Friday, August 10, 2012
Book Shelf 8/10
What I should have called this post was "whoopsie." Last night I got all involved in a game of mahjongg with the guy from Seattle and thought that I saved my work, not published it!!, for crying out loud. How embarrassing!!
Anyway, I just finished the latest book by the above good looking guy and thought I would share him with you. His name is James Lee Burke and I have been reading him for almost 30 years and always look forward to his next book. Mr. Burke writes a lot of books but the series that I follow are the Dave Robicheaux novels. These books are set in New Orleans and you could call them "men's adventure" type stories. They are not lightweights, like, say James Patterson's books. I actually read one of Patterson's books in under an hour - at work!!
The main characters in this series are two guys from the New Orleans area who went to Viet Nam and came back wild and crazy guys and ended up getting fired from the New Orleans police department and you know how hard that had to be. Dave Robicheaux is the more stable of the two and that isn't saying much, but he has given up the booze and fun times and is now a family man and deputy for the New Iberia parish, not far from New Orleans.
His best friend since before Viet Nam is Clete Purcel and he hasn't given up the fun times and works as a private investigator and just generally gets himself in trouble or involved in some kind of big mess that Dave has to step in and help him out with. Or vice versa. These are rough and ready kinds of guys who have a sense of justice and concern for the more unfortunate members of society, so there is always a good bit of violence as they fix things, in their own way.
Mr. Burke doesn't just write a fine action novel. His descriptions of the area and culture in and around New Orleans are so well done, you can feel it. You can tell how much he loves this area and usually has a bone to pick in his novels. His latest book is Creole Belle and it is set after Katrina and the BP spill. He is very angry about the spill and it is at the core of this book. Tee Jolie Melton has gone missing and her sister has turned up frozen in a big chunk of ice, so Dave and Clete go after the bad guys.
Both of these characters have been very well conceived and have aged through the years, so I suggest that you start at the beginning with the first book in this series called The Neon Rain and follow them as they make their way through the graft and corruption that is New Orleans. Sometimes I think that these two are idiots but love them anyway because their hearts are in the right place and they are just trying to make things right.
As I mentioned before, there is sex and violence, but if you can do the dragon tattoo girl, this will be a piece of cake. Give Dave and Clete a try. I bet you will be hooked.