Two months ago I’d never even heard of James Lee Burke never mind the renowned Dave Robicheaux, a New Orleans’s detective who is the main character in a twenty book series and there’s also a couple of films about the guy. I would have remained in this completely unaware state had it not been for my praise of Will Patton’s narration of Doctor Sleep, a fellow blogger recommended his narration of the Robicheaux series, so I looked into it and lo and behold, I find three of my favourite authors hold him in very high regard and two of them recommended his books to me. So got to be worth a try, right.
The Neon Rain is fast approaching thirty years old but that didn’t matter in the slightest, as I was completely blown away by a story I just couldn’t stop listening to. Dave Robicheaux’s tale is filled with twists and turns, a bared back torture scene that he is lucky to escape from, the mafia, drugs, weapons smuggling and a personnel life that gets you deeply inside the character.
I was that invested in the story, I found myself intensely disappointed in him when he jumped off the wagon and hit the bottle with a vengeance.
His life is absolutely fascinating, intricate and complex with a gritty darkness that is never far away. He has a dynamic, sometimes forceful persistence to his personality and the forthright dialogue was intriguing in a way that, well I guess everyone wishes they could say exactly what needed to be said, every time instead of forever hiding. Robicheaux has the quick answers and intelligence to match, he tells it like it is, in a way that you and I would only think of after the conversation was long finished.
I loved everything about this book, the main character, the setting, the dialogue all blended seamlessly with a compelling prose, that Will Patton turned into something special. I’ve already got quite a few books lined up by James Lee Burke, only wish I’d discovered him years ago.