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Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) Hardcover – July 18, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews
Book 15 of 20 in the Robicheaux Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on classical antecedents, bestseller Burke peoples his 15th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2004's Crusader's Cross) with his usual assortment of near mythic characters, demonstrating how our everyday lives are beset with age-old, universal dilemmas. New Iberia, La., detective Dave Robicheaux, for whom redemption has become a lifelong pursuit, suits up once again to tilt against villains both real and in his own troubled psyche. Twenty-five years earlier, the young alcohol-soaked cop witnessed his friend and fellow Vietnam vet, Dallas Klein, executed by a group of cold-blooded thugs. He was unable to intercede because he was plastered. Now, a young grifter who may be the victim's daughter, Trish Klein, has appeared in New Iberia, passing counterfeit money and baiting Whitey Bruxal, the aging mobster responsible for Dallas's death. Meanwhile, Dave investigates the apparent suicide of pretty young co-ed Yvonne Darbonne. Are the two cases linked? Dave thinks so, and he enlists longtime loose-cannon sidekick Clete Purcel to prove it. With peerless naturalistic descriptions and lush, metaphysical imagery, Burke creates another challenging morality play for his flawed, everyman hero. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In James Lee Burke's novels, the past in never farther away than the ripples on the bayou outside Dave Robicheaux's New Iberia, Louisiana, home. This time it's Robicheaux's dark personal history--when the detective "was still going steady with Jim Beam straight up and a beer back"--that interferes with the tranquil present for newly married Dave. When Trish Klein turns up in New Iberia, it doesn't take long for Robicheaux to realize she is the daughter of his old friend, Dallas, who died in an armored-car robbery that Dave witnessed but was too drunk to stop. To make amends, Robicheaux must solve the several interconnected murders that track back to the man behind the armored-car hit. Everything that makes this series so compelling--the elegiac, seductively lyrical prose; the complex character of Robicheaux; the lovingly evoked bayou setting-- is here in abundance, and if it doesn't galvanize into something quite as special as the last episode, Crusader's Cross (2005), that's only because we've come to expect so much from this series. The fact remains that no serious reader of hard-boiled fiction should ever miss a moment of Dave Robicheaux in action. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Dave Robicheaux Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743277724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743277723
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Last summer, I discovered James Lee Burke and ended up reading all 14 Dave Robicheaux mysteries in quick succession. Thank goodness Burke just came out with Pegasus Descending as it's been a long 8 months without a fix.

Dave Robicheaux is still a detective, working for the Iberia Sheriff's Department. The year is 2005 and three unsolved deaths are on Robicheaux's plate. First, a young co-ed getting ready for college is found with a gunshot wound to her head. It looks like a suicide, and the detective can't figure out why this apparently happy, well-adjusted girl would have taken too many drugs, had sex with more than a few men and then shot herself. The skeletal remains of a homeless man (nicknamed Crustacean Man) are found in a drainage ditch and seem to have sat there for 12 months. His injuries are not consistent with a hit and run. And a college student, Tony Lujan, is killed with a shotgun. Robicheaux suspects that all three deaths are related, but can't find the pieces that will tie this puzzle together. He keeps coming back to the same names: Bellerophon Lujan and Whitey Bruxal, two men who have mob ties and are in the casino business. Unfortunately, the politically ambitious DA, Lonnie Marceaux, wants to pin the crimes on a small-tine black drug dealer, Monarch Little. How Pegasus Descending plays out is riveting and I was completely surprised at the end.

Many of Burke's characters that we have grown to know and love are back. Cletus Purcell is always there for Robicheaux and is always good for a few belly laughs. Robicheaux seems a little more grounded with his new wife, the former nun Molly Boyle. The women in Robicheaux's past tended to be victim-types.
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Format: Hardcover
It just wouldn't be July or August without a Burke crafted Dave Robicheaux novel. In Pegasus Descending Burke treats us once again with a gritty, humid, and atmospheric thriller that is sure to satisfy all of Burkes loyal readers. I've said this before but I'll say it again, James Lee Burke is one of the finest descriptive writers alive today. He can describe a humid summer day in the pages of his book and you'll have to wipe your brow because of the sweat gathering there. The scenes and smells he describes will fill your senses. That and his cast of characters, including former Marine Clete Purcell makes each new book like a visit home.

Dave Robicheaux is a survivor of too much of a good thing. Long off the bottle he is still paying for his affair with alcohol and as another reviewer said, the past is never far away. Trish Klein, a young scam artist, turns out to be the daughter of Robicheaux's best friend and fellow Nam vet Dallas Klein. Robicheaux witnessed Dallas' execution style murder years before but was too blasted to intervene. Fast forward to now and young Trish has disappeared after ripping off a local mobster.

Burke has a love affair with NOLA. It will be interesting to see if he eventually incorporates Katrina into a future novel.

Pegasus is a must read for all Burke fans.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dave Robicheaux is working on three cases that he comes to believe are connected.

The first is the case of a young co-ed who is found dead of apparent suicide but the facts don't add up.

Then there is a black vagrant whose body is found in a gulley by the road. He is so decomposed, he is given the nickname the Crustation man. Not many people would care for the apparent victim of a hit and run but to Dave, it is a matter of justice.

Besides the third case, Dave is asked to question a young woman who is passing money at a casino that looks like it has the markings of a former hold up. Dave finds that this woman is the daughter of a friend that Dave had seen killed during an armored car robbery.

The third death is that of a college student. There had been a racial incident and the black man involved was known to sell drugs. The ambitious district attorney views this man as the main suspect when the college student is killed. However, Dave thinks that the man is being set up.

James Lee Burke is a master and the reader is glued to the action as Dave attemps to sort these crimes out. All of this is happening as New Orleans is on the verge of Hurricane Katrina and the destruction that storm brought with it.

Dave Robicheaux, with his sense of justice, his faith and his unstable temper is one of the great characters in literature. Together with his loyal but flawed side-kick Clete Purcel, these two characters leave an imprint that is unmatched.
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Format: Hardcover
Burke has reached perfection in his Robicheaux series with this book. It has every element needed to create a solid story. This time, Burke takes his beautiful writing and wraps it around a storyline that not only vividly flows, but contemplatively pulls together in the end. The difference between this book and the average suspense novel is Burke's lyrical writing and thrilling, quirky storylines and characters. I felt like breaking into song after I finished it, it's that good. Bravo, Burke!
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