Synopses & Reviews
"James Lee Burke tells a story in a style all his own, in language that's alive, electric. He's a master at setting mood, laying in atmosphere, all with quirky dialogue that's a delight." -- Elmore Leonard
In James Lee Burke's last novel featuring Billy Bob Holland, "Bitterroot, " the former Texas Ranger left his home state to help a friend threatened by the most dangerous sociopath Billy Bob had ever faced. After vanquishing a truly iniquitous collection of violent individuals, Billy moved his family to west Montana and hung out a shingle for his law practice. But in "In the Moon of Red Ponies, " he discovers that jail cells have revolving doors and that the government he had sworn to serve may have become his enemy.
His first client in Missoula is Johnny American Horse, a young activist for land preservation and the rights of Native Americans. Johnny is charged with the murder of two mysterious men -- who seem to have recently tried to kill Johnny themselves, or at least scare him off his political causes. As Billy Bob investigates, he discovers a web of intrigue surrounding the case and its players: Johnny's girlfriend, Amber Finley, as reckless as she is defiant -- and the daughter of one of Montana's U.S. senators; Darrel McComb, a Missoula police detective who is obsessed with Amber; and Seth Masterson, an enigmatic government agent whose presence in town makes Billy Bob wonder why Washington has become so concerned with an obscure murder case on the fringes of the Bitterroot Mountains.
As complications mount and the dead bodies multiply, Billy Bob is drawn closer to the truth behind Johnny American Horse's arrest -- and discovers a greater danger to himself and to his whole family. How Billy Bob strikes back at evil and protects his kin is the masterful triumph of "In the Moon of Red Ponies."
Beautifully written, with an intriguing plot and characters whose conflicts seem as real as life itself, this novel shows James Lee Burke again in the top form that has made him a critical favorite and a national bestseller.
"In this top-notch fourth novel in Burke's series featuring ex Texas Ranger attorney Billy Bob Holland, Billy Bob has moved his family and practice to the pastoral city of Missoula, Mont., the setting of his last adventure (Bitterroot
, 2001), only to discover that the psychopathic ex-biker/rodeo clown, Wyatt Dixon (who buried Billy Bob's private investigator wife, Temple, alive), is out of prison on a technicality and claiming to be a born-again Christian. Billy Bob befriends alcoholic Desert Storm hero Johnny American Horse, a sometime breeder of horses and eco-activist who when not in the drunk tank is carrying on a passionate affair with Amber Finley, the daughter of Romulus Finley, a vindictive and bigoted powerful U.S. senator. When Johnny is suspected of murdering the hit man who invaded his home as well as masterminding the burglary of Global Research (a high-tech agricultural lab), making off with its computer files, the action picks up quickly. Noted for quirky characters and intricate plots, Burke introduces demon-driven sheriff's deputy Darrel McComb an ex-war hero and former mercenary pilot who flew cocaine for the contras who has an erotic fixation on Amber. Factor in private security agency chief Greta Lundstrum, FBI agent Seth Masterson and Karsten Mabus, CEO of the company that owns Global Research, and the mayhem builds to a gripping, spine-tingling finale. Agent, Philip Spitzer
. 10-city author tour
. (June 8)
" Publishers Weekly
(Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"It's all familiar to fans of Burke's thoughtful, volcanic studies of violence and redemption....Required reading for anybody who wonders whether mystery plotting has a future in mainstream fiction." Kirkus Reviews
"James Lee Burke tells a story in a style all his own, in language that's alive, electric. He's a master at setting mood, laying in atmosphere, all with quirky dialogue that's a delight." Elmore Leonard
"While the shotgun spray of Burke's political complaints makes mincemeat of the plot, his passion is so real and raw that it redeems the ragged writing, giving voice to the new anxieties surfacing in genre fiction." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke "one of the best writers of our time" (The Denver Post) returns with another tale of evil and redemption, featuring his beloved Texas lawyer, Billy Bob Holland.
About the Author
James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, is the author of twenty-three previous novels, including such New York Times
bestsellers as Bitterroot
, Purple Cane Road
, Cimarron Rose
, Jolie Blon's Bounce
, and Dixie City Jam
. He lives in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.