Dave Robicheaux is back in this powerful New York Times bestseller that takes him into the underbelly of New Iberia’s mafia to solve the brutal murder of two teenage girls.
When a beautiful teenage girl is killed, New Iberia police detective Dave Robicheaux senses that the most likely suspect, Tee Bobby Hulin, is not the actual killer. Though a drug addict and general neer-do-well, Hulin just doesn’t fit the profile for this kind of crime. He’s a Cajun blues singer (one of his songs is titled “Jolie Blon’s Bounce”), and he’s been raised by his grandmother Ladice Hulin, a proud and strong-willed black woman.
But when there’s another, similar murder—this victim a drugged-out prostitute who happens to be the daughter of one of the local mafia bigwigs—the cries for an arrest become too loud to ignore. The mafia figure, however, prefers to take matters in his own hand and sets out to find—and punish—the killer himself. Once again, Tee Bobby Hulin seems the most likely suspect.
Added to the mix of characters on the good guy side of the balance sheet is Clete Purcel, a long-time buddy of Robicheaux’s and a confirmed boozer and womanizer. Coming to New Iberia for a visit, Clete is quickly drawn into the struggle between the various forces of evil in the town: 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 Guidrey, the devil incarnate.
To read a Burke novel is to enter a timeless, parallel universe of violent emotions and lush, brooding landscapes, where class and racial distinctions and family histories mold society. This is the stunningly talented Burke's 21st book and his best until the next one. Dave Robicheaux, the psychologically scarred detective for the New Iberia, La., sheriff's department, investigates two brutal murders, one of a na ve teenage girl, the other of a feckless drug-addled prostitute. The author provides a dense, richly imagined background for his characters, especially the sinister ones: malevolent Legion Guidry, a nightmarish figure from Robicheaux's boyhood; a power-hungry tavern owner; an arrogant lawyer; a combative female PI; the prostitute's Mafioso father; and Marvin Oates, an enigmatic Bible salesman who floats ominously through the narrative. Robicheaux doesn't believe the obvious suspect Tee Bobby Hulin, a drug-addicted musical genius is the murderer. Aided and disrupted by his obstreperous pal, Clete Purcel, Robicheaux runs into the usual trouble. Legion gives Robicheaux such a ferocious beating that he reverts to drinking and addictive painkillers. Though the search for the murderer moves the story, the novel is really an examination of the savage relationships of the characters and the palpable presence of the past. Burke offers a vivid social history of an inbred, corrupt place. As Clete so aptly tells his friend, "This is Louisiana, Dave. Guatemala North. Quit pretending it's the United States."
Jolie Blons Bounce
The book was good. Still do not make the connection between the book and the title.
Not a bad read
I enjoyed the book. I was surprised it was free. I might read some other books by this writer.
Mr. Burke's Bounce
Mr. Burke does it again with another unforgettable drive through the bayou. His command of the English language as a descriptor of everyday life in his south is unparalleled and he can make you believe you're part of the story and glad you're not.