The fourth Dave Robicheaux detective novel, featuring a volatile mix of Mafia drug-running and Cajun voodoo magic. Obsessed with revenge when his partner is killed by an escaping death-row prisoner, Robicheaux goes under cover into the sleepy, torrid depths of the New Orleans criminal world.
Cajun Police Detective Dave Robicheaux knows the Sonnier family of New Iberia – there connections to the CIA, the mob, and to a former Klansman now running for state office. And he knows their past, as dark and murky as a night on the Louisiana bayou. An assassination attempt and the death of a cop draw Robicheaux into the Sonniers' dangerous web of madness, murder and incest. But Robicheaux has devils of his own. And they have come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator – and the two people he holds most dear.
When Billy Bob Holland visits his old friend Doc Voss, he finds himself caught up in a horrific tragedy. Doc's daughter has been brutally attacked by bikers, and the ring leader, Lamar Ellison, walks free when the DNA samples 'get lost'. Then Ellison is burned alive and Doc is arrested. So much for Billy Bob's vacation – Doc needs a lawyer, and fast. And that's not all. Newly released killer Wyatt Dixon has tracked Billy Bob to Montana, bent on avenging the death of his sister for which he holds Billy Bob responsible. And Wyatt is only one thread of a tangled web of evil that includes neo-Nazi militias, gold miners who tip cyanide into the rivers, a paedophile ring, and the Mob. As the corpses of the guilty and innocent pile up, Billy Bob stands alone.
A first class detective adventure, tough and suspenseful… I've not read anything so good since Raymond Chandler set down Philip Marlowe in Los Angeles' Walker Percy James Lee Burke, author of the highly-acclaimed HEAVEN'S PRISONERS and THE NEON RAIN, returns with his third Dave Robicheaux adventure which confirms his reputation as a brilliant storyteller and a crime novelist of compelling originality.
BLACK CHERRY BLUES sweeps from the lush, misty Bayou country of Southern Louisiana to the rugged landscape of Montana, where Dave Robicheaux ex-New Orleans homicide detective confronts Indians, oil company roughnecks and ruthless criminals.
Haunted by a double tragedy the accidental death of his father and brutal murder of his wife -Robicheaux embarks on an investigation that leads to the Montana offices of the oil company that once employed his father. And in coming to the aid of an old friend, burnt-out rockabilly star Dixie Lee Pugh, he is sucked into a violent, terrifying world where shady federal agents and mafia henchmen obey nobody's rules but their own…
"A stunning novel that takes detective fiction into new imaginative realms" – Publishers Weekly
In the summer of 1958, Dave Robicheaux and his half-brother Jimmie are just out of high school. Jimmie and Dave get work with an oil company, laying out rubber cables in the bays and mosquito-infested swamps all along the Louisiana-Texas coastline. They spend their off time at Galveston Island, fishing at night on the jetties, the future kept safely at bay, the past drifting off somewhere behind them. But on the Fourth of July, change approaches in the form of Ida Durbin, a sweet-faced young woman with a lovely voice and a mandolin. Jimmie falls instantly in love with her. But Ida's not free to love – she's a prostitute, in hock to a brutal man called Kale, who won't let her go. Jimmie agrees to meet Ida at the bus depot, ready for the road to Mexico. But Ida never shows. Dave and Jimmie want to believe she skipped town, but they know, deep down, that Ida Durbin never got to leave. That was many years ago – before Dave Robicheaux began his long odyssey through bars and drunk tanks and skin joints of every stripe. Before the Philippines and Vietnam. Now, an older, well-worn Dave walks into Baptist Hospital to visit a man called Troy Bordelon, who wants to free himself of a dark secret before he dies. A bully and a sadist, he has a lot to confess to – but he chooses to talk about a young girl, a prostitute who he glimpsed briefly as a kid, bloodied and beaten, tied to a chair in his uncle's house. Dave realises he can't let the past go. Ida's killers are still out there. So he begins his journey into the past – back to the summer of 1958 and a girl called Ida Durbin.
James Lee Burke has frequently been praised for the superb writing and strong suspense of his Dave Robicheaux mysteries. Now in this powerful new novel, he enters the front ranks of contemporary ficiton writers and mainstream bestsellers. When a Nazi submarine is discovered off the coast of Louisiana it soon becomes clear that the dark forces it represents are alive and all too well. Neo Nazi's are on the march in New Orleans and their leader, icy psychopath Will Buchalter, will stop at nothing to get his hands on the submarines mysterious cargo. Only detective Dave Robicheaux and his family stand between Buchalter and his terrifying ambitions.
No one captures the sultry, humid feel of New Orleans quite like James Lee Burke does in his Dave Robicheaux novels. He understands the tactile nature of the air when the temperature and the moisture rise in the summer South, when “the air [grows] hazy with humidity and even your lightest clothes [stick] to your body like wet paper.” Like many regional mystery writers, Burke’s crime stories are as much about the place as about the people. Southern Lousiana and its bayous and rivers provide the lush background for these often dark and violent tales.
In this second novel in the series, Robicheaux has retired from the New Orleans PD and is working as a fishing guide with his wife. While out on the Gulf trawling for shrimp, the pair see a small plane go down in the water, and arrive there in time only to rescue one of the passangers, a small girl. This good deed drags Robicheaux and Annie back into a world of crime and violence that has tragic consequences for each of them. Dave Robicheaux is a strong addition to the ranks of damaged heroes who populate much of contemporary crime writing. Burke’s understanding of, and obvious affection for, his settings shines through the pages of all of his stories. These tales of hot temperatures and hot tempers are just the thing to warm a cold winter day.
A movie crew has come to New Iberia, Louisiana, to film a Civil War epic, and star Elrod Sykes just can't seem to keep his lavender Cadillac on the road. Under threat of a drunk driving charge, he offers Detective Dave Robicheaux information in exchange for leniency: he leads him to the skeletal remains of a man whose murder Robicheaux witnessed in the summer of 1957. When the FBI arrives in the person of agent Rosie Gomez, Robicheaux must form a new partnership that challenges how he views himself and his local community. But it is only when Robicheaux makes the acquaintance of the legendary Confederate cavalry officer General John Bell Hood in the mist of the bayou that he begins to understand that 'war is never over', and that the battle rages on…
Three men are present when Amanda Boudreau is raped and murdered and small time hustler Tee Bobby Hulin's prints are found at the crime scene. Dave Robicheaux reckons he's innocent, and Tee Bobby pleads so, then attempts suicide in his holding cell. Why? Tee Bobby is released on bail and soon after there is a second murder. When lawyer Perry LaSalle takes on the defence of Tee Bobby, Dave knows his motives are fuelled by guilt. For Tee Bobby's grandmother was seduced by Perry's grandfather, and Amanda Boudreau's death is related to events that happened long before Tee Bobby was born…
Detective Dave Robicheaux is facing the most painful and dangerous case of his career. A troubled young woman breezes into his hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of Robicheaux's onetime best friend – a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life.
In Pegasus Descending, James Lee Burke again explores psyches as much as evidence, and tries to make sense of human behavior as well as of his characters' crimes. Richly atmospheric, frightening in its sudden violence, and replete with the sort of puzzles only the best crime fiction creates, Burke's latest novel is an unforgettable roller coaster of passion, surprise, and regret.
The twists begin when Trish Klein – the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy – starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim's child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And how does her behavior relate to the apparent suicide of another "good" girl, an ace student named Yvonne Darbonne, who apparently participated in a college frat orgy before her death?
Can Robicheaux make his peace with the demons that have haunted him since his friend's murder so many years ago? Can he figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and deaths? Can Robicheaux's life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy?
Once again, Burke proves why he is the virtual poet laureate of southern Louisiana, and why his novels, especially those featuring Dave Robicheaux, stand as brilliant literature and entertainment for our time.
Dave Robicheaux has spent his life confronting the age-old adage that the sins of the father pass onto the son. But what has his mother's legacy left him? Dead to him since youth, Mae Guillory has been shuttered away in the deep recesses of Dave's mind. He's lived with the fact that he would never really know what happened to the woman who left him to the devices of his whiskey-driven father. But deep down, he still feels the loss of his mother and knows the infinite series of disappointments in her life could not have come to a good end. While helping out an old friend, Dave is stunned when a pimp looks at him sideways and asks him if he is Mae Guillory's boy, the whore a bunch of cops murdered 30 years ago.
MWA Grandmaster Burke spins a tale replete with colorful prose and epic confrontations in his second novel to feature smalltown Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland (after Lay Down My Sword and Shield). An anonymous phone call leads Holland, a Korean vet who survived a POW camp, to the massacre and burial site of nine Thai women, a crime that brings FBI and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials running. As a slew of bad guys relocated from New Orleans after Katrina grapple for advantage in new territory, mercurial killer Preacher Jack Collins finds plenty of work. Pete Flores, a possible witness to the massacre, and his girlfriend are targeted by Collins for elimination, and by the FBI for bait. Holland must protect the hapless Flores and his girl from both. Three strong female characters complement the full roster of sharply drawn lowlifes. The battle of wills and wits between Holland and Collins delivers everything Burke's fans expect.
Imagine Philip Marlowe sans the cigarettes and in AA. Put him in Louisiana and jump forward 50 years or so and you've got David Robicheaux, a tough-talking detective with the same soft spot as his prototype for troublesome women and for delving into places into which he probably has no business. New Iberia, Louisiana, perfectly rivals Marlowe's L.A. for its grit and corruption and dames who'll turn a good guy bad.
James Lee Burke's 11th Robicheaux book, Sunset Limited, is a twisted mystery that at times becomes almost byzantine in its attempt to keep disparate characters and narratives wound in a cohesive story line. But Burke's writing is so stunning that all is forgiven as you become immersed in the tale, which meshes past and present to uncover the secret of a decades-old murder.
Forty years ago, a local labor leader was crucified in a crime that remains unsolved. Now, his daughter-Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Megan Flynn-returns to New Iberia. With a seemingly insignificant remark to Robicheaux, she begins a chain of events that lead right back to her father's death. New Iberia, in some sense, is frozen in time as the age-old problems of race and class weave their way into the mystery, complicating Robicheaux's discovery of not only the original crime, but the wealth of murders that spring up along the way. Add in the Chinese mob, corrupt policemen, and a Hollywood film shoot, and the stage is set.
Burke's forte is his ability to create characters so evil they're liable to get you up in the night to check in your closet and under your bed. The players-both good and bad-are characterized more by their flaws than their attributes, giving everyone a wicked sheen. The book isn't overly gory (although short descriptions can be rather graphic), but everyone has a dark side, emphasizing the noir-ish tones of the novel. His writing is powerful, mixing tender landscapes ("[W]e dropped through clouds that were pooled with fire in the sunrise and came in over biscuit-colored hills dotted with juniper and pine and pinyon trees…") with dead-on, cutting descriptions ("His face was tentacled with a huge purple-and-strawberry birthmark, so that his eyes looked squeezed inside a mask") and the camp dialogue of Chandler ("Evil doesn't have a zip code"). Oddly, these sundry elements blend seamlessly, allowing you to overlook tenuous connections and occasionally confusing turns.
James Lee Burke's eagerly awaited new novel finds Detective Dave Robicheaux back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high school honor student, doesn't fit: she is not the kind of hapless and marginalized victim psychopaths usually prey upon. Robicheaux and his best friend, Clete Purcel, confront Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer whom both men despise. When Stanga turns up dead shortly after a fierce beating by Purcel, in front of numerous witnesses, the case takes a nasty turn, and Clete's career and life are hanging by threads over the abyss.
Adding to Robicheaux's troubles is the matter of his daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abelard, celebrated novelist and scion of a once prominent Louisiana family whose fortunes are slowly sinking into the corruption of Louisiana's subculture. Abelard's association with bestselling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex, causes Robicheaux to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves. As his daughter seems to drift away from him, he wonders if he has become a victim of his own paranoia. But as usual, Robicheaux's instincts are proven correct and he finds himself dealing with a level of evil that is greater than any enemy he has confronted in the past.
Set against the backdrop of an Edenic paradise threatened by pernicious forces, James Lee Burke's The Glass Rainbow is already being hailed as perhaps the best novel in the Robicheaux series.
From Publishers Weekly
Burke's sixth novel pits New Orleans homicide detective Dave Robichaux against the mob, the contras, the Feds and just about all the other cops. The trouble starts when Robichaux insists on investigating the murder of a young prostitute and discovers that it isn't only the crooks who don't want the truth to come out: the police don't want it revealed, either. The underworld and the authorities combine to cobble up a frame against Robichaux, and suddenly he's on the run. Burke's maverick detective and his gritty, realistic dialogue and convoluted plotting are reminiscent of Elmore Leonardwhose latest novel, Bandits, has a contra angle, too. The matter of subterranean government policy running amok suits the world of suspense fiction well, serving it in the 1980s the way Cold War themes fed the genre in earlier decades. With its fine local color and driving action, this novel is both chilling and first-rate entertainment.
Tight plotting, Solid Finish
Because he’s a damn good writer James Lee Burke knows how to keep a plot going from start to finish with no loose ends or out-of-the-blue surprises that amateurishly attempt to explain and finish off a narrative. He easily weaves several ancillary situations into the story line of The Tin Roof Blowdown. These are of interest on their own, but more importantly they serve to expand and add often curious layers to the main show that centers around the eye of mayhem left behind by a pair of hurricanes.
I bring this up since I just finished reading a book by Jeffrey Deaver titled The Cold Moon. The bad guy, a most interesting sociopath called The Watchmaker who is a brilliant killer with machinations of Machiavellian stature, is the author of a poem about a cold moon, so one would suppose that he would figure prominently in the denouement of the novel. He doesn’t. Not at all. He escapes from the cops and vanishes from the book with nearly one-hundred pages left, obviously setting a not-so-subtle stage for a return in another Deaver effort. This strikes me as venal artifice by a writer who certainly has reached a point of financial and critical security where such shenanigans are unnecessary and beneath him.
None of this fakery for Burke. From the first book I read by him years ago, The Neon Rain to others that included Black Cherry Blues, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, Jolie Blon’s Bounce, and now this one, Burke has played it straight telling his stories and making sure loose ends are tied up when the last page is read. And like I said he can write.
I said he smiled. That’s not quite right. Jude shined the world on and slipped its worst punches and in a fight knew how to swallow his blood and never let people know he was hurt. He had his Jewish mother’s narrow eyes and chestnut hair, and he combed it straight back in a hum, like a character in a 1930s movie. Somehow he reassured others that the earth was a good place, that the day was a fine one, and that good things were about to happen to all of us.
Tight, succinct descriptions like the one above or similarly structured vignettes connect and in doing so glide the reader from scene to scene. None of this is as easy as Burke makes it look. That’s called skill. He’s got it in spades.
But this is to be expected of a man who’s written more than twenty-five novels, a man who divides his time between seemingly disparate locations – Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana. Living in these two places seems to give him an expanded and sympathetic view of the world and those of us who bump and grind our way through it making his characters and their short comings easily assimilated, allowing the reader to experience sympathy and often empathy.
The setting of The Tin Roof Blowdown is largely post-apocalypse Louisiana following the devastation wrought by first Hurricane Katrina then Rita. The landscape has been reduced to a naturally nuked wasteland where murder, rape and theft are the order of the day perpetrated by both punks run amok and many cops. Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Detective Dave Robicheaux is deployed to New Orleans, the once grand city now reduced to a feudal state without electrical power, clean water, food or any sense of societal order. Bloated bodies – humans, cats, dogs – float in flooded streets or lie tangled in downed, shattered trees. In this chaos Robicheaux must locate two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who quite possibly is more dangerous than the thugs looting the city and shooting at rescue helicopters overhead. Based on past books, just another day at the office for Robicheaux. Burke’s got so much going on here that it would be easy for him to inadvertently confuse the reader, if not himself, beyond salvation allowing the book to devolve into a miasma of none-related tales – a rag-tag collection of short stories pretending to be a novel.
Again his skill and also confidence as a writer never allows this to happen. Not even close. Each section and chapter advances the drama logically and without undo cliff hangings. A good example is when a killer stalking the detective’s daughter is spotted outside a cabin.
Out among the willows, I saw the solitary fisherman lean down in his boat and pick up something from the bottom. He knocked his hat off his head to give himself better vision and raised the rifle to his shoulder. I could not make out the features of his face, but the moon had started to rise and I saw the light gleam on his bald head inside the shadows.
I was already out the screen door and running down the slope when he let off the first round.
So many mystery writers would then wander off for a chapter or several on another tangent leaving a person wondering what’s going on back at the bayou. Not Burke. He again displays his confidence by moving directly forward with the above scene in the next chapter. He knows that each element in his books can stand on its own and doesn’t need the tired device of leaving the reader up in the air for pages on end to maintain interest in the overall narrative arc.
And Burke slips in sharp, humorous observations on the human condition throughout the book like this one following an argument between Robicheaux and his wife, a former nun.
I just went outside and started the truck, my face hot, my ears ringing with the harshness of our exchange. The yard had fallen into shadow and cicadas were droning in the trees, like a bad headache that won’t go away. Just as I was backing into the street, regretting my words, trying to accept Molly’s anger and hurt feelings, she came out on the gallery and waved good-bye.
That’s what happens when you marry nuns.
For those who’ve not yet read Burke, The Tin Roof Blowdown is a great place to start. For those who are already fans of his, this mystery is merely one more top-notch effort by a most talented author.
'White doves come at morning Where my soldier sleeps in the ground. I placed my ring in his coffin, The trees o'er his grave have all turned brown.' Set mainly in Louisiana during the years 1861 1868, this passionate novel of men, women and war tells the story of the author's ancestor, Confederate soldier Willie Burke. A classic Burke hero, innately moral to the point of lunacy, Willie is soon in conflict with his superiors. As his best friend Jim Stubblefield observes: 'the juncture of Willie Burke and the Confederate Army is akin to the meeting of a wrecking ball and a crystal shop.' The characters who people these pages, many of them based on real historical figures, are as memorable as any Burke has created. Mulatto, Flower Jamison, victim of terrible abuse that never touches her soul, determined to better herself; Quaker abolitionist Abigail Dowling, whose Unionist sympathies put her in constant danger; Colonel Ira Jamison, rotten to his core yet who would rise from a cesspit smelling of roses; these and many others stay powerfully in the mind in this epic tale. Like all the best war novels, WHITE DOVES AT MORNING concentrates not on battles but on the edges of grand events, the detritus that wars create, the human cost, and, in this case, the terrible aftermath.
Still recovering from injuries sustained in her last murder investigation, reporter Irene Kelly dutifully hobbles back to work, only to get lured into another case of murder and mayhem. On her very first day back, Irene is “welcomed” by a threatening bit of fan mail from someone who calls himself “Thanatos” – the ancient Greek name for “Death.” Though Irene shrugs it off as a prank, she soon learns to take Thanatos at his word. As Thanatos’ letters keep coming, each cleverly wrapped in mythological puzzles, the bodies mount – as does the tension in southern California ’s beach community of Las Piernas. Unwilling to be a pawn in a killer’s deadly game, Irene Kelly knows she must take action. Taunted by phone calls and deadly threats from a killer known only to her as Thanatos, Irene ignores warnings from her worried fiancé, homicide detective Frank Harriman, and embarks on her most dangerous case yet. As Irene unravels the clues to the case – each one embedded in ancient riddles and mythic puzzles – Thanatos watches her every move with a fascination that brings him too close for comfort. Yet Irene will stop at nothing to unveil the true identity of this genius of death, even if it means playing into the hands of a killer who is determined to make her part of his deadly destiny.
The acclaimed author of the Irene Kelly mystery series (Goodnight, Irene, etc.) and the Edgar award-winning novel Bones delivers this superb collection of short stories, hitherto available only in a limited trade edition from A.S.A.P. Publishing. These early works, which appeared in publications like Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, display an impressive range of styles, voices and settings. Burke offers ghost stories ("Ghost of a Chance"), romantic suspense ("The Muse"), a whodunit ("A Fine Set of Teeth"), a tale of revenge ("Miscalculation") and a humorous intrigue ("The Man in the Civil Suit"), and the voices she adopts are as disparate as an abused wife and an aristocratic gentleman (and, at one point, even a non-human narrator). It would be a challenge for readers to choose their favorite, as all the stories are carefully crafted gems: "Mea Culpa" follows a crippled boy as he deduces what his stepfather has in store for his mother; "Miscalculation," which is based on the wartime service of the Queen Mary ocean liner, effectively transmutes history into mystery; and "Unharmed" tells a surprising tale of domestic strife. Several of the stories won or were nominated for awards, and virtually all of them repay the reader handsomely.
From Publishers Weekly
Set in the fictional Southern California town of Las Piernas, this generally exciting debut mystery-the first of a projected series-brims with brutality, but is slowed at times by home and hospital bedside scenes. Former reporter Irene Kelly, now working in public relations, is shocked when her friend O'Connor is killed by a bomb hidden in a package. The only clue Irene can unearth is O'Connor's obsession with a long-unsolved crime involving an unidentified female body discovered in Las Piernas years before. Rehired by the Las Piernas Express, Irene teams up with ex-lover and homicide cop Frank Harriman to crack the case, but details of what O'Connor had learned about the killing are long in coming. Burke punctuates her too leisurely exposition with graphic, effective scenes of murder and attempted murder, although she depicts the menacing assassins more as machines than as human beings and provides a plausible explanation for all the violence only at her story's very end. Still, she writes with remarkable sensitivity about the physical and spiritual reactions of people terrorized by cold-blooded killers, and her gift for characterization somewhat compensates for her still-rudimentary pacing skills.
When Irene Kelly's articles profiling missing children run in the Las Piernas Express, she anticipates the renewed public interest and the deluge of phone tips and remembered clues; she even anticipates the renewed pain of the anguished parents. What she doesn't expect is that the articles will set off a murderous chain reaction – and put her life in peril.
Perhaps one of the more tragic disappearances in recent Las Piernas history was that of Jenny Fletcher, just shy of her fourth birthday. The body of Jenny's father, Richard, a graphic artist, was found bludgeoned in his studio; hours later Jenny's stepbrother Mason was apprehended with the murder weapon and bloody clothing in his car. But little Jenny was never found. As the years pass, everyone assumes Jenny is dead. Everyone except her brother Caleb, who not only believes Jenny survived but steadfastly believes in Mason's innocence.
Caleb, now a graduate student studying with forensic anthropologist Ben Sheridan, works on cases for the Las Piernas Police Department. When bones are discovered at the old Sheffield estate just days after the missing-children articles appear, Caleb finds himself drawn into a case that threatens to bring personal tragedies back to the present. He has a fierce ally in reporter Irene Kelly, who will stop at nothing to solve the mysteries of his father's murder and his sister's disappearance.
Intrepid sleuth/reporter Irene Kelly barely has time to recover from the shock of learning that her estranged aunt has been killed before being blindsided by an even bigger surprise – she's the number one suspect! Irene searches for her aunt's son, Travis – a young man who wants nothing to do with Irene or any of the Kelly clan. The seeds of contention sown by family members no longer living are now being reaped by the next generation in ways no one would ever have expected. As deeply buried family skeletons are unearthed, the line between stalker and stalked becomes increasingly blurred, with dangerous consequences for Irene. She casts her lot with Travis, who she believes is the killer's next target, but her efforts to protect him place her squarely in harm's way. Now Irene must dodge not only the arm of the law but also the reach of a killer who appears to want to settle the score of an age-old family grudge.
A drug kingpin on the FBI's Most Wanted list is found hanging upside down over a bathtub, his corpse drained of blood. The killing looks like an organized-crime payback hit-until another Ten Most Wanted criminal is found similarly strung up, and then another. Soon Detective Alex Brandon of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department is grappling not only with a testy partner and a complicated home life, but also with a band of brilliant vigilantes whom the public starts to regard as heroes.
Alex Brandon is almost too good to be true, with his penetrating blue eyes, his steely toughness, his politeness, and his tenacious smarts. But Jan Burke-best known for her well-regarded series featuring reporter Irene Kelly-is such a sane, intelligent writer that Brandon and the book's many other characters come vividly alive. She's also a fine craftsman of individual scenes, many of which are perfectly paced little dramas or comedies. Nine's gripping, multithreaded plot is sometimes too complex for its own good, and the climax tips into melodrama, but overall the reliable Burke, a past winner of the Edgar and other mystery awards, has produced another winning read.
Newly married Southern California newspaper reporter Irene Kelly (seen before in Dear Irene, etc.) doesn't immediately recognize the bum on the bus stop bench who says he knows her. A few weeks later, meeting with some old friends, she learns that he was Lucas Monroe, her statistics teacher in college. That same night, she drives a friend home to find the woman's wealthy husband dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. The next day, the longtime Las Piernas city manager resigns, refusing to give a reason. While tracking that story, Irene hears that a closed circle of the city's rich and powerful men will convene in secret at a local restaurant. Dragging along her homicide detective husband, Irene crashes the rendezvous and is there when one of the men has a heart attack. She then discovers that each of the men at the meeting has been visited by Lucas and presented with a copy of a photograph. Tracing the connections among the city bigwigs, Lucas and the photograph, gutsy Irene gets to the bottom of a mystery that takes on the tangled history of a city's development. Burke is in top form here. Author tour.
Irene Kelly is a reporter with a fierce integrity. Detective Frank Harriman is her lover and friend. Now they’re both about to be plunged into political hellfire when a ruthless politician rocks a race for district attorney with a stunning allegation: his opponent’s son is in the clutches of a satanic cult. The charge takes a fatal turn when a local woman is brutally murdered, and the grisly crime scene bears unholy implications. Tracking the clues takes Irene behind the closed doors of an isolated home for troubled youths, where obscuring the truth is only part of a stranger’s diabolic game. To win it, Irene will have the devil to pay.
What if life as you know it was a lie?
What if the world was not truly ours?
What if there were old gods dwelling in the earth beneath our feet?
And what if they came back?
From award-winning authors Kealan Patrick Burke and Harry Shannon comes a vision of the apocalypse that will make you question everything you thought you knew about the world in which we live.
"What follows is the transcript from a series of screenshots emailed to the Columbus City Police on June 7th, 2011, and subsequently distributed to the media."
Everyone has a page…
In the last few years, social networking has exploded as one of the best and easiest means of keeping in touch with people. It increases your visibility, allows the creation of a profile that shows you to the world and lets them know everything about you.
Allows anyone to find you.
Written mostly as a series of Facebook instant messages and presented as a true-crime case, this short story by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Kealan Patrick Burke illustrates the ease with which innocent associations on the Internet can lead to tragedy…OFFLINE.