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Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Holland) Mass Market Paperback – May 10, 1998
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A read that keeps you wanting more!
I chose the series because I wanted to experience another of JLB'S characters
Love his characters because they are well developed and get to the bottom of right and wrong with their own sacrifice.
"Cimarron Rose," one of Burke's Billy Bob Holland novels, is the story of Billy Bob's search for the killer of a killer and his adolescent associates when a teen age girl is killed in a hangout popular with teenagers wilding. In that, maestro Billy Bob Holland takes the lead defending an adolsecent whose lower class family background preselect him as victim. In the episode that follows Billy Bob kicks open a giant hole in town corruption, wealthy power and seemingly immoral leaders of the social upper crust.
Billy Bob, raw fisted and quick tempered, seems to embody the fighting truth seeker a la Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer of 50 years ago. This novel is replete with uncountable fist, knife, and gunfights, mano a mano among the bad guys of "Cimarron Rose."
In this novel, author Burke follows the progress of attorney Billy Bob Holland gathering evidence of his client's innocence and stirs up a hornets's nest of the rich and their ties with evil forces in American life. The plot and conflict=tension is further enhanced by Billy Bob's dead friend, a PTSD-like ghost enduced by a shoot out with drug runners in northern Mexico, and wisdom found in reading his father's diaries.
Author Burke's skills with characterization lie in his deft use of short descriptions such as: "On the trial he met a hollow-eyed preacher whose face had been branded with red hot horseshoes by Comanches north of the Cimarron"; "L.Q. Navarro [the ghost partner] sat on top of a stall, the heels of his boots hooked onto a plank"; "Mary Beth Sweeny . . . still in uniform from the night shift, her thumbs hooked into the sides of her gun belt". With these short machine gun bursts of colorful description, author Burke develops his characters, depicts attitude, and progresses the action all in a single phrase.
Like the real estate legend of "location , location, location," in crime novels it's "plot, plot, plot." At that, James Lee Burk is the master plotster.
As conflict after conflict, each more life-threatening to allies, it's Billy Bob's personal and cool-headed rage that saves the day time to time. But, that's not to say his sticking his head into the lion's mouth is not dangerous -- because it IS dangerous, but author Burke has developed tough but likeable heroes and we fear for their lives.
Finally, James Lee Burke's "Cimarron Rose" will bowl you over with his "writerly" prose, i.e., control over language that literally sparkles with new views of life, e.g., "She pulled her T shirt over her head, her hair collapsing on her shoulders"; "he had crashed through the enemy line like a tank through a hedgerow"; "The headlights shone in my driveway, bounced across the chicken run and filled the barn and horse lot with shadows". If you like an unbridled wordsmith at the top of his game,you'll be as crazy as I am for the work of James Lee Burke. A solid read from the first word to the last.
Add this book to the huge library of five star books authored
by James Lee Burke.