Best Selling Books by James Lee Burke

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release date: Jan 02, 2018
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Robicheaux: A Novel
New York Times Bestseller

James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.

DAVE ROBICHEAUX IS A HAUNTED MAN.

Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America: this nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.
release date: Oct 01, 2002
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The Neon Rain: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
From New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke comes his definitive, must-read first title in his famous Dectective David Robicheaux series.

New Orleans Detective Dave Robicheaux has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with police brass, with killers and hustlers, and the bottle. Lost without his wife's love, Robicheaux haunts the intense and heady French Quarter—the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he beomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou. Thrust into the seedy world of drug lords and arms smugglers, Robicheaux must face down the criminal underworld and come to terms with his own bruised heart and demons to survive.
release date: Nov 01, 2002
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Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries (Paperback))
James Lee Burke’s second Robicheaux novel takes the detective out of New Orleans and into the bayou as he seeks a quieter life.

Vietnam vet Dave Robicheaux has turned in his detective’s badge, is winning his battle against booze, and has left New Orleans with his wife for the tranquil beauty of Louisiana’s bayous. But a plane crash on the Gulf brings a young girl into his life—and with her comes a netherworld of murder, deception, and homegrown crime. Suddenly Robicheaux is confronting Bubba Rocque, a brutal hood he’s known since childhood; Rocque’s hungry Cajun wife; and a Federal agent with more guts than sense. In a backwater world where a swagger and a gun go further than the law, Robicheaux and those he loves are caught on a tide of violence far bigger than them all...
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release date: Aug 29, 2017
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The Jealous Kind: A Novel (A Holland Family Novel)
New York Times bestseller and “the best fiction writer in the country” (Bill O’Reilly, New York Times bestselling author) James Lee Burke returns with a powerful novel in the Holland Family series, an atmospheric coming-of-age story set in 1950s Texas, as the specter of the Korean War looms.

On its surface, life in 1950s Houston is as you’d expect; stoic fathers, restless teens, drive-in movies, and souped-up Cadillacs. But underneath that surface lies a world shifting under high school junior Aaron Holland Broussard’s feet. The underlying class war between the haves and have nots is growing steadily, along with the menace of conflict overseas in Korea, providing a harrowing backdrop to his growth to manhood. But when Aaron spots the beautiful Valerie Epstein at a drive-in, he steps in when he sees her fighting with her boyfriend, Grady Harrelson. Aaron’s newfound confidence helps catch Valerie’s eye, and the two begin dating. Grady is a live wire though, and presents a looming problem for Aaron.

You will recall the feelings and inspirational power of your first love, and empathize with Aaron’s extraordinary challenges to protect himself and the ones he loves in “this dark, atmospheric story” (Publishers Weekly). The Jealous Kind illustrates how first loves, friendship, violence, and power can alter what traditional America means for the people trying to find their way in a changing world.
release date: Jun 24, 2014
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Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
New York Times bestselling author and “America’s best novelist” (The Denver Post) James Lee Burke is back with the twentieth mystery in the masterful Dave Robicheaux series.

Sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders he committed while capital punishment was outlawed in Kansas. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair, Surrette escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana, where an unsuspecting Dave—along with Alafair; Dave’s wife, Molly; Dave’s faithful partner Clete; and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz—have come to take in the sweet summer air.

Surrette may be even worse than Dave’s old enemy Legion Guidry, a man Dave suspected might very well be the devil incarnate. But before Dave can stop Surrette from harming those he loves most, he’ll have to do battle with Love Younger, an enigmatic petrochemical magnate seeking to build an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas, and Wyatt Dixon, a rodeo clown with a dark past whom Burke fans will recall from his Billy Bob Holland novels.

Says The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), “Already designated a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, Burke should get another title, say, for sustained literary brilliance in his Dave Robicheaux series.” Drawing on real events that took place in Wichita, Kansas, over a twenty-year span, Light of the World is a harrowing novel that examines the nature of evil and pits Dave Robicheaux against the most diabolical villain he has ever faced.
release date: Jul 26, 2011
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The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
The creator of “one of America’s best mystery series” (Library Journal, starred review), New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke features Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux in a “superlative” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) bayou thriller.

The brutal murders of seven young women in a neighboring parish pull Robicheaux from his New Iberia home into a case with all the telltale signs of a serial killer. Except that one of the victims, a high school honors student, doesn’t fit. Investigating with his friend Clete Purcel, Robicheaux confronts Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer—but shocking violence sends the already blood-soaked case spiraling out of control. And with his daughter, Alafair, in love with a man who has dangerous ties to a once prominent Louisiana family, every dark fear Robicheaux harbors for himself and his daughter are on the precipice of becoming reality.
release date: Jun 17, 2008
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The Tin Roof Blowdown (Robicheaux, Book 16) (Dave Robicheaux)
In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana.

This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers as he is deployed to New Orleans. As James Lee Burke's new novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown, begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed, New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city.

In a singular style that defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst, The Tin Roof Blowdown is not only an action-packed crime thriller, but a poignant story of courage and sacrifice that critics are already calling Burke's best work.
release date: Aug 27, 2013
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Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
“America’s best novelist” James Lee Burke returns with another New York Times bestselling entry in the Dave Robicheaux thriller series (The Denver Post).

Set against the events of the Gulf Coast oil spill, rife with “the menaces of greed and violence and man-made horror” (The Christian Science Monitor), Creole Belle finds Dave Robicheaux languishing in a New Orleans recovery unit since surviving a bayou shoot-out. The detective’s body is healing; it’s his morphine-addled mind that conjures spectral visions of Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman who in reality has gone missing. An iPod with an old blues song left by his bedside turns Robicheaux into a man obsessed…And as oil companies assign blame after an epic disaster threatens the Gulf’s very existence, Robicheaux unearths connections between tragedies both global and personal—and faces down forces that can corrupt and destroy the best of men.
release date: Nov 30, 2010
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A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux)
“It’s impossible to think of the Louisiana bayou without conjuring up James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux books” (Chicago Tribune), including this early masterwork that pits the Cajun police detective against one of the New South’s most twisted and powerful forces. Oil speculator Weldon Sonnier is the patriarch of a troubled family intimately bound to the CIA, the Mob, and the Klan. Now, the murder of a cop and a bizarre assassination attempt pull Robicheaux into the Sonniers’ hellish world of madness, murder, and incest. But Robicheaux has devils of his own— and they may just destroy the tormented investigator and the two people he holds most dear.
release date: Feb 23, 2016
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Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux)
James Lee Burke has been hailed as a “national treasure” (Tampa Bay Times), and in his ninth Dave Robicheaux thriller, it’s easy to see why. This taut, twisted tale of corruption in the Louisiana bayou truly brands Burke as “America’s best novelist” (Denver Post).

Aaron Crown comes from a long line of shady Cajun characters, and rumors of Klan ties swirl around his family—so his arrest for the murder of a black civil rights leader would seem to be an open and shut case. But when the man who worked hardest to put Crown away ascends to the governor’s mansion, detective Dave Robicheaux begins to suspect that Aaron may be innocent of the crime. Soon key figures in high places start pressuring Dave to drop his investigation…but that only makes him more determined to uncover the truth at any cost.
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