“Robicheaux” by James Lee Burke #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou

35297186._SY475_Dave Robicheaux, a detective and Vietnam veteran, is battling alcoholism and is trying to get to grips with the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly. He makes living in a Louisiana town, dong his best to keep up with life and work and keep peace in the town he serves. As it happens, he finds himself to be a suspect in his own homicide investigation. The victim so happens to be the man that killed his wife. As he continues his own investigation on the matter, trying among others ti clear his own name and find the real killer, he comes across a number of different characters who very much describe the very dark and different part of america.

His boss, Sheriff Helen Soileau, is doing her best trying to figure out exactly what might have happened the night of the murder. At the same time, Dave and his best friend Clete Purcel, try to figure out Dave’s whereabouts on the time of murder. His anger about his wife’s loss is not small and the two men are wondering whether Dave’s melancholy could transform him to a person capable of such violence. His alcohol problem does not help, as at that night, Dave was not as sober as he would like to be.

So many different characters come up in this story and each one of them is representing one of the many different stiff characters one may find in one of those God forsaken towns at nowhere’s end. In many a cases, there are characters with a fair amount of good qualities, which tend to be outweighed by their flaws. It’s only what one would expect on the corrupt and damaged soul of Louisiana. A state full of poverty and inequality. A state that was hit by Katrina and it made thinks even worse that they once were. Katrina is also mentioned in the book, as a means to describe more of the current state of the towns mentioned in there.

“It’s a phenomenon that seems unique to South Louisiana, like a sea change, as if the natural world is reversing itself and correcting an oversight. The barometer will drop unexpectedly, the bayou will swell and remain placid at the same time, and suddenly, rain rings will dimple the surface from one bank to the other.”

Racism makes its way through the book. As well as faults of the past, from the times that the French occupants took the land from the Indians. What happened those days and how the ancestors of some of the characters were involved in all this. It’s a land with many wounds that are not easy to heal. The fact that many people are trying to recreate their history through novels or movies does not really help. It only stirs the waters that have never calmed down.

This book is part of a long series, but i was able to read it as a stand alone. It was not hard for me to become part of the story and understand the balances between the characters.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.


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