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Black Cherry Blues: A Dave Robicheaux Novel Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2012
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In this winner of the 1990 Edgar Award for best mystery novel, Dave Robicheaux, a former New Orleans policeman, is pursued by a psychopath and flees his home on the Bayou Teche, in the heart of Louisiana, to find a new life in Montana. After settling near the Blackfoot River Canyon, Robicheaux finds himself smack dab in the middle of an illegal Mafia takeover of Indian lands. As he struggles to expose the truth, he must face some hard facts about himself, especially after the appearance of an old Cajun friend, Dixie Lee Pughe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Burke pits a land-hungry oil company against a Blackfeet Indian reservation in a stunning novel that takes detective fiction into new imaginative realms. His Cajun sleuth, Dave Robicheaux, an ex-New Orleans cop featured in two previous novels, attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, has recurrent nightmares about his murdered wife, and cares for an adopted El Salvadoran refugee girl. When two American Indian activists disappear, Robicheaux's dogged investigation not only sets him on a collision course with Mafia thugs and oil interests, but also leads him into a romance with Darlene American Horse, his ex-partner's girlfriend. All the main characters in this darkly beautiful, lyric saga carry heavy emotional baggage, and Robicheaux's sleuthing is a simultaneous exorcism of demons of grief, loss, fear, rage, vengeance. Burke's fictional terrain--stretching from the Louisiana bayous to Montana's red cliffs and pine-dotted hills--is uniquely his own, yet also a microcosm of a multi-ethnic America. He writes from the heart and the gut. 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I don't know what the hell is up with his use of "Negro" for Black folks; the copyright is way too late for that shit. "Negroes and Texans" as if they are mutually exclusive? I hope he's caught a clue by now. I don't see this guy as a racist, though; too many other things in his narrative suggest otherwise.
Meanwhile, if you want the kind of remarkable thriller that wins the Edgar, get this book.I consider it a must-read!
This is Cajun English, in all its glory, and James Lee Burke plays it for all the brilliant local color it can add to Black Cherry Blues. For any lover of language, this alone is sufficient reward for reading this third novel in his outstanding Dave Robicheaux series focusing on crime on the margins of Louisiana society. And it’s not just Burke’s rendering of the local dialect. His narrative writing style commands attention, too. For example, “I’ll never forget that summer, though. It’s the cathedral I sometimes visit when everything else fails, when the heart seems poisoned, the earth stricken, and dead leaves blow across the soul’s window like bits of dried parchment.” In other words, this is no run-of-the-mill example of writing about crime. Burke’s prose often sings.
Dave Robicheaux, a twice-wounded junior officer who led a platoon in Vietnam, has left the New Orleans Police Department after an unhappy career as a detective. Now, he owns a bait-, boat-rental, and sandwich-shop on the bayou, where he lives with the six-year-old girl he calls his daughter — the explanation lies in a previous novel — and works as a private detective on the side. His wife, Annie, was brutally murdered in bed by two thugs who’d hoped to kill him instead. Her death constantly haunts him. She appears nightly in his dreams, robbing him of sleep.
Enter Dixie Lee Pugh, his freshman roommate in college, once a high-flying country music star, now washed-up after five ruined marriages and a stretch in prison for murder. His chance meeting with Robicheaux in a local bar sets in motion a series of increasingly violent events that involve his former partner in the police, the Las Vegas and Reno mob, and threaten both their lives. The action swings from Louisiana to the oil-fields of Montana, with suspense steadily mounting to a crashing conclusion.
For crime and mystery fans who can tolerate over-the-top violence, Black Cherry Blues is a terrific read. James Lee Burke knows how to write a thriller!