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Authors: James Lee Burke

Tags: #Mystery, #Suspense, #Fiction

The Tin Roof Blowdown

BOOK: The Tin Roof Blowdown
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contents

Chapter1

Chapter2

Chapter3

Chapter4

Chapter5

Chapter6

Chapter7

Chapter8

Chapter9

Chapter10

Chapter11

Chapter12

Chapter13

Chapter14

Chapter15

Chapter16

Chapter17

Chapter18

Chapter19

Chapter20

Chapter21

Chapter22

Chapter23

Chapter24

Chapter25

Chapter26

Chapter27

Chapter28

Chapter29

Chapter30

Chapter31

The Tin Roof Blowdown
Dave Robicheaux [16]
James Lee Burke
Pocket (2007)
Rating: ★★★★☆
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, Mystery
Fictionttt Suspensettt Mysteryttt

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review.
The pain, dismay and anger brought on by the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina explodes from the pages of this new Dave Robicheaux novel. For nearly a quarter of a century, Burke has used this series, despite their dark subject matter, to show his obvious love of the land, the people and the cultures of the South and specifically New Orleans. There is a mystery for Robicheaux to solve, but it's the destruction of Burke's beloved New Orleans that resonates like thunder throughout the book. Will Patton, who has come to embody the heart and soul of Burke's weary, Southern knight, matches the author's prose in all its intensity and pain. Adept as he is at portraying the eccentric, the evil and the endearing characters found in Burke's books, it is the actor's reading of Burke's descriptive passages, whether it be a storm forming off the Louisiana coast or the shock of blood escaping from a gunshot wound, that creates a fully realized world for the listener. Patton's insightful interpretation of Burke's darkly expressive imagery makes for a rich literary experience rarely achieved in crime fiction today.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Ever since Hurricane Katrina ravaged southern Louisiana in August 2005, James Lee Burke's fans have been waiting for this book, and Burke does not disappoint. Outraged and eloquent, the two-time Edgar Award-winner delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of the storm's ferocity and devastating aftermath, venting through Robicheaux his frustration at the human incompetence and greed that magnified nature's destructive fury. His evocative, heartfelt prose, sympathetic characters, and intricately interwoven plotlines grip the reader from the first page. Burke's admirers will savor this latest installment, while those not yet acquainted with Robicheaux can start here, thanks to the comprehensive background information Burke provides in what critics call his best book yet.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

 

 

The Tin Roof Blowdown
Dave Robicheaux [16]
James Lee Burke
Pocket (2007)
Rating:
★★★★☆
Tags:
Fiction, Suspense, Mystery
Fictionttt Suspensettt Mysteryttt

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review.
The pain, dismay and anger brought on by the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina explodes from the pages of this new Dave Robicheaux novel. For nearly a quarter of a century, Burke has used this series, despite their dark subject matter, to show his obvious love of the land, the people and the cultures of the South and specifically New Orleans. There is a mystery for Robicheaux to solve, but it’s the destruction of Burke’s beloved New Orleans that resonates like thunder throughout the book. Will Patton, who has come to embody the heart and soul of Burke’s weary, Southern knight, matches the author’s prose in all its intensity and pain. Adept as he is at portraying the eccentric, the evil and the endearing characters found in Burke’s books, it is the actor’s reading of Burke’s descriptive passages, whether it be a storm forming off the Louisiana coast or the shock of blood escaping from a gunshot wound, that creates a fully realized world for the listener. Patton’s insightful interpretation of Burke’s darkly expressive imagery makes for a rich literary experience rarely achieved in crime fiction today.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Ever since Hurricane Katrina ravaged southern Louisiana in August 2005, James Lee Burke’s fans have been waiting for this book, and Burke does not disappoint. Outraged and eloquent, the two-time Edgar Award-winner delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of the storm’s ferocity and devastating aftermath, venting through Robicheaux his frustration at the human incompetence and greed that magnified nature’s destructive fury. His evocative, heartfelt prose, sympathetic characters, and intricately interwoven plotlines grip the reader from the first page. Burke’s admirers will savor this latest installment, while those not yet acquainted with Robicheaux can start here, thanks to the comprehensive background information Burke provides in what critics call his best book yet.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

 

 

The Tin Roof Blowdown
James Lee Burke
(2011)

 

 

 

Robicheaux 16
The Tin Roof Blowdown
(2011)

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

MY THANKS TO GLEN PITRE for his personal account about brown recluse spiders and for his account involving the desperation of the people trying to escape the storm on Highway 23.

 

 

 

 

For John and Kathy Clark

 

 

 

 
Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
Rejoicing in his inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.

 

(Proverbs 8:24–31)

 

CHAPTER
1

MY WORST DREAMS have always contained images of brown water and fields of elephant grass and the downdraft of helicopter blades. The dreams are in color but they contain no sound, not of drowned voices in the river or the explosions under the hooches in the village we burned or the thropping of the Jolly Green and the gunships coming low and flat across the canopy, like insects pasted against a molten sun.

In the dream I lie on a poncho liner, dehydrated with blood expander, my upper thigh and side torn by wounds that could have been put there by wolves. I am convinced I will die unless I receive plasma back at battalion aid. Next to me lies a Negro corporal, wearing only his trousers and boots, his skin coal-black, his torso split open like a gaping red zipper from his armpit down to his groin, the damage to his body so grievous, traumatic, and terrible to see or touch he doesn’t understand what has happened to him.

“I got the spins, Loot. How I look?” he says.

“We’ve got the million-dollar ticket, Doo-doo. We’re Freedom Bird bound,” I reply.

His face is crisscrossed with sweat, his mouth as glossy and bright as freshly applied lipstick when he tries to smile.

The Jolly Green loads up and lifts off, with Doo-doo and twelve other wounded on board. I stare upward at its strange rectangular shape, its blades whirling against a lavender sky, and secretly I resent the fact that I and others are left behind to wait on the slick and the chance that serious numbers of NVA are coming through the grass. Then I witness the most bizarre and cruel and seemingly unfair event of my entire life.

As the Jolly Green climbs above the river and turns toward the China Sea, a solitary RPG streaks at a forty-five-degree angle from the canopy below and explodes inside the bay. The ship shudders once and cracks in half, its fuel tanks blooming into an enormous orange fireball. The wounded on board are coated with flame as they plummet downward toward the water.

Their lives are taken incrementally—by flying shrapnel and bullets, by liquid flame on their skin, and by drowning in a river. In effect, they are forced to die three times. A medieval torturer could not have devised a more diabolic fate.

When I wake from the dream, I have to sit for a long time on the side of the bed, my arms clenched across my chest, as though I’ve caught a chill or the malarial mosquito is once again having its way with my metabolism. I assure myself that the dream is only a dream, that if it were real I would have heard sounds and not simply seen images that are the stuff of history now and are not considered of interest by those who are determined to re-create them.

I also tell myself that the past is a decaying memory and that I do not have to relive and empower it unless I choose to do so. As a recovering drunk, I know I cannot allow myself the luxury of resenting my government for lying to a whole generation of young men and women who believed they were serving a noble cause. Nor can I resent those who treated us as oddities if not pariahs when we returned home.

When I go back to sleep, I once again tell myself I will never again have to witness the wide-scale suffering of innocent civilians, nor the betrayal and abandonment of our countrymen when they need us most.

But that was before Katrina. That was before a storm with greater impact than the bomb blast that struck Hiroshima peeled the face off southern Louisiana. That was before one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere was killed three times, and not just by the forces of nature.

 

 

 

CHAPTER
2

THE CENTERPIECE OF my story involves a likable man by the name of Jude LeBlanc. When I first knew him he was a nice-looking kid who threw the Daily Iberian, played baseball at Catholic High, and was a weekly communicant at the same church I attended. Although his mother was poorly educated and worked at menial jobs and his father a casualty of an oil-well blowout, he smiled all the time and was full of self-confidence and never seemed to let misfortune get him down.

I said he smiled. That’s not quite right. Jude shined the world on and slipped its worst punches and in a fight knew how to swallow his blood and never let people know he was hurt. He had his Jewish mother’s narrow eyes and chestnut hair, and he combed it straight back in a hump, like a character out of a 1930s movie. Somehow he reassured others that the earth was a good place, that the day was a fine one, and that good things were about to happen to all of us. But as I watched Jude grow into manhood, I had to relearn the old lesson that often the best people in our midst are perhaps destined to become sojourners in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Ordinary men and women keep track of time in sequential fashion, by use of clocks and calendars. The residents of Gethsemane do not. Here are a few of their stories, each of them touching, in an improbable way, the life of a New Iberia kid who grew into a good man and did nothing to invite the events fate would impose upon him.

 

ON FRIDAY, August 26, 2005, Jude LeBlanc wakes in a second-story French Quarter apartment, one that allows him a view of both the courtyard below and the spires of St. Louis Cathedral. It’s raining hard now, and he watches the water sluicing down the drain-pipes into the beds of hibiscus, banana trees, and hydrangeas below, pooling in the sunken brickwork that is threaded with leaves of wild spearmint.

BOOK: The Tin Roof Blowdown
8.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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