The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke Featured Image

The Neon Rain — Latest Read

Still behind in sharing what I have been reading. I have been looking for a mystery series to replace Harry Bosch. I am reading Michael Connelly’s new Renée Ballard series which features Bosch, but I wanted something which would have a character like Bosch you could get to know over a longer series. The Dave Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke was recommended. I read the first book, The Neon Rain, which was published in 2010, in mid-May. The one-line synopsis of the book from the author’s site is pretty good.

DAVE ROBICHEAUX, A NEW ORLEANS DETECTIVE, DISCOVERS THAT SOMEONE WANTS HIM DEAD AND BECOMES INVOLVED WITH DRUG DEALERS, MAFIA CHIEFTAINS, AN EX-GENERAL WITH SHADY DEALINGS IN CENTRAL AMERICA, AND A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

New Orleans Detective Dave Robicheaux is a character with depth that has similarities to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. He is competent and dedicated to his job. He is fair-minded and principled. He also has deep emotional scars and weaknesses. Burke balances these and develops a character you pull for and want to know more about. The story has a solid literary style and well-paced. Burke really excels at describing the setting in New Orleans and southern Louisiana. Here are a few excerpts that demonstrate the style and depth of the book.

I pretended to be a pragmatist, a cynic, a jaded war veteran, a vitriolic drunk, the last of the Louisiana badasses; but like most people I believed that justice would be done, things would work out, somebody would show up with the Constitution in his hand.

From The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke

When we got to Lake Pontchartrain it was like walking out from under a layer of steam into a slap of cool, salt-smelling air. Pelicans dove for fish out of the blue sky, plummeting downward with their wings cocked behind their heads as though they had been dropped from a bomb rack, exploding in the smoky green water and rising suddenly with silvery fish flipping helplessly in their beaks. Far out on the horizon the water was capping in the sunlight, and a long, gleaming white yacht with red sails was dipping into the troughs and sending geysers of foam bursting into the air.

From The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke

Definitely expect to move forward with the series. Will let you know what I think.


Cover of The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke

The Neon Rain

By James Lee Burke

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 becomes 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.

Published July 9, 2010
324 pages (print)

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