Detective Dave Robicheaux is facing the most painful and dangerous case of his career. A troubled young woman breezes into his hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of Robicheaux's onetime best friend -- a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life.
In Pegasus Descending, James Lee Burke again explores psyches as much as evidence, and tries to make sense of human behavior as well as of his characters' crimes. Richly atmospheric, frightening in its sudden violence, and replete with the sort of puzzles only the best crime fiction creates, Burke's latest novel is an unforgettable roller coaster of passion, surprise, and regret.
The twists begin when Trish Klein -- the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy -- starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim's child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And how does her behavior relate to the apparent suicide of another "good" girl, an ace student named Yvonne Darbonne, who apparently participated in a college frat orgy before her death?
Can Robicheaux make his peace with the demons that have haunted him since his friend's murder so many years ago? Can he figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and deaths? Can Robicheaux's life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy?
Once again, Burke proves why he is the virtual poet laureate of southern Louisiana, and why his novels, especially those featuring Dave Robicheaux, stand as brilliant literature and entertainment for our time.
Drawing on classical antecedents, bestseller Burke peoples his 15th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2004's Crusader's Cross) with his usual assortment of near mythic characters, demonstrating how our everyday lives are beset with age-old, universal dilemmas. New Iberia, La., detective Dave Robicheaux, for whom redemption has become a lifelong pursuit, suits up once again to tilt against villains both real and in his own troubled psyche. Twenty-five years earlier, the young alcohol-soaked cop witnessed his friend and fellow Vietnam vet, Dallas Klein, executed by a group of cold-blooded thugs. He was unable to intercede because he was plastered. Now, a young grifter who may be the victim's daughter, Trish Klein, has appeared in New Iberia, passing counterfeit money and baiting Whitey Bruxal, the aging mobster responsible for Dallas's death. Meanwhile, Dave investigates the apparent suicide of pretty young co-ed Yvonne Darbonne. Are the two cases linked? Dave thinks so, and he enlists longtime loose-cannon sidekick Clete Purcel to prove it. With peerless naturalistic descriptions and lush, metaphysical imagery, Burke creates another challenging morality play for his flawed, everyman hero.
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Poetry on the Bayou
Few can evoke that special place which is Louisiana with such heart and lyrical soul...you're a treasure James Lee and you've helped me understand more about where my family is from than any history book
Excellent! The story is filled with the atmosphere of the locale. The literary allusions clearly indicate that Burke is a very well read man. Like Somerset Maugham writing a Mickey Spillane story. Dialogue (and dialect) are first rate. Enjoyed this tale from beginning to end.
This is a great story on several levels. For me, one of the many who served in the Vietnam War, each time he mentions a moment in his memory of the War, I identify with it in some way. We have felt the same loss and anguish, trod the same jungle and experienced the same aftermath. No one who has not been in War cannot know what shape the returnee is in. His or her dreams and the battle they fight every day and night. As a former Police Officer I also identify with the battle that never ends and the pain of deceit and betrayal you experience. The writer holds your attention and when you finish, you are not disappointed. Lastly, having lived on Pensacola Beach during Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis and Katrina, I know about the destruction these storms bring. I eagerly await the next story. Oh, by the way, I went through the periods of drinking as our hero did, for the same reasons. I got out the other side, severely damaged by everything, but now am ok.