Saturday, July 28, 2012

Books: James Lee Burke - Creole Belle

Creole BelleCreole Belle by James Lee Burke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this, the 19th book in the Dave Robicheaux series, the New Iberia, LA police detective is recovering from a serious gunshot wound in the hospital. During his convalescence, he receives a mysterious late night visitor, Tee Jolie Melton, a singer of zydeco and Cajun music who gives him an iPod that has her music along with some classic Louisiana music. Was this all just a morphine dream? Dave learns that Tee Jolie has been missing for months and no one can hear her music on the iPod except for him. While Dave slowly returns to work at the police department and looks into the disappearance of Tee Jolie and her sister, his best friend, private investigator Clete Purcell gets involved in the shooting deaths of local hoodlums. As the story develops, the two find out that the cases that they are exploring are interconnected, placing their families in grave danger. Like the books that have preceded this one in the series, Burke uses the evocative natural world of Louisiana as a character, and the devastating oil well blowout and subsequent environmental devastation as the equivalent of its fall from grace. The New York Times referred to this book as “nostalgia nior” and that is a valid statement as Dave dreams of returning to the unspoiled Louisiana of his youth. Themes of family and friendship pervade the novel despite devastating violence. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one. Creole Belle -

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