Synopses & Reviews
Dave Robicheaux is back, in a gorgeously written, visceral thriller by James Lee Burke, the heavy weight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed (Michael Connelly).
Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song "Creole Belle" on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf. Meanwhile, there has been an oil well blowout on the Gulf, threatening the cherished environs of the bayous.
Creole Belle is James Lee Burke at his very best, with beloved series hero Dave Robicheaux leading the charge against the destruction of both the land and the people he has sworn to protect.
“Burke is the reigning champ of nostalgia noir....To be sure, the destruction of a pristine natural environment is a thematic staple of the regional crime novel, but nobody can touch Burke in the lyrical expression of howling grief....[Creole Belle is] a novel that shows how the sins of the fathers poison the ground their children walk on.” The New York Times Book Review
“I think [James Lee] Burke is the best fiction writer in the country.”—Bill O’Reilly
“All the characters...are superbly drawn, and the plot is heart-pounding...sure to be embraced by author James Lee Burke's fans.” The Washington Post
“Burke, 75, creates lyrical mysteries with what can only be described as deceptive ease. Whether it’s Robicheaux, stand-alone novels, or separate series starring Texas cousins Billy Bob and Hackberry Holland, the themes remain constant. Every novel Burke writes delves into moral ambiguity, the menaces of greed and violence, the degradation of people and land, the juxtaposition of natural beauty and man-made horror and, finally, the sublime joy of human love and loyalty.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Burke never goes wrong with his exquisite gift for taking us into the heart of Louisiana, its wetlands, small towns, the glory of old New Orleans and, as always, its checkered history. Combined with some of the finest characters ever to grace a page, that makes any Robicheaux novel a joy to read.” The Globe and Mail (Canada)
“Like its 18 predecessors in Burke’s series, Creole Belle is a work of dark and radiant brilliance.” Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Reading James Lee Burke is a religious experience. …Creole Belle may be one of Burke's best; it is certainly one of his most complex....Intense doesn't begin to describe a Burke story....Biblical...now that about does it.” San Antonio Express
“The plot is fast-moving and thriller-tough, the bodies mount quickly, and the writing is lyrical and evocative...as laced with complications as the canals crosscutting Robicheaux's beloved, threatened wetlands.” New Orleans Times-Picayune
"If all novelists were as thoughtful and nuanced as James Lee Burke, we could finally put to rest those groundless prejudices against genre fiction...the [Dave Robicheaux] books are works of dark art. At their unflinching best, they examine the cost of violence, even when it's performed in the name of justice, and the haunted worlds inhabited by those resigned to limping through life with a blood-soaked conscience." Miami Herald
Dave Robicheaux returns from near death in James Lee Burke's "intense" (San Antonio Express-News
) thriller — the bestselling follow-up to The Glass Rainbow
Set against the events of the Gulf Coast oil spill, rife with "the menaces of greed and violence and man-made horror" (The Christian Science Monitor), Creole Belle finds Dave Robicheaux languishing in a New Orleans recovery unit since surviving a bayou shoot-out. The detective's body is healing; it's his morphine-addled mind that conjures spectral visions of Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman who in reality has gone missing. An iPod with an old blues song left by his bedside turns Robicheaux into a man obsessed....And as oil companies assign blame after an epic disaster threatens the Gulf's very existence, Robicheaux unearths connections between tragedies both global and personal — and faces down forces that can corrupt and destroy the best of men.
About the Author
James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of thirty-one previous novels and two collections of short stories, including such New York Times bestsellers as The Glass Rainbow, Swan Peak, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Last Car to Elysian Fields, and Rain Gods. He lives in Missoula, Montana.