Black Cherry Blues

Black Cherry Blues

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

Dave Robicheaux was once a Louisiana homicide cop. Now he's trying to start a new life, opening up a fishing business and caring for his adopted girl, Alafair. Compared to Louisiana, Robicheaux thought Montana would be safe--until two Native American activists suddenly go missing. When Robicheaux begins investigating, he is led into the dark world of the Mafia and oil companies. At the same time, someone from his past comes back to haunt him. Someone who was responsible for Robicheaux's flight from New Orleans--someone who brutally murdered his wife--and now is after young Alafair ... Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, BLACK CHERRY BLUES spans from the mystical streets of New Orleans to the endless mountains of Montana, and ranks among James Lee Burke's finest work--an enduring classic , darkly beautiful and thrilling.
Read online
  • 1 109
The Glass Rainbow

The Glass Rainbow

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

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, who is 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.
Read online
  • 1 085
A Stained White Radiance

A Stained White Radiance

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

Cajun police detective Dave Robicheaux knows the Sonnier family of New Iberia--their 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've come out of hiding to destroy the tormented investigator--and the two people he holds most dear.
Read online
  • 1 055
The Convict and Other Stories

The Convict and Other Stories

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

The Convict and Other Stories is a collection of nine award-winning and beautifully composed stories, set in locales along the Gulf coasts of Louisiana and Texas and battlefields around the world. These masterful stories are at once poignant portrayals of the rugged, conflicted Southern man as well as explorations of themes long familiar to Burke's readership: loss and hard-won courage, betrayal and friendship, violence and heroism, and the inveitability of death.
Read online
  • 1 032
White Doves at Morning

White Doves at Morning

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

For years, critics have acclaimed the power of James Lee Burke's writing, the luminosity of his prose, the psychological complexity of his characters, the richness of his landscapes. Over the course of twenty novels and one collection of short stories, he has developed a loyal and dedicated following among both critics and general readers. His thrillers, featuring either Louisiana cop Dave Robicheaux or Billy Bob Holland, a hardened Texas-based lawyer, have consistently appeared on national bestseller lists, making Burke one of America's most celebrated authors of crime fiction. Now, in a startling and brilliantly successful departure, Burke has written a historical novel -- an epic story of love, hate, and survival set against the tumultuous background of the Civil War and Reconstruction. At the center of the novel are James Lee Burke's own ancestors, Robert Perry, who comes from a slave-owning family of wealth and privilege, and Willie Burke, born of Irish immigrants, a poor boy who is as irreverent as he is brave and decent. Despite their personal and political conflicts with the issues of the time, both men join the Confederate Army, choosing to face ordeal by fire, yet determined not to back down in their commitment to their moral beliefs, to their friends, and to the abolitionist woman with whom both have become infatuated. One of the most compelling characters in the story, and the catalyst for much of its drama, is Flower Jamison, a beautiful young black slave befriended, at great risk to himself, by Willie and owned by -- and fathered by, although he will not admit it -- Ira Jamison. Owner of Angola Plantation, Ira Jamison is a true son of the Old South and also a ruthless businessman, who, after the war, returns to the plantation and re-energizes it by transforming it into a penal colony, which houses prisoners he rents out as laborers to replace the slaves who have been emancipated. Against all local law and customs, Flower learns from Willie to read and write, and receives the help and protection of Abigail Dowling, a Massachusetts abolitionist who had come south several years prior to help fight yellow fever and never left, and who has attracted the eye of both Willie and Robert Perry. These love affairs are not only fraught with danger, but compromised by the great and grim events of the Civil War and its aftermath. As in all of Burke's writings, White Doves at Morning is full of wonderful, colorful, unforgettable villains. Some, like Clay Hatcher, are pure "white trash" (considered the lowest of the low, they were despised by the white ruling class and feared by former slaves). From their ranks came the most notorious of the vigilante groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, the White League and the Knights of the White Camellia. Most villainous of all, though, are the petty and mean-minded Todd McCain, owner of New Iberia's hardware store, and the diabolically evil Rufus Atkins, former overseer of Angola Plantation and the man Jamison has placed in charge of his convict labor crews. Rounding out this unforgettable cast of characters are Carrie LaRose, madam of New Iberia's house of ill repute, and her ship's-captain brother Jean-Jacques LaRose, Cajuns who assist Flower and Abigail in their struggle to help the blacks of the town. With battle scenes at Shiloh and in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia that no reader will ever forget, and set in a time of upheaval that affected all men and all women at all levels of society, White Doves at Morning is an epic worthy of America's most tragic conflict, as well as a book of substance, importance, and genuine originality, one that will undoubtedly come to be regarded as a masterpiece of historical fiction.
Read online
  • 968
Jesus Out to Sea

Jesus Out to Sea

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

In this moving collection of short stories, James Lee Burke elegantly marries his flair for gripping storytelling with his lyrical writing style and complex, fascinating character portraits. The backdrop of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast is a versatile setting for Burke's stories, which cover the scope of the human experience -- from love and sex to domestic abuse to war, death, and friendship.
Read online
  • 962
Jolie Blon's Bounce

Jolie Blon's Bounce

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

The Barnes & Noble Review James Lee Burke's fiction is haunted, sometimes quite literally, by the ghosts of history, and by a bone-deep apprehension of the human capacity for violence and cruelty. A case in point is the author's latest Dave Robicheaux novel, Jolie Blon's Bounce, a contemporary account of murder and madness whose plot reflects the lingering aftereffects of the antebellum South. The story begins with the shotgun murder of 16-year-old Amanda Boudreau and the subsequent arrest of Tee Bobby Hulin, a musically gifted young black man with a spiraling drug habit and a checkered criminal past. This initial murder is quickly followed by a second, the bludgeoning death of a prostitute with ties to the world of organized crime. The dual investigation that ensues leads Robicheaux -- together with his current partner, Helen Soileau, and his former partner in the New Orleans PD, Clete Purcell -- into the complex, interrelated histories of several New Iberia families, some rich, white, and powerful, some poor, black, and chronically underprivileged. The investigation puts Robicheaux in touch with the most vicious elements of Louisiana society, and with the darkest aspects of his own divided soul. Like most of Burke's fiction, Jolie Blon's Bounce is a rambling, loosely plotted affair notable for its powerful set pieces, its precise, sensual evocation of the Louisiana bayou country, and its flamboyant sense of character. Among the novel's most vivid creations are a sexually voracious defense attorney descended from a wealthy slaveholding family, a traveling Bible salesman with a penchant for violence, a former Mafia hit man with a tragic personal history, and a predatory, not-quite-human killer who goes by the name of Legion. Legion, a deliberate, over-the-top embodiment of absolute evil, is one of Burke's most remarkable creations. His presence, together with the corollary presence of a mad, possibly angelic figure known as Sal Angelo, lends this novel the faint, unmistakable aura of the supernatural that has characterized so much of Burke's recent fiction. As always, though, it is Dave Robicheaux himself -- a decent, violent, angry, loving, and deeply conflicted man -- who dominates the narrative. Robicheaux's distinctive character and his voice -- with its mournful power, its clean, rolling cadences, and its frequent flights of unforced poetry -- elevate this novel at every turn. Like the best of its predecessors (The Neon Rain, A Morning for Flamingos, Purple Cane Road), Jolie Blon's Bounce is bruising, moving, and beautifully composed -- an example of American crime fiction at its best and most highly evolved. (Bill Sheehan)
Read online
  • 922
Wayfaring Stranger

Wayfaring Stranger

James Lee Burke

Mystery & Thrillers / Historical Fiction / Crime

A sprawling thriller drenched with atmosphere and intrigue that takes a young boy from a chance encounter with Bonnie and Clyde to the trenches of World War II and the oil fields along the Texas-Louisiana coast. It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when sixteen-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp. Eventually, Weldon and Rosita fall in love and marry and, with Hershel, return to Texas to seek their fortunes. There, they enter the domain of jackals known as the oil business. They meet Roy Wiseheart—a former Marine aviator haunted with guilt for deserting his squadron leader over the South Pacific—and Roy’s wife Clara, a vicious anti-Semite who is determined to make Weldon and Rosita’s life a nightmare. It will be the frontier justice upheld by Weldon’s grandfather, Texas lawman Hackberry Holland, and the legendary antics of Bonnie and Clyde that shape Weldon’s plans for saving his family from the evil forces that lurk in peacetime America and threaten to destroy them all.
Read online
  • 914