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Robicheaux's return explores the dark side of human nature, including his own. Vintage Burke
Susanna Yager, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
As always BUrke's lyrical prose confirms his status as one of America's finest writers in any genre.
Following his superb historical novel, WHITE DOVES AT MORNING, America's most acclaimed crime writer - and winner of the 1998 CWA/The Macallan Gold Dagger for SUNSET LIMITED - returns to Louisiana and Dave Robicheaux.
'This author is more and more a writer of our times' GUARDIAN 'Critics are running out of superlatives to describe the writing of James Lee Burke. He has been compared to a bewildering range of authors... However no comparisons are needed. James Lee Burke is an American original' OBSERVER 'He is not just a fantastic crime novelist, he is a fantastic novelist. JOLIE BLON'S BOUNCE is so far above the prevailing standards of crime fiction that it is pointless to make the comparison' EXPRESS 'It is difficult to think of new superlatives to describe PURPLE CANE ROAD: like all James Lee Burke's novels, it has an intricate but superbly machined plot, brilliantly imagined characters (with brilliantly imagined names), and is written in a language which, at once sharp yet poetic, can handle with nonchalant skill anything from extreme violence to languorous ease... It makes most other crime writing seem crude, simplistic and immature, and most novels anaemic, etiolated and jejune' T.J. Binyon
Last Car to Elysian Fields Reviews
User rating -
Dave Robecheaux's life has moved on considerably since the 'Jolie Blon's Bounce' episode. He is now a much more contemporary figure in 'Last Car to Elysian Fields' by James Lee Burke. It is always easy for a character to have no firm time boundaries but this time Burke is keen that we readers will have no doubt about the time of events in his latest novel. Burke has performed something that must be difficult, he has created a void, a space left by Burke's deceased partner Bootsie. This void has a gravity all of its own and its target is poor Dave. This time its not the despair of an alcoholic but rather the mourning and loss a partner must travel through, and hopefully come out the other side. The story has a pace that keeps one hooked as Dave and Clete explore the backround to a rich Louisiana business man. Dave's search is centred in the past where he discovers the reasons behind a prisoners disappearnce. As usual Clete is in the present trying to counsel Dave through his bereavement, as well as acting as a sort of human exocet device without any stealth technology. In an earlier novel Dave met a character called Legion who managed to both outsmart Robecheaux at one point and leave a kiss firmly planted on Dave's lips. Whatever one makes of that incident remains to be seen, however in the present novel Dave is humiliated in a far more personal attack. These strange and disturbing encounters seem part of a greater plot that Burke is planning that fails to fill one with anticipation. There is relatively little of Burke's rich and descriptive prose describing the Louisiana environment this time around. It is this talent that has, I believe, made the novels so addictive. So there may be a sea change taking place, a turbulence that is in itself unpredictable in its effects on the characters. In spite of these observations, a great read.
User - M D Alexander from LEEDS, West Yorkshire United Kingdom
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