Dave Robicheaux investigates the disappearance of a young Creole woman, while an oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to destroy the cherished beauty of the Louisiana bayous in this gripping thriller.
Set against the events of the Gulf Coast oil spill, rife with “the menaces of greed and violence and man-made horror” (The Christian Science Monitor), Creole Belle finds Dave Robicheaux languishing in a New Orleans recovery unit since surviving a bayou shoot-out. The detective’s body is healing; it’s his morphine-addled mind that conjures spectral visions of Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman who in reality has gone missing. An iPod with an old blues song left by his bedside turns Robicheaux into a man obsessed… And as oil companies assign blame after an epic disaster threatens the Gulf’s very existence, Robicheaux unearths connections between tragedies both global and personal—and faces down forces that can corrupt and destroy the best of men.
“A work of dark and radiant brilliance” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Creole Belle is “a novel that shows how the sins of the fathers poison the ground their children walk on” (The New York Times Book Review).
MWA Grand Master Burke continues to raise the bar for himself, and the reader, as shown by his lyrical, insightful 19th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2010's The Glass Rainbow). While the New Iberia, La., deputy sheriff is recovering in a New Orleans hospital from a bullet wound, he receives a visit from Cajun singer Tee Jolie Melton, who leaves him an iPod loaded with music, including the blues song "My Creole Belle." Only thing is, Tee Jolie supposedly disappeared months earlier, and her teenage sister, Blue Melton, has just turned up frozen in a block of ice. Meanwhile, Clete Purcel, Robicheaux's hard-drinking best friend, has problems of his own: some local wise guys are trying to blackmail him, and he fears his lost daughter, Gretchen, may be a notorious assassin. As Robicheaux and Purcel suit up again to take on an array of foes, including corrupt politicians, oil men, and a wealthy old man they suspect is a Nazi war criminal, they feel the weight of their own history, and begin to hear the ghostly whisper of mortality. This is another stunner from a modern master.
Another Offering from a Master
Not Burke's best or most poetic, but beautiful nonetheless. The plot falls apart toward the end--or is the chaotic nature if the narrative just a reflection of the chaos around Robicheaux, the narrator? Regardless: the prose is gorgeous & sweet.
Having read almost all of Mr. Burke's books, I would rate this as one of the top three stories.
The descriptive words tell a story and paint a picture of South Louisiana this is correct in all aspects.
Being from Louisiana and having lived in New Iberia, I love his accuracy of locals and places. They all exist (or did exist at one time).
I read the book from cover to cover in one sitting.
Burke is simply the best writer of our time. His characters become our friends, or enemies. His descriptions of sights, smells and events make the reader feel as if he were there.