Robicheaux

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I see from this interview that James Lee Burke (who is 81 years young, after all) was planning on ending his Dave Robicheaux series with the 20th book, Light of the World, published five years ago. But readers demanded just one more, and JLB had it in him, so…

Spoilers follow, but I think they're the same ones on the dust jacket. As the book opens, Dave has lost his third wife, Molly, a victim of a (apparently) careless pickup truck driver. Which understandably knocks the props out from under him, and he winds up drinking, something he's managed to avoid for a number of previous books, despite the general psychic horrors within.

Worse, the pickup driver turns up dead. And he was killed while Dave was in a alcoholic blackout, and he's unsure about whether he did the deed or not.

The main plot driver, though, is the conflicts that occur over the making of a Civil War movie. It is to be based on the book of a shady writer, an unreformed mob boss wants to produce it, and so does a flashy demagogic politician. And Dave's daughter, Alafair, is thinking about writing the screenplay. Clete Purcel and Helen Soileau are on hand as well.

There are a lot of secondary characters as well: a dirty cop, a simple-minded hit man, various family members, lowlife thugs, … Everyone's complex, most hiding secrets, and there are the usual bizarre physical characteristics. (There need to be a lot of characters in a Robicheaux novel, since so many of them bite the dust during the course of the book.)

JLB has lost none of his writing talents. Consumer note: For some reason, the Kindle version had a lot of typos.