paid a brutal price for entering her world. Resurrecting the truth about the mysterious Miss Durbin will plunge Robicheaux into the insidious machinations of New Orleans' wealthiest family, into a complex love affair of his own, and into hot pursuit of a ruthless killer expanding his territory beyond the Big Easy at a frightening pace.


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Three classic novels from the Bard of the BayouThis boxed set includes three novels featuring fan favorite Detective Dave Robicheaux as he does battle with the forces of evil, and with his own soul, in Louisianas famous bayou country. New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke is a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and in 2009 was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Three classic novels from the Bard of the BayouThis boxed set includes three novels featuring fan favorite Detective Dave Robicheaux as he does battle with the forces of evil, and with his own soul, in Louisiana’s famous bayou country. New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke is a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and in 2009 was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. Jolie Blon’s Bounce New Iberia, Louisiana, is reeling from a one-two punch of brutal rape-homicides, and drug-addicted blues singer Tee Bobby Hulin has been tagged as the prime suspect. No stranger to bucking popular opinion, police detective Dave Robicheaux is convinced they’ve got the wrong man. But while placating a town on fire for swift revenge, Robicheaux must face his own demons in the form of Legion Guidry, a diabolical figure whose hardcore brand of violence left Robicheaux humiliated and addicted to painkillers. With his longtime friend, the boozing and womanizing Clete Purcel, Robicheaux treads among land mines of injustice, mob payoffs, and deadly secrets, all the while guessing: whom can he trust—and whom should he fear? Last Car to Elysian Fields For Dave Robicheaux, there is no easy passage home. When an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan, is brutally attacked in New Orleans, Robicheaux knows he has to return there to investigate, visiting old ghosts and exposing old wounds. The trouble continues when Father Jimmie asks Robicheaux to help investigate the presence of a toxic landfill near St. James Parish, which in turn leads to a search for the truth behind the disappearance many years before of a legendary blues musician and composer. Trying to connect these seemingly disparate threads of crime, Robicheaux finds himself drawn into a web of sordid secrets and escalating violence that sends echoes down the lonely corridors of his own unresolved past. Crusader’s Cross Time and suffering have taught Detective Dave Robicheaux that memories—including those of a strange and violent summer from his youth—are best left alone. But a dying man's confession forces Robicheaux to raise new questions about a decades-old mystery with a missing woman at its heart. Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin, and Robicheaux's half brother, Jimmie, paid a brutal price for entering her world. Resurrecting the truth about the mysterious Miss Durbin will plunge Robicheaux into the insidious machinations of New Orleans' wealthiest family, into a complex love affair of his own, and into hot pursuit of a ruthless killer expanding his territory beyond the Big Easy at a frightening pace.

30 review for A Dave Robicheaux Ebook Boxed Set: Jolie Blon's Bounce, Last Car to Elysian Fields, Crusader's Cross

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cathy DuPont

    Although the Dave Robicheaux series has a uniform thread which runs through every book, they are not all the same. Every story, to me, is unique and can stand alone if need be. However "Last Car..." is in my opinion, the best one I've read in a long time and deserves five stars which I'm very stingy with by the way. Published in 2003, James Lee Burke is at the top of the game. James Lee Burke is one my of top five writers alive today. Amazing writer. Many thanks to whoever suggested I read Although the Dave Robicheaux series has a uniform thread which runs through every book, they are not all the same. Every story, to me, is unique and can stand alone if need be. However "Last Car..." is in my opinion, the best one I've read in a long time and deserves five stars which I'm very stingy with by the way. Published in 2003, James Lee Burke is at the top of the game. James Lee Burke is one my of top five writers alive today. Amazing writer. Many thanks to whoever suggested I read Burke. He's given me so many hours of reading pleasure.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    3.5 Stars This was probably the most depressing book in the Dave Robicheaux series that I have read so far. His third wife; Bootsie; has died, His adopted daughter; Alafair; is away at school in Oregon, his home; that his father had built; has burned to the ground, he sold his boat rental and bait shop, and Helen Solileau; once his partner; is now sheriff. Cletus Purcel, his former partner in the NOPD and now a PI, is the one unchanging rock in Dave's life. Thank goodness for Clete. He is a loyal 3.5 Stars This was probably the most depressing book in the Dave Robicheaux series that I have read so far. His third wife; Bootsie; has died, His adopted daughter; Alafair; is away at school in Oregon, his home; that his father had built; has burned to the ground, he sold his boat rental and bait shop, and Helen Solileau; once his partner; is now sheriff. Cletus Purcel, his former partner in the NOPD and now a PI, is the one unchanging rock in Dave's life. Thank goodness for Clete. He is a loyal and faithful friend and his antics will again leave you shaking your head or laughing or both. As is usually the case there is a large cast of characters and many subplots in this story. The story opens with Robicheaux back in New Orleans investigating the brutal assault of an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan, a Catholic priest who always seems to be the center of controversy. Father Jimmie asks Dave to help investigate the presence of a toxic landfill near St. James Parish. He also mentions the story of blues singer Junior Crudup, who entered Angola Penitentiary in the 1950s and was never heard from again. Meanwhile back in New Iberia three local teenage girls are killed in a drunk-driving accident, the driver being the seventeen-year-old daughter of a prominent physician. Somehow the author manages to weave all of these together. The thread that binds all of these subplots together is power and greed. Another common theme in the series. The world Dave grew up in was gone and he wants to pretend otherwise. He is not happy to see Walmart, malls, developments, etc. encroaching his beloved bayou. The main theme in this book seems to be change. And dealing with change. Another theme is Southern Louisiana's past prison farm system and convict labor. The story seamlessly navigates between the past and present and does an excellent job describing the brutality of this system. It isn't the 1940's or 50's anymore but the past may not be dead as voices from the grave remind Dave.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Last Car to Elysian Fields is the thirteenth book in James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series. In this installment, Dave is on his own. Alafair has gone off to school and his third wife, Bootsy has died. When his friend Father Jimmie Dolan is threatened because his actions are making the wrong people angry, Dave tries to throw some interference. Dave also begins to look into the mysterious disappearance of a old blues singer, Junior Crudup, who went into Angola prison but never came out, nor did Last Car to Elysian Fields is the thirteenth book in James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series. In this installment, Dave is on his own. Alafair has gone off to school and his third wife, Bootsy has died. When his friend Father Jimmie Dolan is threatened because his actions are making the wrong people angry, Dave tries to throw some interference. Dave also begins to look into the mysterious disappearance of a old blues singer, Junior Crudup, who went into Angola prison but never came out, nor did he die according to any prison records. And between these two story lines, Dave ends up face-to-face with an IRA assassin, kidnapped, and suspended. Many series will be stale by book thirteen, but James Lee Burke somehow manages to keep Dave and Clete from ever becoming old or cliche. I listened to this book on audio read by Mark Hammer, and as I've mentioned before I do not think there is a better match of reader and book. Experiencing a Dave Robicheaux novel read by Mark Hammer is something every crime fiction fan should indulge in at some time, even if you're one of those people who believe you don't like listening to audio books. This is a purely magical experience. Hammer's gritty sound coupled with his seemingly natural ability to nail all the dialects is amazing in and of itself. But when you couple it with his interpretation of Burke's words and themes, the experience becomes heavenly. In this book alone, Hammer has the regular southern dialect of the main characters but he also seamlessly alternates to a thick Irish brogue and an Italian mobster accent. A "failure to communicate" is a common occurrence in Dave Robicheaux novels, as the reader will find through the repetition of the single word "what?" Through Hammer's voice, you can hear confusion from this word, you can hear frustration, you might hear anger. But that simple word is the best example of how Hammer interprets the novel, he NEVER just reads the novel. Burke, of course, is well-known for his distinct talent at developing setting, the Louisiana bayou setting. But his characters are also exquisitely developed in each novel. One of the elements of his writing that keeps me coming back time after time is the uncanny way Burke evokes both loathing and sympathy from me for almost every character. He can create a revolting antagonist, but there will be some point in the book where I feel sorry for the poor sap. It never fails. And I end up asking myself, "why do you feel sorry for this guy?" And then my brain is in overdrive, and I devour books that ignite that process inside me. The books that make you look beyond the black and white and see all the gray that's really there. Dave Robicheaux, Burke's protagonist, is not always a likable character. And Burke challenges his readers to reach deep down inside and make a connection with this man. I think this particular book points that challenge out rather explicitly through the character of Castille LeJeune who repeatedly tells Dave that the meaning of his literal words is eluding LeJeune. Clete Purcel is one of my favorite characters in crime fiction, but I don't think I'd ever want to know him in reality. I sure wouldn't want to get on his bad side. But what reader can resist Clete's witticisms? Or his undying devotion to Dave? And Helen Soileau's sarcasm is equally entertaining. These two characters do a lot to lighten the heaviness of Burke's tone. James Lee Burke manages to do what few authors can, he manages to make me believe that each book I read is better than the one before it. That is an amazing accomplishment!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Trying to come up with explanation as to why I never heard of this author and can't. My enjoyment of this book will require that I catch up as able with the other Robicheaux books written by James Lee Burke. Authentic characters and settings, hard-nosed police work that matched the challenges, beautifully crafted descriptions of place and ample updates from past life events that provide enough background information for stand-alone reading. Another element I embrace - hilarious moments. Movies? Trying to come up with explanation as to why I never heard of this author and can't. My enjoyment of this book will require that I catch up as able with the other Robicheaux books written by James Lee Burke. Authentic characters and settings, hard-nosed police work that matched the challenges, beautifully crafted descriptions of place and ample updates from past life events that provide enough background information for stand-alone reading. Another element I embrace - hilarious moments. Movies? Missed them. However late to the game, I plan to read the full series. I love this guy after just one book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Another JLB masterpiece...."Wasting no time on preliminaries, Dave and his old buddy, p.i. Clete Purcel, end the opening scene pummeling one-time porn actor Gunner Ardoin for beating New Orleans priest Jimmie Dolan and are soon facing Gunners civil suit and his likely innocence. But there are more than enough sleazeballs to go around, from Gunners mobbed-up boss Fat Sammy Figorelli to waste-management contractor Merchie Flannigan to Merchies wife, crime-writer Theodosha LeJeune, to Theos father, Another JLB masterpiece...."Wasting no time on preliminaries, Dave and his old buddy, p.i. Clete Purcel, end the opening scene pummeling one-time porn actor Gunner Ardoin for beating New Orleans priest Jimmie Dolan and are soon facing Gunner’s civil suit and his likely innocence. But there are more than enough sleazeballs to go around, from Gunner’s mobbed-up boss Fat Sammy Figorelli to waste-management contractor Merchie Flannigan to Merchie’s wife, crime-writer Theodosha LeJeune, to Theo’s father, spuriously genteel Castille LeJeune, whose 1951 blues recording of imprisoned Junior Crudup is practically the last anybody heard from Junior before he vanished from Angola Prison. Things heat up further with the fatal car crash of Lori Parks, a teenaged veteran of Ecstasy and DWI charges, who bought the daiquiri that pushed her over the line from an obliging boy who worked for Castille LeJeune. Dave, of course, keeps straying outside his jurisdiction to threaten or batter lowlifes, but this time he’s bookended by Lori’s father, who’s determined to avenge her, and by Father Jimmie, dogged by a visiting killer whose moral conflicts bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the priest’s own."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rainer Bantau

    Burke delivers, as usual. Excellently written, intriguing, and highly enjoyable reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    James Lee Burke is an exquisite writer and Dave Robicheaux is a wonderful character channeling many "middle aged" male items of angst...plus he carries a gun, got a cool job and great friends...I'm all out of order with the series, but enjoyed this tale of Dave digging into 50 year-old missing Blues Master who disappeared on a work gang...along the way we run into a rebel priest, an IRA hitman and a bunch of assorted NOLA lowlifes...though I've read most of the series, I really think I enjoy James Lee Burke is an exquisite writer and Dave Robicheaux is a wonderful character channeling many "middle aged" male items of angst...plus he carries a gun, got a cool job and great friends...I'm all out of order with the series, but enjoyed this tale of Dave digging into 50 year-old missing Blues Master who disappeared on a work gang...along the way we run into a rebel priest, an IRA hitman and a bunch of assorted NOLA lowlifes...though I've read most of the series, I really think I enjoy Will Patton's interpretation of Dave on the 2 books on CD I've encountered...either way Burke's stories are really entertaining!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aditya

    One of the main features of the Robicheaux series that keeps it fresh in spite of broadly similar plots is the evolution of its protagonist. Robicheaux's fortunes alternate every three to four books as he is either finding a modicum of peace or plunging into newer depths of loss. The latest cycle started at Purple Cane Road (#11) and focussed on tearing down Robicheaux all over again. So in Last Car to Elysian Fields he is at a nadir that the series last explored at its very inception. The series One of the main features of the Robicheaux series that keeps it fresh in spite of broadly similar plots is the evolution of its protagonist. Robicheaux's fortunes alternate every three to four books as he is either finding a modicum of peace or plunging into newer depths of loss. The latest cycle started at Purple Cane Road (#11) and focussed on tearing down Robicheaux all over again. So in Last Car to Elysian Fields he is at a nadir that the series last explored at its very inception. The series has dwelled a lot on Robicheaux's alcoholism but it is his other demon - violence that comes to fore here. I still remember that in A Morning for Flamingoes (#4), Robicheaux tried his best to capture a sadistic escaped convict alive even when he shot and left Robicheaux to die. The man we see in the first half if the book is a far cry from that. Robicheaux basically unloads on a lowlife simply because he happened to cross his path on a bad day and plays an ancillary part in getting him killed. Burke's protagonist are never a barrel of laughs but Robicheaux in the first half of the book is dark and repulsive even by those standards. But the character doesn't suffer because his bad decisions seem product of pent up helplessness and frustration, they have consequences and he grows from it. Plus Robicheaux is never treated as a hero, most others characters treat him with pity and derision. Burke's gift of exquisite characterization is not exclusive to the protagonist. Clete Purcell, the only constant in Robicheaux's life shifts from cracking crass yet scathing jokes to being a psychotic one man wrecking crew. He is always smart enough to tell Robicheaux how insane his plans are and always loyal enough to double down on the insanity. The other characters are archetypes Burke has used numerous times before. The rich, amiable white man - Castille Lejeune who appears to be respectability personified except Robicheaux is convinced that there is no depravity he has not dabbled in. The oppressed black man - blues singer Junior Crudup whose greatest crime is having a dream and whose greatest dream is being treated with an approximation of respect. The ex lover - married daughter of Lejeune. The last archetype doesn't work, Robicheaux is never portrayed as a ladies man so it is not credible he has lovers crawling out of the woodwork every second book. The plot has Robicheaux hounding Lejeune to find out what happened to Crudup. Another major strand deals with a moral hitman (another Burke archetype) trying to kill a Catholic priest Robicheaux is fond of. The plots entwine at the very end and fit more snugly than most other narratives that happen to be as sprawling as Last Car to Elysian Fields. As always in Burke books, it is marred with violence and as always Burke shows violence begets nothing but tragedy. Another thing that I love in the series is the symbolism that is always present in the background. The priest and the hit man are equally delusional about being principled because the first master their principles serve is their burgeoning pride. Robicheaux's misfortune is rivalled by that of another character - Dr. Parks. The both of them have the same first instinct to resort to violence against convenient targets but Parks restrains himself and that ends in a tragedy for him. So Parks manages to be a better man than the protagonist but still ends up losing. None of this is subtle but neither is it spelled out. Like the best books the more you think about Burke's work, the more you get out of it. A singer reusing his riffs and tunes is considered acceptable but an author is never afforded the same goodwill with reused plotlines. And there is not a shred of originality here. Burke has used all these ideas before. Maybe it is more obvious to me as I have read about 20 Burke books in last 1.5 years. But when they happen to both entertaining and thematically rich, I can't complain much. So more of the same but I have always afforded more importance to how the book is written rather than what it is about. Rating - 4/5.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bill Thompson

    Not my favorite ... James Lee Burke is a masterful storyteller. His descriptive narratives are wonderful, and I like them better than his stories, sometimes. This book had too many characters, and I kept wishing I were reading a print book so I could flip back and reread to keep them straight. Ill read the next one, and I hope it is a better story. Not my favorite ... James Lee Burke is a masterful storyteller. His descriptive narratives are wonderful, and I like them better than his stories, sometimes. This book had too many characters, and I kept wishing I were reading a print book so I could flip back and reread to keep them straight. I’ll read the next one, and I hope it is a better story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Dave Robicheaux and his close friend Clete Purcel really balance each others characters in the three James Lee Burke novels I have read to date. Clete has no restraint drinks heavily as a private eye/ bounty chaser has fewer legal restrictions than Dave does as a police officer In New Iberia, Louisiana. Clete acts rashly and end up jail to be helped by Dave, who almost always is shot at or held prisoner only to be rescued by Clete. The beating of a catholic priest, and the death of three teenage Dave Robicheaux and his close friend Clete Purcel really balance each others characters in the three James Lee Burke novels I have read to date. Clete has no restraint drinks heavily as a private eye/ bounty chaser has fewer legal restrictions than Dave does as a police officer In New Iberia, Louisiana. Clete acts rashly and end up jail to be helped by Dave, who almost always is shot at or held prisoner only to be rescued by Clete. The beating of a catholic priest, and the death of three teenage who had purchased drinks at a drive by daiquiri store without ID's leads to a contract on the priest. Blods flows and Dave ansd Clete try to work together to solve the cases both old and new. Max Coll an Irish Hitman adds to the story. Be careful where point you that gun someone is going to die. History, the blues, a black blues artist, prison camp number nine, a world war two war hero, contract killer, a buried body, and porn stars, only in New Orleans

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jonah Gibson

    I've been a big fan of James Lee Burke for years, but after a handful of Dave Robicheaux stories there gets to be a sameness about these books that triggers the law of diminishing returns. Don't get me wrong. The writing is excellent, the narrative compelling, the characters rich and fully realized. There's just such an abiding sense of hopelessness in the stories that you begin to wish Burke would move on to something else. All the good guys are flawed to the point of tragic and all the bad I've been a big fan of James Lee Burke for years, but after a handful of Dave Robicheaux stories there gets to be a sameness about these books that triggers the law of diminishing returns. Don't get me wrong. The writing is excellent, the narrative compelling, the characters rich and fully realized. There's just such an abiding sense of hopelessness in the stories that you begin to wish Burke would move on to something else. All the good guys are flawed to the point of tragic and all the bad guys are so sleazy, so amoral, that you feel like there must be no good end in store for humanity - or at least humanity in the Louisiana Delta. Maybe that's a good thing. I don't know. I just found myself wishing for a more hopeful and satisfying end here. If you haven't read Burke before, by all means give him a try. I think you'll enjoy him. If however you've already read a few of his books, you might want to do a mental check-up on yourself to make sure you're up to another one. Just sayin'.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom Swift

    Of course, another great book from James Lee Burke. Dave Robineaux is such a honest and flawed man, this series is a gem. Once again, there are problems in New Iberia Louisiana, and Dave is in the middle of it. His sidekick Clete, is one of my favorite characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul Pessolano

    Last Car to Elysian Fields by James Lee Burke, published by Simon & Schuster. Category - Mystery/ Thriller. Publication Date - 2003. If you have been following my reviews you know that Burke is, by far, my favorite mystery writer. I often wonder why I just dont just give the book five stars and just tell everyone to read it, you just cant go wrong. Burke gives a description of New Orleans as it was and as it is now. He weaves a mystery around Louisiana that few can match. He does this with his “Last Car to Elysian Fields” by James Lee Burke, published by Simon & Schuster. Category - Mystery/ Thriller. Publication Date - 2003. If you have been following my reviews you know that Burke is, by far, my favorite mystery writer. I often wonder why I just don’t just give the book five stars and just tell everyone to read it, you just can’t go wrong. Burke gives a description of New Orleans as it was and as it is now. He weaves a mystery around Louisiana that few can match. He does this with his main character, Dave Robicheaux, a veteran of Vietnam who is haunted by his tour of duty there and a severe alcoholic problem that he struggles with every day. He is accompanied by Cleve Purcel, who deals with his own devils from Vietnam and a true alcoholic who has no plans of changing. Dave and Crete are former law enforcement officers of New Orleans who are no longer on the force due to their conduct. Crete is now a P.I. and Dave is a detective on a force just outside of New Orleans. They are both bosom buddies who would do anything for each other. In this story Dave becomes entangled with a Catholic Priest who seems to be at the center of every controversy. The priest is brutally beaten and Crete tries to even the score. Meanwhile, three teenage girls are killed in an automobile accident after they made a stop at a Daiquiri Drive-Thru. This leads both Dave and Crete on a mission to find out if their deaths were caused by their illegal purchase of alcohol. This, of course, leads them to the shabby underground of New Orleans. As the investigation progresses so does the crimes and those implicated in them. Just another great novel from Burke that includes great prose and an exciting mystery/thriller that includes his two great characters and a great supporting cast.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Colin Mitchell

    Three young women burned to death in a car wreck after having brought alcohol at a roadside kiosk. This inevitably leads to wholescale murder and mayhem. As so often in these stories they start off as well crafted tales and then descend into unrestricted violence, much committed by Dave Robicheaux and his mate Cletus Purcell. Perhaps it's just me. Unfortunately, it takes away my enjoyment of the vivid descriptions of the area, the people and their lives. I had put this series down but somehow Three young women burned to death in a car wreck after having brought alcohol at a roadside kiosk. This inevitably leads to wholescale murder and mayhem. As so often in these stories they start off as well crafted tales and then descend into unrestricted violence, much committed by Dave Robicheaux and his mate Cletus Purcell. Perhaps it's just me. Unfortunately, it takes away my enjoyment of the vivid descriptions of the area, the people and their lives. I had put this series down but somehow must have brought this one from a used book site and on a recent clear up it came to light and I decided to read it before passing it one. It made a- one book space on the shelf. Fortunately, there are a few more books on my pile but the virus has caused the closure of the library and bookstores. Electronic resources are still available and that may be the route ahead if nothing to bad happens.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dwayne Keeney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The mysteries are plentiful if a little convoluted. I miss Alafair, Batiste and the bait shop but have been waiting several books for Bootsie's departure. She, and her impact on Dave, have never been more interesting. Max Call is the most interesting 1-novel character since Dixie Lee Pugh. Watching Dave struggle has not been as interesting in some time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Callie

    some of this one was too americana melancholia for me. although the Junior Crudup storyline was interesting and as always, the plot was bananas (in an enjoyable way). as always, Cletus and Helen were the best parts. i hope we see more of clotile, but I doubt we will. notes for me: ~ The genesis of Snuggs and Tripod!!! ~clete and the opera and the sex workers + clete and the exploding, very mobile home + Clete running his mouth at the cafeteria unaware

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Not very impressed with this read. Very slow to get going and the story was not very good or intriguing for a thriller.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Minx

    I read this book for a reading challenge, it really wasn't for me but it had a good plot.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Clear voice, fun read

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nick Stika

    I always enjoy my trips to the deep south with James Lee Burke. His books are so atmospheric and you really do get the feeling you are there when he describes his scenes. Love his books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    jo

    a third of a slow way through this book (not the book's fault), i thought i'd give myself entirely to that most overused of parts of speech, the adjective. i do this because james lee burke is a great user of adjectives, and even when he uses them abundantly he doesn't overuse them at all. but i will. because i want to. the following adjectives describe one aspect or another of this book, while also encompassing, all of them, the book as a whole. the most hackneyed (but nonetheless correctly a third of a slow way through this book (not the book's fault), i thought i'd give myself entirely to that most overused of parts of speech, the adjective. i do this because james lee burke is a great user of adjectives, and even when he uses them abundantly he doesn't overuse them at all. but i will. because i want to. the following adjectives describe one aspect or another of this book, while also encompassing, all of them, the book as a whole. the most hackneyed (but nonetheless correctly applicable) adjectives are in ALL CAPS. some adjectives are repeated because i don't feeling like checking, some for effect. some, i'm putting there just to trick and confuse you. the ones in bold stand out because of thicker lines. SULTRY, STEAMY, leafy, autumnal, SODDEN, LUSCIOUS, green, HUED, explosive, reflective, melancholy, DRUNKEN, SOZZLED, soaked, LONGING, desperate, hopeful, SMOKY, barbed, sarcastic, sharp, cutting, EDGY, sleepless, broken, hurt, smelly, putrid, dirty, filthy, BOOZY, olfactory, visual, LONELY, black, noirish, brown, DARK, sunny, bright, shadowy, perverted, compassionate, forgiving/en, fallen, redemptive, assuaging, taut, tense, INTENSE, adroit, skillful, DEADLY, dead, buried, inner, outer, joyless, deadened, guilty, guilt-ridden, miserable, abject, criminal, murderous, uncontrollable, pathetic, TOUGHASNAILS, sordid, compulsive, unheeded, lost, COOL, uncool, detached, lonely, alone, male, masculine, TESTOSTERONE-FUELED, tender, cuddly, needy, unhinged, enduring, surviving, SWAMPY, BRINY, purple, violet, blue, yellow, red, flaming, inflamed, infamous, DUSKY, dusty, loving, entire, disembodied, BLOODY, wounded, injured, inured, urgent, urinary, fecal, gastric, hungry. *** i'm still impressed with james lee burke's use of language, but this was a tough book to finish. first, a reflection on language and the mystery genre. i have never been much of a genre reader, so reading mysteries this last year has given me new thoughts to think. here's one: through mysteries, american readers are digesting a tremendous amount of literary, sometimes experimental, sometimes difficult fiction. i don't know what the demographics of james lee burke's readers are, but this readership is certainly doing some heavy lifting. JLB writes real-deal existentialist fiction (the recurring character of the catholic priest and the pervasive presence of catholicism are a dead giveaway) and uses the language of faulkner. this is serious lit. but i had a hard time finishing this book because the violence got the better of me. i realize dave robicheaux's self-hatred is a sort of indictment of his actions, but there is also some unquestionable lust in the vigilantism he and his best friend practice. this lust is a definite turn off for me. men brutally killing men, setting men up to be killed, battering men around like matches in matchstick boxes -- nah, i don't think so. i don't care if these men love their daughters and their dead wives. i don't care if they do it to protect women. i especially don't care if they do it to protect women. i really don't.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Last Car to Elysian Fields by James Lee Burke. The mystery begins with a parish priest and the confessional. Dave is asked by the priest to help solve the disappearance of a man, Junior Crudup, serving time at a prison who was never seen since. This book was for me quite depressing. The language of that era although presented in a realistic fashion was beyond crude and offensive. The worst part of it all was the narrator. I've listened to numerous Dave Robicheaux books on CD. My favorite Last Car to Elysian Fields by James Lee Burke. The mystery begins with a parish priest and the confessional. Dave is asked by the priest to help solve the disappearance of a man, Junior Crudup, serving time at a prison who was never seen since. This book was for me quite depressing. The language of that era although presented in a realistic fashion was beyond crude and offensive. The worst part of it all was the narrator. I've listened to numerous Dave Robicheaux books on CD. My favorite character has always been Clete Purcell. Will Patton (the narrator in other Dave Robicheaux books) had Clete nailed down to a tee. Will Patton's performance I found to be outstanding in the dialect, emotions and distinctive personalities of each character especially Clete. The narrator in this CD did none of the above. Barely any vocal difference between any of the characters and Clete's dynamic personality was lost and not portrayed in a voice as the colorful character he was meant to be. To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly. I checked out the CD with Will Patton as the narrator and was startled at the immediate difference. The words were crystal clear and the character of Clete Purcell was alive and well. the story itself became easier to enjoy. This edition with Will Patton as the narrator gets a five star review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Henry Brown

    I checked out this audiobook from the library because the idea of a cold-case murder mystery concerning a blues man half a century ago reminded me of a great book by a friend of mine I read some 12 years ago. I must admit, the actor they chose to read this book probably influenced my experience for the worse. Since the protagonist is a native Louisianan, I guess they figured somebody with a Deep South accent would be appropriate. Between the accent and his rasping about-to-kick-the-bucket squawk, I checked out this audiobook from the library because the idea of a cold-case murder mystery concerning a blues man half a century ago reminded me of a great book by a friend of mine I read some 12 years ago. I must admit, the actor they chose to read this book probably influenced my experience for the worse. Since the protagonist is a native Louisianan, I guess they figured somebody with a Deep South accent would be appropriate. Between the accent and his rasping about-to-kick-the-bucket squawk, I had to listen to the first disk twice before I could follow him. Anyway, Detective Robicheux (?) works this case out by interviewing witnesses (flashbacks move him closer to solving the puzzle/plot resolution) and pissing off all the other cops he knows, including his boss. He's a tee-total reformed alcoholic, but the way he wrecks the lives of those who care for him, I'd hate to have seen him when he was still drinking. The flashbacks paint an infuriating picture of social injustice, but I finished the book with no sense of accomplishment, epiphany or even fond memories of an enjoyable ride. My emotions ran from fury to depression, with no pleasant feelings to dilute the aftertaste.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mathews

    Always Touches Something Deep Inside James. Lee Burke speaks with a voice that that filters deep within all the layers of within the dark side of south Louisiana. The anguish of Dave Robicheaux takes any storyline of crime and miscreants to such a vivid vision of a world few of us will ever see and that most could never imagine - yet brought to life in an unquestionable reality. Few authors bring more pleasure.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindi

    As always, James Lee Burke's descriptive powers are amazing and the story was engaging. I found I have become quite attached to the other characters in the Dave Robicheaux series so with this "transition" book I didn't get as involved as in his earlier works. I miss Bootsie, Alafair, Bastist and the house and bait shop. But I think I'm going to like Helen in her new role as the sheriff. I'm lookiing forward to reading "Crusaders Cross."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    I love James Lee Burke's books and this one is no exception. They are gritty and violent but not in a gratuitious way. I know I have gone over the edge because I am starting to think of Detective Dave Robicheaux and his sidekick Private Investigator Clete Purcel as real people. I recommend Burke's books to anyone who loves a good mystery, who wants to breathe and eat in New Orleans as if they were really there, and who enjoys seeing the growth of a character as the books are written.

  27. 5 out of 5

    NM Hill

    New author to me, James Lee Burke. I was confused without the story with the different people and what was happening. To me the story line wasn't very clear or it could of been me. Some parts made sense and others didn't could be I was just lost throughout the book. But will try another one of his books and see if I feel the same.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Fantastic book! Great read! If you are a fan of true detective/suspense/mystery you will love James Lee Burke. This is actually part of an ongoing series with protagonist, Dave Robicheaux. I could not put this book down!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Martone

    Terrific as always! As with all of Burke's other Robicheaux mysteries, this one is nicely complex and infinitely heart-wrenching. Clete and Dave are indeed two of the most well-developed characters in modern literature. I just know they're real people!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Not one of my favorites but still very, very good. I used to try to start with the earliest in the series and read forward. My last few Burke novels were published since 2004 - and they have all been fantastic. Highly recommended.

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