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From New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke comes his definitive, must-read first title in his famous Dectective David Robicheaux series. New Orleans Detective Dave Robicheaux has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with police brass, with killers and hustlers, and the bottle. Lost without his wife's love, Robicheaux haunts the intense and heady French Quarter—the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he beomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou. Thrust into the seedy world of drug lords and arms smugglers, Robicheaux must face down the criminal underworld and come to terms with his own bruised heart and demons to survive.
THE NEON RAIN: When Johnny Massina, a convicted murderer bound for the electric chair, warns Dave Robicheaux he's on somebody's hit list, the Cajun detective is rocketed into a situation with chilling consequences. THE NEON RAIN is the first highly acclaimed novel in the Dave Robicheaux series. HEAVEN'S PRISONERS: Dave Robicheaux is trying to put a life of violence and crime behind him, leaving homicide to run a boat-rental business in Louisiana's bayou country. But one day a small two-engine plane suddenly crashes into the sea and Robicheaux dives down to the wreckage to find four bodies and one survivor: a little girl miraculously trapped in a pocket of air. When the authorities insist only three bodies were recovered from the plane, Robicheaux decides to investigate the mystery of the missing man. BLACK CHERRY BLUES: Personal tragedy has left Dave Robicheaux close to the edge. Battling against his old addiction to alcohol, Dave finds his only tranquillity at home with his young ward Alafair. But even this fragile peace is shattered by the arrival of Dixie Lee Pugh who brings with him a brutal trail of murder and violence.
100 American Crime Writers features discussion and analysis of the lives of crime writers and their key works, examining the developments in American crime writing from the Golden Age to hardboiled detective fiction. This study is essential to scholars and an ideal introduction to crime fiction for anyone who enjoys this fascinating genre.
Meet Dave Robicheaux again for the first time! This boxed set includes the first two novels featuring fan favorite Detective Dave Robicheaux, The Neon Rain and Heaven’s Prisoners, plus an excerpt from the most recent Robicheaux novel, The Glass Rainbow. Robicheaux’s creator, New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke, is a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and in 2009 was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. The Neon Rain Detective Dave Robicheaux has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with killers and hustlers, with police brass, and with the bottle. Robicheaux's haunted soul mirrors the intensity and dusky mystery of New Orleans' French Quarter—the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he becomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou. In order to survive, Robicheaux must face down a subterranean criminal world of drug lords and arms smugglers—and come to terms with his own bruised heart. Heaven’s Prisoners Vietnam vet Dave Robicheaux has turned in his detective's badge, is winning his battle against booze, and has left New Orleans with his new wife, Annie, for the tranquil beauty of Louisiana's bayous. But a plane crash on the Gulf brings a young girl into his life—and with her comes a netherworld of murder, deception, and homegrown crime. Suddenly Robicheaux is confronting Bubba Rocque, a brutal thug he's known since childhood; Rocque's hungry Cajun wife; and a federal agent with more guts than sense. In a backwater world where a swagger and a gun go further than the law, Robicheaux and those he loves are caught on a tide of violence far bigger than them all . . . The Glass Rainbow (excerpt) Detective Dave Robicheaux and his partner, Clete Purcel, are on the trail of a killer responsible for the deaths of seven young women—a trail that always seems to lead back to the notorious pimp Herman Stanga, whom they both despise. But the case takes a nasty turn when Stanga turns up dead after a fierce beating by Purcel in front of numerous witnesses. Adding to Robicheaux’s troubles is his daughter Alafair’s romantic involvement with the scion of a once-prominent Louisiana family whom Robicheaux suspects is involved in some very shady business. To protect his daughter and clear his best friend’s name, Robicheaux will need every ounce of guts, wit, and investigative chops he can muster.
James Lee Burke is an acclaimed writer of crime novels in which protagonists battle low-life thugs who commit violent crimes and corporate executives who exploit the powerless. He is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series, set in New Orleans and the surrounding bayou country. With characters inspired by his own family, Burke uses the mystery genre to explore the nature of evil and an individual's responsibility to friends, family and society at large. This companion to his works provides a commentary on all of the characters, settings, events and themes in his novels and short stories, along with a critical discussion of his writing style, technique and literary devices. Glossaries describe the people and places and define unfamiliar terms. Selected interviews provide background information on both the writer and his stories.
When he created the character Dave Robicheaux, author James Lee Burke lent the New Orleans homicide detective a few of his own characteristics: a daughter named Alafair, a lifetime struggle with alcohol, his Roman Catholic faith, and his love for fishing and the outdoors. On the other hand, Robicheaux is portrayed as a veteran of the Vietnam war, something Burke never experienced firsthand. Yet the demons Burke has known allow him to write convincingly about demons he never knew. Thus Burke has created a realistic, complex and compelling protagonist for his crime fiction series. That depth is one element that elevates Burke’s writing above the status of genre fiction. This book explores how James Lee Burke, through the first person narrative of detective Dave Robicheaux, probes the world of law and order, crime and disorder, and one man’s internal conflicts with modern moral issues. The first chapter reveals the similarities and differences between real life creator and fictional protagonist. Next, chapters arranged by theme explore the roles of women, Robicheaux’s paternal side as revealed through his adopted daughter, the paternal influences in the detective’s own life, and the contrasting personality of his half-brother, Jimmie. The next chapters probe the roots of the detective’s moral dilemmas: his battle with alcohol, the Vietnam war’s lingering trauma, and religion. Next the author explores Burke’s use of the supernatural, sense of place, and music to deepen his stories. Final chapters delve into Robicheaux’s moral quandaries as a law enforcement officer, the character’s contrast to his reckless and funny partner, Clete, and how Burke reveals truths about life through Robicheaux. An interview with Burke is included.
Offering a comprehensive view of the South's literary landscape, past and present, this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates the region's ever-flourishing literary culture and recognizes the ongoing evolution of the southern literary canon. As new writers draw upon and reshape previous traditions, southern literature has broadened and deepened its connections not just to the American literary mainstream but also to world literatures--a development thoughtfully explored in the essays here. Greatly expanding the content of the literature section in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 31 thematic essays addressing major genres of literature; theoretical categories, such as regionalism, the southern gothic, and agrarianism; and themes in southern writing, such as food, religion, and sexuality. Most striking is the fivefold increase in the number of biographical entries, which introduce southern novelists, playwrights, poets, and critics. Special attention is given to contemporary writers and other individuals who have not been widely covered in previous scholarship.

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