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Publisher's Summary

Dave Robicheaux returns in another Bayou adventure, this one more gruesome and gut-wrenching than any that have come before. Hurricane Katrina has ravaged New Orleans, leaving the streets and buildings flooded and the city awash with opportunists, looters, and vicious criminals. There is no order, no law. Police are shooting randomly at innocent people, prison guards have abandoned their posts, bodies float through the streets and hang from trees, and every drug dealer, murderer, and rapist is out taking advantage of the desperate lawlessness that holds the city captive. In the midst of it all is Robicheaux, doing his best to help regulate the post-Katrina madness, all the while on a dogged search for a pair of dangerous fugitives, a dope-addicted, fallen priest, and a vigilante insurance salesman who takes his family's protection too far. This promises to be the most taxing and emotional case Robicheaux has had to work.
In his singular style, which defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a haunting picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and vivid descriptions of the destruction and death that gripped the Big Easy, The Tin Roof Blowdown is an action-packed crime thriller as well as a poignant story of what disaster and desperation can do to people.
More mayhem? Listen to more of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux thrillers.
©2007 James Lee Burke. All rights reserved (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
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Critic Reviews

Audie Award Winner, Mystery, 2008
"Meticulously textured....dense, rich prose that draws the reader into a web of greed and violence." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Deborah on 07-20-07

How Does One Manage?

This is the most horrifying description of post Katrina that I've read to date. The lush description of the beauty of New Orleans and Louisiana bayou country is gone, replaced by "bodies wrapped tight like mummies in the gray and brown detritus left by the receding waters." There were parts I had to close my eyes to listen to because the sense of place was so vivid and I couldn't stand what I was seeing.

The story is vintage Burke with a little bit of "is it mystical magic or not" thrown in amongst the good vs. evil that is the cross on which Burke hangs his stories. Burke's politics is more evident here than in other books, with Bush bashing, gratuitous remarks about Fox News, etc., all which jarringly interrupt the story's magic. But yet, the depth of Burke's anger at what happened in New Orleans, the failures and abandoment, certainly is well-grounded.

You can read the publisher's summary to get a feel for the story, but even if Burke was writing about the recipe for a fish stew, I'd read it and it would be wonderful.

There is not a writer alive today that can put you in the scene so completely - the smells, the sights, the scent of the breeze, the color of sunlight and shade, he's just wonderful.

This is a wonderful,achingly sad, and somewhat horrific story of how Burke mourns the City of New Orleans and what it once was.

I'd give it 10 stars if possible.

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67 of 69 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By K. Scott on 10-08-08

Thankfully, I overcame my dread.

I bought this title solely based on audible reviews. I was hesitant because of the subject matter: perhaps suffering from post-Katrina overload, I wasn't sure how willing I was to relive this sorry, depressing American story. But, wow, what a surprise this book was.

Burke tells a ripping good detective story, and in it he seamlessly blends themes of familial love, the faithfulness of friends, and the desire for redemption, so that the book becomes much more than just another police procedural. And the most powerful aspect of the book is that at its core, it is a tragic love letter to a city on the verge of obliteration.

The storytelling is made all the better by a near perfect narration. Patton is subdued without being boring. He strikes the perfect tone for the material.

Highly recommended.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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