Ok, I confess that I missed these guys, Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. In fact I noticed a smile came to my face when Clete was first mentioned.
But like others have said, and I agree, the characters are numerous and from time to time, when they're not mentioned again for 100 pages, I'm like who? Who was that again? Fortunately, Burke usually in the same sentence, will state something that reminds me who the character is so I'm not shuffling back looking for the first time he was introduced. It’s easy with Kindle, not so easy with real book. (Did not say that to start a dialogue on ebooks vs real books.)
Might as well throw in another related gripe; I wish Burke would add more background, would 'flesh out' the second level characters more than he usually does. That would certainly add to their being readily recognized.
Burke’s lovely choice of words to describe the area in and around New Iberia, Louisiana and his fish camp, the woods whether they’re dense or spare, the colors, and the smells, everything. Burke, is such a wonderful, masterful writer.
I noted some quotes that I enjoyed which clearly demonstrate Burke’s use of the English language:“But in the muted pink softness of the morning, in the rain that continued to tumble like crystal needles out of the sunlight, I looked again and saw…”
“The bare walls and floor seemed enameled with cold.”
“…his breath as stale as withered flowers, of bugles echoing off frozen hills and wounds that looked like roses frozen in snow.”
I get so tickled with the “sir” used by many of Burke’s characters including Dave, of course. “I am going to shoot your foot off, sir.” Or “I’m slicing you into small chunks with my 11” blade, sir.” (Note: Not sentences that came from the book.)
A couple of things I noticed about Dave, he will chastise others for cursing but he’s really quite good at it himself. In one instance he says “I think you’re shit canning the investigation.” If someone said shit on his property, I can assure you he would say, “please no profanity here, sir.” A bit of a double standard, don’t you think?
He has a method of putting down others that is, in my mind, is a bit arrogant and even disdainful on his part. That’s one character flaw that I’m not happy with but then again, who’s perfect? Dave is not and he would certainly be the first to agree with that statement.
When writing reviews, I mostly give my general and/or specific feelings of the book, not the story itself. This is no exception but I must say the villian, the bad guy in this book, was one of the baddest bad guys I've read in many a year. Nasty dude! And I would recognize him, too, and cross the street, turn the other way, anything to move away from him! He was certainly real enough for me.
With this book I continue on my quest to finish this series but at the rate I'm going, Burke's writing them faster than I'm reading them. OK, Cathy, can't you read faster?
Well, I read every day but have about eight series here I'm going through and I may have missed a couple:
• Raymond Chandler (Philip Marlowe),
• Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch)
• Robert B. Parker (Spenser)
• Ross Macdonald (Lew Archer)
• John Lescroart (Dismas Hardy)
• John Sandford (Virgil Flowers/Lucas Davenport)
• Ed McBain (Matthew Hope)
• Lawrence Block (Matthew Scudder)
Moving through these books one by one is time consuming especially since try to add a classic, non-fiction or maybe a book that a friend has recommended. But I admit it openly, mysteries and detective mysteries especially are my favorite genre along with the hard-boiled, noir genre. But I should add, I enjoy a well written book, period.
But, but, but I love these detectives who are such great problem solvers and do their best to make things right. Harry Bosch may have summed up how they all feel when he said (and Connelly said on Morning Joe
Thursday, 12/6/12) that his baseline code is “everybody counts or nobody counts.” These detectives have that common thread, a code of fairness for all. I just love that code, Dave Robincheaux, Philip Marlowe and all the above detectives have. Oh, my, I’m starting to gush. Real detectives don’t gush, I shouldn’t either. But, but I love them…all of them. Gush, gush, gush. Oh, sorry.