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Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux Book 2) by [Burke, James Lee]
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Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First met in Burke's excellent mystery, The Neon Rain, Dave Robicheaux is a driven mandriven by his constant battle with alcoholism; by memories of his past as a detective on the New Orleans police force; by his need for order; by his obsession with the seedy, aberrant side of New Orleans life. Trying to put his own life together again, Dave has married Annie and now runs a small fishing rental business in the Louisiana bayou. When he and Annie witness the crash of a small plane, in which four peopleobviously illegal aliensdie, and only a little girl survives, Robicheaux is drawn to the trail of a network of crimes that suggests a Central American dope-running ring operated with the connivance of federal agents. Violence ensues, and Robicheaux, no stranger to tragedy, must confront it again when Annie becomes a victim. Haunted by guilt, deeply depressed, in constant danger, Robicheaux trusts no one, including the cops, for he knows that they too, are capable of skirting the law. Burke beautifully evokes New Orleans and the mysterious bayous, and he skillfully depicts the different lifestyles that distinguish the Gulf region. Robicheaux is a complex character whose integrity and high principles are always in conflict with the darker side of human nature. This is a mystery fans will savor for its ruminating intelligence and graceful prose as well as for its heart-stopping suspense.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The Cajun hero of The Neon Rain returns in a very intense and atmospheric, if not obsessive, story of personal revenge. Former homicide cop Dave Robicheaux, now proprietor of a bait and boat rental business on the Louisiana bayou, rescues a terrified illegal immigrant girl from a small plane that crashes into the Gulf. The other four passengers die, but when newspapers report only three, Dave decides to investigate. His first-person narrative provides character insight, immediacy, and authentic glimpses into a disappearing way of life. For most collections. REK
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 920 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (July 8, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 13, 2010
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003V1WUNK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,641 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Heaven's Prisoners by James Lee Burke is the second book in his Dave Robicheaux mystery series. While Burke's series has grown to be one of the best ever, in Heaven's Prisoners, he's still in the growing stage.

Since book one, Neon Rain, Robicheaux has quit the New Orleans Police Department, cashed in his pension and bought a boat-and-bait business on a bayou in New Iberia. He has also married Annie Ballard. They have tried to settle into a quiet life, but it's just not in Robicheaux's nature. Robicheaux and Annie are boating on the Gulf when they see a plane go down. Robicheaux straps on his scuba tank, and is able to rescue a small girl (the four adults are already dead). The girl is a Salvadoran refugee and Robicheaux and Annie name her Alafair and decide to raise her as their own. But when federal authorities report that only three bodies were onboard the plane, Robicheaux starts investigating the identity of the mystery man and the reason for the cover-up. He is first visited by the DEA and Immigration. Then he is threatened by mob enforcers and told to mind his own business. It soon becomes obvious that the Iberian Sheriff's Department is clueless (the sheriff runs a dry cleaning business with greater efficiency), so Robicheaux reluctantly joins the sheriff's department as a deputy.

Heaven's Prisoners follows the same formula of most Burke books. Robicheaux stumbles onto something illegal or suspicious. When he starts investigating, he gets threatened and warned off by some bad guys (mobsters, feds, crooked cops and/or unscrupulous businessmen). Robicheaux can't just leave things alone, and the situation quickly escalates. He's not the bumbling Inspector Columbo, armed with only a wrinkled trench coat.
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Format: Paperback
I've read most of Burke's Dave Robicheaux series, and enjoyed them quite a bit. Heaven's Prisoners is one of the two best, the other being In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. Mist is Burke at his most exotic--Dave's on an acid trip for a substantial part of the book; Heaven's Prisoners is Burke at his darkest. I'm unwilling to go into the plot; in fact I strongly urge you not to read further reviews as there are substantial spoilers in many of them that will ruin the experience for you. Suffice it to say there's plenty of action, plenty of suspense. Of course, most any thriller or action novel today promises that; where Burke is unusual is in his ability to handle language. He writes like he's in love with language, and it's a pleasure to read him. Mickey Spillane once said about himself that he didn't write novels, he wrote books; Burke definitely writes novels, and extremely literate ones at that. He's one of a generation of novelists, along with Michael Connelly, James Hall, and Dennis Lehane, who have inherited the mantle of Raymond Chandler and wear it with pride; in Burke's case, he seems also to draw inspiration from William Faulkner. Robicheaux's a complex man, tortured by his own inadequacies and yet immensely strong simultaneously, and he's a prisoner of the dark, decaying Southern environment he was raised in. If you prefer simple action, plots, and characters like Mike Hammer or Robert Parker's Spenser, you'll surely think Burke is overwritten. But for a real literate treat, with an electric story, fantastic dialogue and descriptions, and characters you'll want to revisit, read Heaven's Prisoners. I almost never reread a fiction book, except by accident--there's just too much new stuff out there; but I deliberately read this one again, and enjoyed it just as much the second time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Readers expecting a standard detective novel will be amazed at the literary quality of Burke's characters and landscape. Even those who know nothing about Southern Louisiana or Cajun culture will feel that they have been there. The story is tautly constructed but the dialogue and descriptive passages are some of the best in the world of today's writers. Burke's use of colloquial names like the "four-corners" rather than the "crossroads" makes an individual place very real. It is very frustrating to Burke/Robicheaux fans that the movie, well cast, beautifully photographed, and with the same atmosphere as the book was caught up in Hollywood studio politics and when finally released after a lengthy delay received no advertizing or other promotion. Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Robicheaux gives all Burke readers a mental image to carry as they read all the other seven books about this complex literary character. James Lee Burke has also written a number of! books NOT about the Cajun detective and they are all worth a read and a re-read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
James lee Burke is one of thosed underrated masters of prose,forever delegated to second rung because of his genre. Heavens prisoners, the second in this series,is,in many ways, the best. Dave Robicheux, the alcoholic new Orleans cop,is out fishing when a single engine plane crashes into the lake,and everything changes.Mr. Burke's descriptions of alcoholic despair and rage are perhaps the finest,and least sentimental I have read. The violence is brutal and freakish in its intensity[as violence is],the dialogue is so well written that i feel for these characters,and want to read more. Though much Longer then Neon rain, the first entry,Mr. Burkes seems to hold the intensity through the narrative. From the lousiana locales to histroical comments on Cajuns, from Cletus Purcell{his sort of sidekick]to the suprising[at least for me] ending, Mr. Burke solidifes himself as one superb writer.And, fortunately, the series goes on ...
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