Friday, March 4, 2011

Jolie Blon's Bounce by James Lee Burke

Description: 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, prefers to 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.

First line: Growing up during the 1940s in New Iberis I never doubted how the world worked.

My Thoughts: I am a big fan of this series so when I found Jolie Blon's Bounce as an audio book at a used book sale I jumped on it. In fact I purchased two James Lee Burke audio books that day. As I've come to expect from Burke, his ability to write a sense of place and make you feel it in your heart is wonderful. His characters are flawed and and so they are absolutly believable. Dave is a troubled and at times violent soul that is fighting himself as well as the evil in his world. The evil in this book comes at him on several fronts as he strains to remain sober and find the answers. Clete Purcel, his friend and partner (at times) is troubled in his own way but always there for Dave. This book was a page turner, the suspense is maintained and kept me looking for reasons to drive somewhere so I could listen to more of it. The narrator, Will Patton, does an excellent job with the voices and accents. All in all a great "listen."


Quote: "It was dark where we stood under the trees, the molded pecan husks and blackened leaves soft under our feet, the air tannic, like water that has stood for a long time in a wooden cistern. The dying light was gold on the tops of the cypresses in the swamp, and the snow egrets were rising into the light, their wings feathering in the wind."

1 comment:

Teddyree said...

Great review. This is going on my wishlist! The last suspense/thriller I listened to on audio was a Lisa Jackson novel and the narrator spoiled it, so I'm keen to give this one a go!