Cover image for The tin roof blowdown : a dave robicheaux novel
Title:
The tin roof blowdown : a dave robicheaux novel
Author:
Burke, James Lee, 1936-
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Wheeler Pub., 2007.
Physical Description:
638 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781597224840
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux returns in an adventure as timely as real life. Detective Robicheaux, driven by a keen sense of right versus wrong in the fight against crime following Hurricane Katrina, has his own demons of alcoholism and rage to contend with as well.Simon & Schuster


Author Notes

James Lee Burke, winner of two Edgar awards, is the author of nineteen previous novels, many of them "New York Times" bestsellers, including "Cimmaron Rose", Cadillac Jukebox", & "Sunset Limited". He & his wife divide their time between Missoula, Montana, & New Iberia, Louisiana.

(Publisher Provided) James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas on December 5, 1936. He received a B. A. in English and an M. A. from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960, respectively. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as a land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps.

His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He writes the Dave Robicheaux series and the Billy Bob Holland series. He has won numerous awards including the CWA/Macallan Gold Dagger for fiction for Sunset Limited and the Edgar Award in 1989 for Black Cherry Blues and in 1997 for Cimarron Rose. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Antioch Review, Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. Two of his novels, Heaven's Prisoners and Two for Texas, have been made into motion pictures starring Alec Baldwin and Tommy Lee Jones, respectively. He made The New York Times High Profiles List with Wayfaring Stranger.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

I wanted to wake to the great, gold-green, sun-spangled promise of the South Louisiana in which I had grown up. I didn't want to be part of the history taking place in our state. That sentence wouldn't be out of place in any of Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels, all of which have been distinguished by their elegiac tone, but it's only fitting that it should appear in his latest, a heartfelt post-Katrina ode to a lost New Orleans and a lost world. In a sense, Dave Robicheaux, Burke's Cajun detective, whose heart is in the past and whose eyes are on the horizon, expecting trouble, has always been anticipating Katrina--or at least some form of cataclysm--as he has watched his world spin further and further out of control. But Katrina was no fictional event, and Burke writes about its aftermath as vividly and powerfully as any nonfiction chronicler. The plot itself, the investigation of the murder of two black men in the ninth ward, hinges on familiar Burke tropes--the powerless caught in a web of circumstance; surprising acts of nobility from the least likely people; unfathomable evil prompting eruptions of Robicheaux's thinly suppressed rage--but the novel's power comes from the way it explores the tragedy of Katrina in a way that is perfectly in tune with the series, a kind of perfect storm brought together by the confluence of fictional and nonfictional realms. --Bill Ott Copyright 2007 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The pain, dismay and anger brought on by the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina explodes from the pages of this new Dave Robicheaux novel. For nearly a quarter of a century, Burke has used this series, despite their dark subject matter, to show his obvious love of the land, the people and the cultures of the South and specifically New Orleans. There is a mystery for Robicheaux to solve, but it's the destruction of Burke's beloved New Orleans that resonates like thunder throughout the book. Will Patton, who has come to embody the heart and soul of Burke's weary, Southern knight, matches the author's prose in all its intensity and pain. Adept as he is at portraying the eccentric, the evil and the endearing characters found in Burke's books, it is the actor's reading of Burke's descriptive passages, whether it be a storm forming off the Louisiana coast or the shock of blood escaping from a gunshot wound, that creates a fully realized world for the listener. Patton's insightful interpretation of Burke's darkly expressive imagery makes for a rich literary experience rarely achieved in crime fiction today. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (Reviews, May 21). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In his many years of service with the New Orleans police department and the New Iberia sheriff's department, Dave Robicheaux has faced evil and danger in its many forms. But his life is about to change as New Orleans-"the city that care forgot"-is about to fall victim to a catastrophe that will dwarf all the ills that have previously beset it. As Hurricane Katrina sweeps into the city, residents who were not able to flee can't begin to know that even worse destruction will occur when the levees fail. With the city in chaos, law enforcement officers from New Iberia are called in to help restore a semblance of order. As Dave gets pulled into the turmoil, his wife and daughter are about to face their darkest hour. This is one of Burke's best and will keep listeners enthralled. Will Patton's performance makes the author's prose sing. This book is essential for all libraries, as Burke has captured in eloquent fiction an event that allowed us to see "an American city turned into Baghdad." Highly recommended.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER 1 My worst dreams have always contained images of brown water and fields of elephant grass and the downdraft of helicopter blades. The dreams are in color but they contain no sound, not of drowned voices in the river or the explosions under the hooches in the village we burned or the thropping of the Jolly Green and the gunships coming low and flat across the canopy, like insects pasted against a molten sun. In the dream I lie on a poncho liner, dehydrated with blood expander, my upper thigh and side torn by wounds that could have been put there by wolves. I am convinced I will die unless I receive plasma back at battalion aid. Next to me lies a Negro corporal, wearing only his trousers and boots, his skin coal-black, his torso split open like a gaping red zipper from his armpit down to his groin, the damage to his body so grievous, traumatic, and terrible to see or touch he doesn't understand what has happened to him. "I got the spins, Loot. How I look?" he says. "We've got the million-dollar ticket, Doo-doo. We're Freedom Bird bound," I reply. His face is crisscrossed with sweat, his mouth as glossy and bright as freshly applied lipstick when he tries to smile. The Jolly Green loads up and lifts off, with Doo-doo and twelve other wounded on board. I stare upward at its strange rectangular shape, its blades whirling against a lavender sky, and secretly I resent the fact that I and others are left behind to wait on the slick and the chance that serious numbers of NVA are coming through the grass. Then I witness the most bizarre and cruel and seemingly unfair event of my entire life. As the Jolly Green climbs above the river and turns toward the China Sea, a solitary RPG streaks at a forty-five-degree angle from the canopy below and explodes inside the bay. The ship shudders once and cracks in half, its fuel tanks blooming into an enormous orange fireball. The wounded on board are coated with flame as they plummet downward toward the water. Their lives are taken incrementally - by flying shrapnel and bullets, by liquid flame on their skin, and by drowning in a river. In effect, they are forced to die three times. A medieval torturer could not have devised a more diabolic fate. When I wake from the dream, I have to sit for a long time on the side of the bed, my arms clenched across my chest, as though I've caught a chill or the malarial mosquito is once again having its way with my metabolism. I assure myself that the dream is only a dream, that if it were real I would have heard sounds and not simply seen images that are the stuff of history now and are not considered of interest by those who are determined to re-create them. I also tell myself that the past is a decaying memory and that I do not have to relive and empower it unless I choose to do so. As a recovering drunk, I know I cannot allow myself the luxury of resenting my government for lying to a whole generation of young men and women who believed they were serving a noble cause. Nor can I resent those who treated us as oddities if not pariahs when we returned home. When I go back to sleep, I once again tell myself I will never again have to witness the wide-scale suffering of innocent civilians, nor the betrayal and abandonment of our countrymen when they need us most. But that was before Katrina. That was before a storm with greater impact than the bomb blast that struck Hiroshima peeled the face off southern Louisiana. That was before one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere was killed three times, and not just by the forces of nature. Copyright (c) 2007 by James Lee Burke Excerpted from The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.