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Sunset Limited (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries (Paperback)) Mass Market Paperback – July 6, 1999
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Like Burke's other work, contradictions rule. Beauty is juxtaposed against ugliness; rape, killings, and revenge are woven through an intense and elegiac prose in which the lush details of nature run profuse and poetic. The upshot is an almost dreamlike, or rather nightmarish, account of detective Dave Robicheaux's search for justice in a mounting set of murders. His journeys run from wealthy manors to cockfights and cathouses and through the injustices of a South where past and present are rarely separated. The detective's keen, indisputable insights on human nature and history set him and this story apart from all peers. (Running time: 4.5 hours, four cassettes) --Anne Lockwood --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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With all these strengths brought to bear,"Sunset Limited" has a lot going for it, but it also has some shortcomings. This is the 16th Dave Robicheaux novel. A consequence of this is that some things are taken for granted, like the nickname "Streak". Several characters use it on Robicheaux, but if you're unfamiliar with the series, its significance is lost on you. This isn't a big deal, but it is symptomatic of the fact that terms and local expressions abound in this book. To the extent that it can sometimes be difficult for the uninitiated to follow the meaning. Another thing that struck me was that there are a lot of characters in the story, and some just seem to fade in or out without adequate introduction or resolution. For example, "Cool Breeze" Broussard is a pivotal character early in the story, but he just seems to disappear about midway through and you never see any more of him. In the end, the story itself seems to fade away almost like "Cool Breeze". I felt that a lot was left unresolved when the book was done, and it left me with a vaguely unsatisfied feeling.Read more ›
This is the sixteenth book centering on Burke's increasingly battered hero, Dave Robicheaux; he is still haunted by old demons, although generally he seems to have found a way to live with most of them. His sometime-friend, Clete Purcel, is still half-heroic, half-pathetic.
The plot centres around a series of decades-old crimes, particularly the grisly murder of a union activist. This leads the book into a series of narrative strands, but sometimes Burke seems to be straining to connect them: there are more than a few unlikely coincidences, and some incidents seem to go nowhere. It is characteristic of the book that the initial reason for Robicheaux's involvement - to locate and perhaps clear a petty crim called Cool Breeze Broussard (Burke has not lost his talent for wonderfully appropriate names) - fades away at the book's half-way point.
But there are villains aplenty: in fact, there are few sympathetic characters here. Some of the bad guys are rich and clever, some are poor and stupid, and some of the worst carry a badge. You can't trust anyone these days, and justice prevails only occasionally.
All this darkness of spirit would be somewhat suffocating, except that Burke has a knack of inserting passages of striking beauty. He has a remarkable feel for the social and physical texture of Louisiana, and a grasp of detail which is almost Chandleresque. Neither has he lost his ear for dialogue: each character has a noticeably different way of speaking, or even of being silent.Read more ›
The JLB mastery of place and description is still there and I think it might even be better developed than in some of the earlier installments. It's just that this book didn't get hold of me as early on as his others did.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another Burke novel that's keeps reading and enjoying twist and turn to the very end.Published 2 months ago by William Fickel
Always a good story line set in a real place. You can feel the environment of Acadiana. Don't miss thisPublished 4 months ago by Michael Olivier