Synopses & Reviews
James Lee Burke, acclaimed by critics as "America's best novelist," "the Graham Greene of the bayou," and "a poet of the mystery novel," returns with his popular character, Dave Robicheaux, in a novel rich with atmosphere, ripe with menace, and filled with the kind of crackling dialogue that has made Burke a consistent New York Times
When a beautiful teenage girl is killed, the victim of a particularly savage rape, New Iberia, Louisiana, police detective Dave Robicheaux senses from the very start of the investigation that the most likely suspect, Tee Bobby Hulin, is not the actual killer. Though a drug addict and general ne'er-do-well, Hulin just doesn't fit the profile for this kind of brutal crime.
But when another murder occurs -- this victim a drugged-out prostitute who happens to be the daughter of one of the local mafia bigwigs -- all clues once again point to Tee Bobby Hulin, and the cries for arrest become too loud to ignore. The dead girl's father, however, prefersto take matters in his own hands and sets out to find -- and punish -- the killer himself.
But before Robicheaux can solve these crimes and bring the killer or killers to justice, he is forced to battle his own inner demons, including a painkiller addiction, a habit that begins as the result of a brutal and humiliating beating he suffers at the hands of the mysterious and diabolical character known as Legion. A fixture in the area for years, Legion was once the overseer on a local sugarcane plantation and now gets by doing odd jobs. In temperament, however, he's still the malicious and malevolent bully he always was, a man defined by evil and seemingly possessed with supernatural skills of survival.
Added to the mix, and on the good guy side of the balance sheet, is Clete Purcel, a longtime buddy of Robicheaux's and a confirmed boozer and womanizer. Clete comes to New Iberia for a visit and is quickly drawn into the struggle between the various forces of evil in the town, including Jimmy Dean Styles, a black man intent on maintaining his empire of corruption; Joe Zeroski, a trailer park mafioso with palatial aspirations -- and of course, Legion Guidry, the devil incarnate, in whom Robicheaux finds himself facing a challenge and an enemy unlike any he has ever known. And soon, what began as a duel of wits has turned into a dance of death.
Gothic, dense, brutal, touching, and always compelling, Jolie Blon's Bounce is classic storytelling from a writer who has been dubbed "the Faulkner of crime fiction."
"To read a Burke novel is to enter a timeless, parallel universe of violent emotions and lush, brooding landscapes....This is the stunningly talented Burke's 21st book and his best until the next one....Burke offers a vivid social history of an inbred, corrupt place." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The volcanic types Dave's saga has made familiar are muffled this time out, and the plotting is even more darkly tangled than usual. Yet Burke succeeds over and over again in writing harshly lacerating scenes nobody's ever written before not even him." Kirkus Reviews
"The satanic Guidry...is as compelling a bad guy as any in literature....The sights, sounds, and tastes of Cajun country...are not absent this time, but they are overwhelmed by the subhuman stench of pure malevolence. An atypical entry in the series, then, but a compelling one." Bill Ott, Booklist
"As Robicheaux tries to set right the world around him, the book explores some of the most troubling aspects of Louisiana's (and America's) racist past. This is Burke at his best." Library Journal
"I can't think of any writer who can plumb the human capacity for evil deeper than Burke." Carol Mennott, USA Today
"Even among his most talented contemporaries, Mr. Burke is something special." The Washington Post
"America's best novelist." The Denver Post
"Burke's dialogue sounds true as a tape recording; his writing about action is strong and economical....Burke is a prose stylist to be reckoned with." Los Angeles Times Book Review
About the Author
James Lee Burke, the rare winner of two Edgar Awards for best crime fiction of the year, is the author of twenty-one previous novels, including Sunset Limited, Cimarron Rose, Cadillac Jukebox, Burning Angel, Dixie City Jam, Bitterroot, and Purple Cane Road. He lives with his wife in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.