Honestly, I read this book before I bought it. It was a damaged copy, and my review may be slightly inaccurate, because I'm not even sure the last pages were intact. Long story short, I found it in one of the cells in the County Jail! Most people may have ignored it, but I couldn't, "judge a book by its cover," with as little good reading there was in the jail library, especially. Though, it was such a tattered, maybe even diseased, copy, I couldn't stop reading it! It was necessary for my collection, spiritual, and inspiring, among other things.
I am such a James Lee Burke fan that I believe he could write the alphabet and make it interesting. He continues with his descriptive excellence to the extent that a picture is painted in your brain and you have no doubt what everything looks like. His character development is excellent also. Then when he throws in the ancient Indian lore and some L Q Navarro visits you know you are reading your old friend again. Never stop writing Burke!
Billy Bob Holland is back, ghost partner and all, but now we also have Native American visions and presences. Maybe this worked better in In The Electric Mist With Confederate Dead because bayou swamps are more conducive to visions than the clear air of the mountains. For avid Burke readers, this may mark an important artistic move by the author. He may be attempting the sort of shift into psychological probing of the character as happened in the Robicheaux series as in Mist, Dave became more than just a two fisted, alcoholic ex-New Orleans cop, and Burke showed us his own and his character's history and attachment to the culture of Louisiana. I did not really like that work, but looking back I see how Burke was making a shift from merely popular to what is a Faulknerian view. Although I cannot recall which novel has the line to the effect "When I hear that song [Jolie Blonde] I could cry for the culture that is disappearing," it certainly places that series in important company...
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