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:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster 2007.
Physical Description:
14 audio discs (16 hr., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
"In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana. This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers when he is deployed to New Orleans. As James Lee Burke's new novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown, begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed and New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city. In a singular style that defines the genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst, The Tin Roof Blowdown is not only an action-packed crime thriller but a poignant story of courage and sacrifice that critics are already calling Burke's best work" -- from publisher's web site.
General Note:
Compact discs.

Unabridged.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780743567510
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary

In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana.This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers when he is deployed to New Orleans. As James Lee Burke's new novel,The Tin Roof Blowdown,begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed and New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city.In a singular style that defines the genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst,The Tin Roof Blowdownis not only an action-packed crime thriller but a poignant story of courage and sacrifice that critics are already calling Burke's best work.


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

In Burke's meticulously textured 16th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2006's Pegasus Descending), Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath provide the backdrop for an account of sin and redemption in New Orleans. When Detective Robicheaux's department is assigned to investigate the shooting of two looters in a wealthy neighborhood, he learns that they had ransacked the home of New Orleans's most powerful mobster. Now he must locate the surviving looter before others do, and in the process he learns the fate of a priest who disappeared in the ill-fated Ninth Ward trying to rescue his trapped parishioners. Burke creates dense, rich prose that draws the reader into a web of greed and violence. Each of his characters feels the hands of both grace and of perdition, and the final outcome of their struggle is never quite certain. Burke showcases all that was both right and wrong in our response to this national disaster, proving along the way that nobody captures the spirit of Gulf Coast Louisiana better. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Dave Robicheaux makes another appearance, in what may be Burke's most personal novel. Set during the national nightmare that was Hurricane Katrina, it tells the story of a group of small-time criminals who seem to luck into the theft of a lifetime. Unfortunately for them, their newfound goods have been taken from one of the Big Easy's scariest criminals. Dave is faced with the unenviable task of hunting down the thieves, more to save them from those they've wronged than for criminal prosecution. While the story is the usual well-paced, naturally unfolding drama we expect from Burke, it's quite obvious that Robicheaux takes a back-seat this time around to the problems caused by Katrina. Burke has always excelled at making Louisiana more a character than a setting in his Robicheaux novels, a skill he uses here to convey the true horrors of Katrina. Also, without becoming preachy, he makes no secret about his feelings regarding where the blame should be placed. The best Robicheaux novel of the past several years, this is recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/07; also published this month is Burke's short story collection, Jesus Out to Sea: Stories.-Ed.]-Craig Shufelt, Fort McMurray P.L., Alta. (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 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.