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The Neon Rain ()


"I don't like the world the way it is, and I miss the past. It's a foolish way to be."
    -Dave Robicheaux, The Neon Rain (James Lee Burke, 1987)

I believe it's the case that Mr. Burke himself has compared his Cajun cop hero, Dave Robicheaux, to Don Quixote and it's that sentiment above that justifies the comparison. Robicheaux is an alcoholic/recovering alcoholic--like the author--tormented by memories of the violence of Vietnam and plunged continuously into the almost tropical corruption (natural, physical, and moral) of New Orleans. With a half-brother who's mob-connected, he believes in a kind of code between criminals and cops. With his military experience he believes in a soldier's code. When a death row prisoner summons him to protest his innocence and he accidentally turns up the corpse of a murdered prostitute while diving in the bayou, Dave is pulled into cases that implicate both mobsters in New Orleans and military men waging wars on America's behalf in Central America. In attempting to navigate these treacherous waters he runs afoul of Internal Affairs and descends back into the bottle. He manages to betray the trust of his decent superior officer, the love of a young woman he's met on the case, and the bond with his somewhat crooked partner, Clete Purcell. Nonetheless, he plunges ahead according to his own personal code of justice and if he's too hard on those around him he's certainly no easier on himself. The characterizations are so strong and the atmosphere done so well it's no wonder the series is still going strong a quarter century later.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (A-)

  

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Mystery
James Lee Burke Links:

    -AUTHOR SITE: JamesLeeBurke.com
    -WIKIPEDIA: James Lee Burke
    -GOOGLE BOOK: Neon Rain
    -FILMOGRAPHY: James Lee Burke (IMDB)
    -INFO: Dave Robicheaux (Thrilling Detective)
    -INFO:James Lee Burke (Stop You're Killing Me)
    -INTERVIEW: James Lee Burke Foresees Devastation of His Louisiana Wetlands (Mike Di Paola , 6/18/10, Bloomberg)
    -INTERVIEW: Interview: James Lee Burke -The Dave Robicheaux Novels (Tricia Weight, 8/23/10, Open Salon)
    -INTERVIEW: The Man Behind Dave Robicheaux: James Lee Burke talks about violence, writing, littering, alcoholism, liberalism and bestsellers. (R. Reese Fuller, June 5, 2002)
    -INTERVIEW: Jammin' with James Lee Burke (Anthony Rainone, January Magazine)
    -
   
-ARCHIVES: Burke, James Lee (NY Times)
    -ARCHIVES: "james lee burke" (NPR)
    -ESSAY: Perceptions and Misconceptions in James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux Novels (Patricia Gaitely, Louisiana Folklife)
    -REVIEW: of The Dave Robicheaux Novels (David Kidney, The Green Man Review)
    -REVIEW: of In the Electrioc Mist with Confederate War Dead by James Lee Burke (John Leonard, NPR)
    -REVIEW: of Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Cimarron Rose by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Sunset Limited by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Purple Cane Road by James Lee Burke (Richard Bernstein, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Purple Cane Road (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Bitterroot by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Jolie Blon's Bounce by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Jolie Blon's Bounce (Janet Maslin, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Last Car to Elysian Fields by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of In the Moon of Red Ponies by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Swan Peak by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Swan Peak (Roz Shea, Bookreporter)
    -REVIEW: of THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke (Janet Maslin, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Rain Gods by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Glass Rainbow (Jane Ciabattari, NPR)

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