For the most part they are either the underbelly of society or the members of law enforcement who have to deal with them on a daily basis. The story serves to remind us that although World War II is over the war against hate crimes isn't. Aug 09, Harry rated it it was amazing Shelves: southern-detectives.
Dixie City Jam by James Lee Burke | Orion - Bringing You News From Our World To Yours
Book Review I suspect I have an edge as compared to most Burke fans. I have resided in the French Quarter so aptly described in the Burke novels. I've seen corruption and the broken infrastructure pre-Katrina , smelled the molded heat lifting up from the pavement after a roaring rain, have had my shirt cling to my skin within two minutes of stepping outdoors, choked on the heat surrounding me, a humidity that I could carve with a steak knife. I've seen the above ground cemetery's filled with the Book Review I suspect I have an edge as compared to most Burke fans.
I've seen the above ground cemetery's filled with the bones of history, the languid Spanish moss like many umbrellas above your head, the levees we call them dikes in Holland , the degradation of Bourbon street and Mardi Gras, exotic voodoo parlors, experienced the aura of supernatural practices that bely the belly fat of the city.
I've tasted the breeze blowing off Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf, and spent many a morning sipping coffee and writing in journals in Cafe Du Monde. To this day, I always have a canister of Cafe Du Monde coffee in my cupboard, it's distinct flavor reminding me of my exotic and bohemian New Orleans. Here's a personal story that may give you a view into corruption New Orleans style.
I lived in a studio off Esplanade Avenue. One day, arriving home I noticed ambulances and police cruisers blocking the street before a small convenience store across the street. I walked up to the first floor and sat down on my patio to watch the action taking place, smoked a cigarette and mused at the scene before me. Later, watching the news, I was floored by the actual events that had apparently taken place across the street.
Turns out that a female police officer, off work, robbed the convenience store and killed the proprietor. Unknown to her, the man's son had observed everything from a small alcove in the back. The remarkable thing was this: after robbing the store, the police officer returned to the police station, donned her gear, and answered the call to her own robbery. Justice is not blind though. The kid recognized her as she was investigating the scene and she was ultimately convicted of the crime. In Dixie City Jam ,Burke's 7th Robicheax novel, we find a sober Dave with the wheels of alcoholism giving our anti-hero an unexpected but sorrowful reprieve from temptation.
For readers of this series, we sort of expect the constant snake's head of alcoholism to tempt Dave, to rob him of all breath, and reclaim his weak and addictive soul.
Will he again succumb to the bottle, as he has done in previous novels, one asks? I don't remark on plot. But, suffice it to say that just this once, Dave Robicheaux has the unexpected opportunity to observe his addiction manifested in another, someone close to him. The settings, their descriptions, the imagination of the reader even if they haven't been to Louisiana are set afire with Burke's prose. My friend Cathy described this author's prose as causing her to pause just to savor a particular sentence.
Here we see the genre transcending itself and moving to literature. These morsels spread across each page are what gives us the pleasure we as readers should expect. There's never too much of it, his style doesn't overpower the plot. In particular, I noticed in this novel Burke's unique love scenes written unlike any love scene I've ever read though they are brief. It makes you think, who is this man, James Lee Burke? Perhaps his wife of 48 years can answer that question. Only Burke can infuse an American crime-novel with Nazism, racism, the mob, police corruption, religious fundamentalism, submarines, a serial killer, contract killings, alcoholism, and city politics and have it read as effortlessly as drinking a cup of coffee.
One never tires of the effeminate literati sprinkled throughout the novel, islands of reprieve from the horrors that take place elsewhere. This is a superb addition to the Dave Robicheaux series! He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B. Degree in English and an M. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U.
Job Corps. He and his wife Pearl met in graduate school and have been married 48 years, they have four children: Jim Jr. Attorney; Andree, a school psychologist; Pamala, a T. And, in case you're a write and often get discouraged, listen to Burke when he says: "My advice is to never lose faith in one's gift and to never quit.
An artist must ignore the naysayers and not be discouraged by rejection and never, under any circumstances, give up submitting one's work. Has he won any awards? Burke received the Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the "literary intellectual heritage of Louisiana. Which of JLB's books have been made into movies? What else is on the horizon for the Dave Robicheaux series? Marshal Raylan Givens character in the series Justified , cable sounds like just the place for Robicheaux if you're still a believer in cable personally, I think cable is so 20th century and I would guess it won't be around in ten years given Netflix and Hulu's move as of late into developing their own exclusive series.
I've been seriously considering shutting down cable. Primarily known for his Dave Robicheaux series with his Billy Bob Holland series rapidly catching up , Burke is known for marrying literature with crime-fiction while simultaneously standing at the forefront of crime-fiction authors with his second-to-none character development across a series.
In case you haven't noticed, there's a marked increase in "regional" crime fiction of which Burke is a pioneer for example: the Cork O'Connor series set in Minnesota, or the Walt Longmire series set in Wyoming. Having traveled quite a bit both within the United States as well as outside of it, it is my opinion that Louisiana is one of those states that most resembles a foreign country.
Its French ancestry, its Napoleonic law, its parishes, and its Creole and Cajun population infuse this series with a decidedly exotic slant, a perspective that is really driven home when one listens to a competent audio book reading preferably read by Mark Hammer.
Every novel in this series delves into moral uncertainty, the menace of uncontrolled human behavior, greed and sloth and violence all delivered via a careful juxtaposition of Louisiana's coastal natural beautfy and its dark underbelly.
More books by James Lee Burke
If that were all there is to this series, it would be a fabulous read. But, Burke doesn't stop there. His novels are a study into the deep recesses of love and loyalty; Of family and compassion and in this sense his resembles the work of William Kent Krueger who explores a similar vein in his crime series featuring Sherriff Cork O'Connor. It is James Lee Burke who stands out as one of the true pioneers in American crime-fiction much as his counterparts do by rote in Scandinavia by seriving up a devastating expose of the sociopolitical issues that exist in our nation today, and more specifically within the region for which he writes.
Unlike Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series, who delivers a hero rather than an anti-hero to the delight of his romantic literature fans , Burke has engaged the help of a decidedly flawed anti-hero, Dave Robicheaux, to accomplish his mission on earth. It is a calculated move that allows his readers to experience a harrowing journey through the former Napoleonic waters of New Iberia and New Orleans.
You will not be disappointed and if you're like me New Orleans and its French Quarter is a former home of mine , you will find yourself willfully putting the book down View all 3 comments. James Lee Burke is an especially fluid and descriptive writer. Dixie City Jam is loaded with wonderful phrasing and exquisite descriptions. Being a mystery thriller, it is also full of action and lively characters that intrigues the reader.
Burke doesn't seem to know how to write a one-dimensional character. Even the most minor ones are many layered and full of surprises. On top of this, add a close and personal knowledge of the Louisiana delta and New Orleans. The only other writer I can think James Lee Burke is an especially fluid and descriptive writer. The only other writer I can think of that brings this type of cultural intimacy to the literary thriller is Tony Hillerman in his Navajo mysteries. Dixie City Jam is the seventh book in the series that feature police officer David Robicheaux. The nominal plot features a Nazi submarine sunk off of the Louisiana coast and a group of seedy people who want Robicheaux's help in recovering it.
But this is a bit of a "MacGuffin", as Hitchcock would say. The true interest is in the complex relationship of persons as far afield as crooked detectives to Irish gangsters to psychotic Nazis. The novel is a melting pot of ethnic angst and corrupt dreams. I was thoroughly entranced with this novel and will no doubt devour the entire series. Four and a half stars. Apr 15, Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it. Soon two criminal outfits and a Neo-Nazi group are threatening and harassing him along with his family and friends.
He must battle the evil forces to protect his loved ones. This has been the hardest book of the series to read and yet I am still plugging away at it.
Dixie City Jam
I definitely felt the ending made up for the slow pace. Well worth reading. The plot as always in the Robicheaux series is a vortex that pulls the reader in and throws him in the midst of the criminal underbelly of Louisiana. Burke is the best all round crime writer and there is somethi In this installment Robicheaux draws the ire of Neo-Nazis as he is tasked with salvaging a World War II German submarine to pay off a debt.
Burke is the best all round crime writer and there is something in here for everyone. Be enamored with the lyrical descriptions of New Orleans; be assailed by the biting dialogue that aims to shock; be immersed in Robicheaux's ruminations about the justice system, morality, sin and everything in between; or be awed by characters that are vibrant and vicious but never vapid. Robicheaux remains the rock that holds all the plot tangents together. Burke does not gloss over his lead's potential for violence. What keeps Robicheaux in line is not restraint or righteousness but a fear that if he succumbs to the temptation of giving in to reciprocating the violence, he is going to lose something intangible but vital.
These little touches make him more humane and even readers who can't love him or the series like I do can surely find something to respect here. The books in this series are filled with unsavory characters but Burke manages to distinguish each of them. He does not offer them anything as facile as sympathy but instead he gives the reader an understanding how they ended up where they did.
The main antagonist is the notable exception, not because Burke could not make him three dimensional. He had done it many times before, but he wanted an antagonist that is probably the most frightening and deranged the series had seen so far.
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The excessive violence in Dixie City Jam stretched my believability and there are plot points which are verbatim re-runs of previous books. It is not done badly but they have been done equally well before. Robicheaux's family walking into the firing line was done to more shocking effect in Heaven's Prisoners while Clete Purcell coming in for the last minute save is a tradition going on from Black Cherry Blues.
They are only minor criticisms that might not even be noticed by a reader whose first exposure to Robicheaux is Dixie City Jam. Burke creates a world where decency is disintegrating and every character's conscience is corruptible. So sometimes the violence reaches unsettling levels while the bleakness and decadence makes you feel powerless. If you can look past that I implore all admirers of good writing to check this out. Dave Robicheaux is hunting a fanatical Nazi fanatic who is after the supposed treasure in a sunken WW2 u-boat. As usual, there is a lot of gratuitous violence, a great deal perpetrated by Clete Purcell.
A fast paced novel with great descriptions of the Louisianna coast and enough action for everyone. Jun 22, Peggy rated it really liked it. Dave Robicheaux is a recovering alcoholic detective outside New Orleans. He is married and has an adopted daughter. Dave has lived in southern Louisiana all his life and he knows the bayous. He has found it more than once, and now a Jewish man wants to hire him to find it again. A crooked cop in New Orleans is trying to stir up trouble for Dave through Dave Robicheaux is a recovering alcoholic detective outside New Orleans.
A crooked cop in New Orleans is trying to stir up trouble for Dave through Clete. News that Dave may know the location of the sub gets to a psychopath Nazi going by the name Will Buchalter. Will is like a nightmare ghost seemingly able to get to Bootsie whenever he likes. She is starting to drink heavily as her terror grows.
Dixie City Jam (Dave Robicheaux Series #7)
Dave must protect his family and help Clete while trying to determine why this sunken sub is suddenly so important. James Lee Burke is a masterful describer, setting the scenes artistically. The seedy side of humanity is highlighted. I enjoy this series because of the intriguing plots and complex characters.
View 1 comment. Dec 07, Mark rated it it was ok.
Dixie City Jam by Burke, James Lee
I hate to give this book a sub-par grade since I'm a huge fan of this series, but the author has set the bar so high with previous novels that readers should expect some consistency. The plot is promising; Robicheaux knows of a sunken German WWII submarine in the Gulf, one he found in his youth and has relocated on other dives as an adult. This is not entirely fictitious. In , the U sub was found in the Gulf, having been sunk in When word of the discovery leaks out, a neo-Nazi ps I hate to give this book a sub-par grade since I'm a huge fan of this series, but the author has set the bar so high with previous novels that readers should expect some consistency.
When word of the discovery leaks out, a neo-Nazi psychopath becomes interested in the sub and its contents, as does a local Jewish activist. But then the story slips into a fairly routine battle amongst mobsters, drug lords, and troubled folks from Robicheaux's past. Too many cliche confrontational scenes and the obligatory tension between Robicheaux and other law enforcement officers. Some trouble on the homefront adds little to the story, and for the first time, reading this series got a tedious.