Heaven's Prisoners

James Lee Burke, Author
James Lee Burke, Author Henry Holt & Company $17.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0665-0
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
First met in Burke's excellent mystery, The Neon Rain, Dave Robicheaux is a driven mandriven by his constant battle with alcoholism; by memories of his past as a detective on the New Orleans police force; by his need for order; by his obsession with the seedy, aberrant side of New Orleans life. Trying to put his own life together again, Dave has married Annie and now runs a small fishing rental business in the Louisiana bayou. When he and Annie witness the crash of a small plane, in which four peopleobviously illegal aliensdie, and only a little girl survives, Robicheaux is drawn to the trail of a network of crimes that suggests a Central American dope-running ring operated with the connivance of federal agents. Violence ensues, and Robicheaux, no stranger to tragedy, must confront it again when Annie becomes a victim. Haunted by guilt, deeply depressed, in constant danger, Robicheaux trusts no one, including the cops, for he knows that they too, are capable of skirting the law. Burke beautifully evokes New Orleans and the mysterious bayous, and he skillfully depicts the different lifestyles that distinguish the Gulf region. Robicheaux is a complex character whose integrity and high principles are always in conflict with the darker side of human nature. This is a mystery fans will savor for its ruminating intelligence and graceful prose as well as for its heart-stopping suspense.(April)
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