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"Robicheaux, your mama's name was Mae.... Wait, it was Guillory before she married. That was the name she went by ... Mae Guillory. But she was your mama," he said.To Robicheaux, whose memories of the fun-loving Mae are few and bittersweet, the news comes like a bolt of lightning. Though she abandoned him to the uncertain mercies of a violent, alcoholic father, he loved her, and his desire to find her killers--cops in the pay of the Giacano crime family, according to Clum--is instantaneous and deeply felt. Unfortunately, Zipper Clum meets the wrong end of a .25 automatic soon after his electrifying announcement, but his conversation with his killer is recorded--and Mae Guillory's name comes up again.
"What?" I said.
He wet his lips uncertainly.
"She dealt cards and still hooked a little bit. Behind a club in Lafourche Parish. This was maybe 1966 or '67," he said.
Clete's eyes were fixed on my face. "You're in a dangerous area, sperm breath," he said to Zipper.
"They held her down in a mud puddle. They drowned her," Zipper said.
The winding trail of evidence connected to both Letty Labiche and Mae Guillory leads Robicheaux almost immediately to Jim Gable, the New Orleans Police Department's liaison with city hall, whose position has afforded him a number of less-than-legal advantages. Gable also happens to be an ex-lover of Robicheaux's wife, Bootsie--formerly the widow of Ralph Giacano. From there the web of connections grows ever wider, and (not surprisingly) incriminates those in high places. These include the state attorney general, a woman who, if photographic evidence is to be trusted, was once friendly with the Labiches' parents, who were known procurers.
But if Purple Cane Road has its share of corrupt powermongers, it's also filled with beautifully rounded characters, like piano-playing governor Belmont Pugh and hit man Johnny Remeta, whose personality slowly begins to unravel as he gets closer to Robicheaux's daughter. The plot converges seamlessly to its climax--the true story of what happened to Mae Robicheaux--as James Lee Burke's trademark of uncompromising justice is brought to fruition. Like Burke's other Robicheaux novels, Purple Cane Road offers a solidly satisfying piece in the picture of a complex hero. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I read the Kindle edition of "Purple Cane Road" on the beach and found the beginning difficult. I had thoughts about electronically shelving it. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Roger Lile
Burke's knowledge of the south and in particular Louisiana makes the story come alive. The gritty life of those people who never catch an even break because of their own choices... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Burke is a great writer. I'm from Louisiana, so I especially enjoyed his descriptions of New Iberia and New Orleans. I plan to read all of his Dave Robicheaux books.Published 27 days ago by michael dille
It is somewhat disconcerting to enjoy the writing but not the book. Burke is a good writer but a lousy storyteller,Published 2 months ago by Louis Kudon
I loved the dialogue in this book. You could almost hear the Louisiana accent when reading it. I found the characters authentic and gritty. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Teresa J. Reasor
This work was slow to develop and then was mired in too many casual details. His other books were great.Published 2 months ago by Eugene B. Brannon
If you like the exploits of Burke characters Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcel you will love Purple Cane Road. Burke does not disappoint.Published 3 months ago by Matt Cashion