Audiobook: James LeeBurke is a master. His writing is vivid, the characters well-drawn, and the plots intriguing. Dave Robicheaux is an ex-New Orleans cop whose-partner, Dixie Lee, now a “lease-man” for an oil company thinks he has overheard two other lease men discussing burying a body. Unsure as to what he heard and what to do about it, he seeks Dave’s help. In the meantime Dave chain-whips a bad guy (he really should have known better) and the guy turns up dead so Dave is facing a murder charge. He’s been a homicide detective but apparently has little faith in their ability to solve the crime and find the real killer so he heads for Montana to sort things out
where his murder charge is resolved (are you really surprised) in the midst of Native Americans fighting against a land hungry oil company (that’s probably a redundancy).
There was something a bit off about this novel. Perhaps it was that Dave was no longer in Louisiana; perhaps it was the -- to my mind -- excessive guilt-ridden self-examination that seems more a plea for forgiveness from others than seeking to understand himself; perhaps it was the excessively slow cadence of the reader who I normally like very much (Will Patton); perhaps it was the implausible plot and would you take your six-year-old daughter on a dangerous mission? or, perhaps it was that I didn’t get the same sense of place that usually pervades Burke’s Louisiana Robicheax novels. Then again it might have been the outrageous way he solves the case.
Personally, had I been the social worker, there is no way I would ever have placed Alifair with Dave given the level of violence with which he surrounds himself.
But he does write beautifully.