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The image of the dead girl's body lingered in detective Dave Robicheaux's mind as he drove home. After seeing the young victim's corpse, the last thing he needed to come across was a drunk driver. But when he saw the Cadillac fishtail across the road, Robicheaux knew the driver was in trouble. What Dave didn't realize, was that by pulling the car over, he was opening his murder case wider than he could ever imagine.
The driver, Elrod Sykes, in New Iberia to star in a movie, leads Dave to the skeletal remains of a black man that had washed up in the Atchafalaya swamp. So begins a mystery that takes Dave back to an unsolved murder - a murder that he witnessed in 1957. Haunted by the past as he confronts the gruesome present-day rape and murder of young prostitutes, Robicheaux must also contend with a new partner from the F.B.I., and the local criminal gentry. But for Dave, the answers he seeks lie somewhere in the bayou mist with the ghosts of soldiers long since forgotten...
A masterwork of detective fiction, In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead is James Lee Burke's most suspenseful work to date.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Charles Atkinson on 09-04-12
Burke is awesome again, Hammer is really good.
I found this story to be very entertaining and Hammer's reading surprisingly good. This is an early Robicheaux story, his daughter Alifair is only 11. I liked the inexperienced but reliable and honest sherrif', the ghost of General Hood is marvelous, the Hollywood scenes are as humorous as they are intriguing.
There is great chemistry in Dave's partnership with the FBI agent, as well as with his daughter. This is just another Burke novel worthy of anyone's time!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Jane on 12-26-13
but I’m not enjoying his subject matter and plot choices.
I love this author’s writing style, the phrases he uses, his rich and creative descriptions, and the way he develops characters. In my review of Black Cherry Blues I give examples of some of his phrases. He is a great writer, but his subject matter is too depressing for me. He writes about man’s cruelty to man, torture and killing of blacks, women, prisoners, and others, and getting away with it. I’ve read three of his books, but with great reluctance I do not plan to read anymore.
Dave is a flawed hero but a good cop. There were two instances of hero stupidity which bothered me. One example: Dave asks his friend Lou to be his backup when Dave went to a dangerous place to meet someone. They arrive, that person is not there, so Dave tells Lou to leave but Dave will wait a little longer. So Lou leaves and then something bad happens to Dave.
I was also troubled by the way the author had Hog Man delay telling things to Dave. Hog Man knew things. But the first time Dave talks to him, Hog Man just tells him part of something. The second time, Hog Man tells Dave to come to him for info, but then doesn’t tell Dave anything. The third time Hog Man calls Dave offering to tell him the rest. I didn’t see a reason or motive for Hog Man to keep doing this if he was going to tell it all eventually. I felt the author was playing me, disrespecting me. It was a contrivance, not supported with thought.
Technically there is a happy ending with some but not all of the bad guys dealt with.
There is some fantasy. Dave talks to the ghost of a civil war general several times. That was interesting, but it didn’t add to the main story and it wasn’t complete enough on it’s own. There was a neat occurrence linking the two stories toward the end. But something more should have been done with the secondary story.
The narrator Mark Hammer was good.
Genre: mystery suspense with a little fantasy
4 of 4 people found this review helpful