RARA-AVIS: James Lee Burke

From: Larson, Craig ( Craig.Larson@tsjc.cccoes.edu)
Date: 10 Jun 2002

Has anyone else noticed that Burke seems to be rewriting the same book over and over lately? I just read his latest, _Jolie Blon's Bounce_ over the weekend, and it was almost indistinguishable from the last three or four of the David Robicheaux series. I'm willing to forgive this because of Burke's writing--does anyone else do setting quite as well?--but it is something of a disappointment.

When I read the last of his Billy Bob Holland series, _Bitterroot_, I was thinking he'd finally done something new and different. That was until I started reading _The Lost Get-Back Boogie_, which is virtually the same book, only in an earlier form.

What I'm talking about is that the books all seem to involve a mystery that relates to some wealthy family with a dark secret in the past. The latest generation seems on the surface to be a changed, nice person or persons, but with a dark underbelly. There's a supernatural element (here, it's the character of Legion Guidry, who may be possessed, as well as the homeless man claiming to be the medic who saved Dave's life in Vietnam) and there's a bunch of lowlifes who don't seem to have much connection to the crime except to make Dave's life miserable. And Dave's former partner, Clete Purcell, drops in and out from time to time.

Don't get me wrong--I love Burke and I'm willing to put up with this, but I would like to see something new and fresh from him.

Craig Larson Trinidad, CO

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