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I have been a very keen reader of James Lee Burke's books for quite a long time and have enjoyed them all.I recently listened to The Tin Roof Blowdown and thought that was excellent.This book is even better,Will Paton was a fine narrator in " Blowdown " but Mark Hammer is in a class of his own here. This is a fabulous audio book and I thoroughly recommend it to all.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
I have yet to find a Burke novel in the Dave Robicheaux series that I haven't liked, with the exception of Jolie Blon's Bounce narrated by Mark Hammer. In that case, it wasn't the novel I disliked but the narrator. Since then I have pretty well stuck with Will Patton's narrations which are always a good listen. However, a previous review of this book favorably rated Mark Hammer and I took a chance. Hammer did a superb job on this one. Because he did so well, I downloaded A Morning for Flamingos, also narrated by Hammer. I was very pleased with that narration also. So, if you have listened to all the Will Patton versions and want to expand your horizons, try this one out. You won't be disappointed.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
James Lee Burke was recommended to me recently as the 'most brilliant rendering of the deep south USA'. Actually, this did not make me rush to try his work because it made me assume, incorrectly, that crime novels of this location must necessarily be about the bleak past of the southern states. In fact, history and politics are worn lightly in this novel, in which the characters have their own strong morality, carefully drawn characters, specific histories and are deeply engaging. I cared deeply about Dave, Batista and everyone in their quasi family by the close of the novel, and the plot was outstanding: unpredictable, convincing and sustained. To start with, I found Hammer's very slow reading pace a struggle, but once this became the sounds of the scenery, the bayou, the boats, then it became very rhythmic and natural. Hammer's pace actually changed a lot, particularly at moments of high tension or action, but if you are a fan of Mankell or Nesbo's atmospheric north, then give Burke's south, and Hammer's accents, a try.
I tend not to write reviews about mediocre works - saving them for the books I really loved, or really cannot leave behind. I will definitely be listening now to the rest of the Robichaux series. I NEED to know what happens next in their lives...
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
It’s been many years since I last read a James Lee Burke novel and had forgotten how wonderfully well he writes. Both his storytelling and prose are beautifully crafted which already make it better than most. But then you add the sublime skill of the narrator (Mark Hammer) and you have something very special. Burke’s dialogues are always pitched just right but they really come to life with Hammer’s mastery of dialect and accent. Both the writer’s and narrator’s subtlety make this one of the very best books I’ve listened to.