❰KINDLE❯ ✽ Heaven's Prisoners Author James Lee Burke –

James Lee Burke S Second Robicheaux Novel Takes The Detective Out Of New Orleans And Into The Bayou As He Seeks A Quieter LifeVietnam Vet Dave Robicheaux Has Turned In His Detective S Badge, Is Winning His Battle Against Booze, And Has Left New Orleans With His Wife For The Tranquil Beauty Of Louisiana S Bayous But A Plane Crash On The Gulf Brings A Young Girl Into His Life And With Her Comes A Netherworld Of Murder, Deception, And Homegrown Crime Suddenly Robicheaux Is Confronting Bubba Rocque, A Brutal Hood He S Known Since Childhood Rocque S Hungry Cajun Wife And A Federal Agent With Guts Than Sense In A Backwater World Where A Swagger And A Gun Go Further Than The Law, Robicheaux And Those He Loves Are Caught On A Tide Of Violence Far Bigger Than Them All

10 thoughts on “Heaven's Prisoners

  1. says:

    When Burke writes, I see dead people And sand sharks, and listing planes and oil slick bubbles of air The book opens with a small plane going down near Dave s trawler, and Dave and his wife Annie checking for survivors Its a vivid scene.This is the second book starring Dave Robicheaux, described by a local stripper as I know you were a good cop and all that bullshit, she said, but there s a lot of stuff you guys never see You can t You don t live in it, Streak You re a visitor Unfortunately for Dave, he s about to take an extended vacation.Burke challenges me as a new writer to me, I haven t get been able to predict where he is going or how he ll get there The first book had a strong level of violence, not merely implied, but described, and not merely murders, but torture I don t like to go to those places, which lends itself to reading distraction putting the book down and walking away But its a hard fought distraction and I always find myself returning to his vividly created world.I enjoy Burke s descriptions the lush world building of southern Louisiana, past and present But in this story it gets a little lost, and Burke can t quite keep his focus tight enough on the plot This is, perhaps, one of the ways Burke and Lawrence Block, of Matt Scudder fame, differ while Block is able to build a solid feel for period New York City, he doesn t lose focus on the mystery In this case, the true focus is Dave Robicheaux, the detective, and his ability to wrestle with the demons that drive him I wondered if I would ever exorcise the alcoholic succubus that seemed to live within me, its claws hooked into my soul But he knows I was not simply a drunk I was drawn to a violent and aberrant world the way a vampire bat seeks a black recess within the earth I like it, a lot, but it isn t my normal escapist fiction The story driver is Dave himself, and his inability to turn the other cheek, so to speak, and his attraction to the violence At one point, it is nailed quite nicely when someone says, You know what your problem is You re two people in the same envelope You want to be a moral man in an amoral business At the same time you want to blow up their shit just like the rest of us There s lines I just loved I walked into the confessional and waited for the priest I had known him for twenty five years, and I trusted his working class instincts and forgave him his excess of charity and lack of admonition, just as he forgave me for my sins And a very powerful thought for those in public safety The truth was that I enjoyed it, that I got high on my knowledge of man s iniquity, that I disdained the boredom and predictability of the normal world as much as my strange alcoholic metabolism loved the adrenaline rush of danger and my feeling of power over an evil world that in many ways was mirrored in microcosm in my own soul Heady stuff for a mystery thriller, and one that bears thinking on.I also admire Burke s acknowledgement of political events and how it continues to effect Robicheaux s life today Why did Dave Robicheaux have to impose all this order and form on his life So you lose control and total out for a while, I thought The U.S Army certainly understood that You declare a difficult geographical and political area a free fire zone, than you stand up later in the drifting ash and the smell of napalm and define with much clarity the past nature of the problem I understand both Burke and Robicheaux s preoccupation with the culture of their childhood, time past, with seeing an entire way of life slowly slip into the mud For both of them, there were negative aspects Burke is quick to acknowledge the racism but also good things, particularly of a time when the moral code felt straightforward That s the illusion of childhood, of course, and perhaps by the end Dave realizes that as well.Still, as a genre reader, this strays a bit too far into Southern gothic literary fiction for my pleasure, although it is a taste that s growing on me While I like the tour of Louisiana, I would have preferred a stronger balance between the mystery and the character turmoil a little outward focus and a little less inward Still, no one can say that Burke doesn t breathe life into his setting and characters I felt like I d know most of them on the street not that I d likely wander down those particular streets and be able to find my way to his tour boat Food especially this time it s fresh seafood, roadside strawberries and ice cream the first book it was po boys and Dr Pepper with limes and cherry juice Now I have a food craving.And boy, can this guy ever write Not really a comfortable story, and it felt a little screenplay ready view spoiler I just knew his wife would die hide spoiler

  2. says:

    In this, the second Dave Robicheaux mystery, Dave turns in his badge and heads for the bayou Soon the tranquility is shattered, and he is out for revenge Good effective mystery, and the Louisiana atmosphere is a plus.

  3. says:

    3.75 A clue to detective Dave Robicheaux s personality can be found in the following dialog with the local sheriff S I m not going to give a man a badge so he can be an executioner, he said.D I wouldn t need a badge for that S Are you going to tell me you can investigate view spoiler your own wife s murder hide spoiler

  4. says:

    Most people think of violence as an abstraction It never is It s always ugly, it always demeans and dehumanises, it always shocks and repels and leaves the witnesses to it sick and shaken It s meant to do all those things. Heaven s Prisoners is the second in the Dave Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke and while not as powerful as Neon Rain, it s still a bloody intense story Robicheaux has left the New Orleans PD and bought a boat and bait business on a bayou in New Iberia Now married to Anne Ballard, life is quiet, relaxing, but one thing I ve come to learn about Dave Robicheaux, serenity is fleeting and tribulation is never far away Dave and his wife are out boating on the gulf when they see a plane plummet into the water, he goes to help but the four adults are already dead, he is able to rescue one young girl who they sort of adopt and name Alafair, she becomes a part of their family He is questioned by the authorities and it becomes obvious a cover up is underway but why He starts to investigate, against his wife s wishes and soon enough there s a tornado of trouble heading his way But he just can t leave things be and it costs him dear Robicheaux is no longer under the restraints of the law and he throws himself into potentially violent situations with reckless abandon, the adrenalin, the danger and the sense of righteousness all seemingly addictive but at what expense He s a brilliant character but there s a few minor flaws in this story, when tragedy occurs the recovering alcoholic once again jumps of the proverbial wagon Exactly like he did in the first story when I was intensely disappointed with him, this time it was almost expected along with the spur to once again kick it With what happens you can t help but think he brings it on himself, leading to an intense sadness but he s a character who ll never change, resolute and confrontational as ever, and it makes for a gripping read His meddling and refusal to walk away being the primary driver to everything bad that happens There s a hell of a lot of revenge action going on inevitably followed by retaliation and of course it is our hero who risks most It all comes down to three woman and an old school friend, one a crime lord known as Bubba Rock, Bubba s extremely dangerous and promiscuous wife, a prostitute that Dave helps out after getting her in trouble and his very own wife I love James Lee Burke s stuff but I m hoping there s not a standard template to this series because if he hits the bottle in the next book I think I ll scream And if I hear the word Bayou once then that s fucking it, when you read your mind can gloss over repeated use of words but in audio it s there, pronounced and in your face, you can t ignore it So I m on Black Cherry Blues already and things are looking good so far, let s hope it stays that way Also posted at

  5. says:

    This is a revised review as of 4 14 2013 with images added for flavor which are from the old movie version and while the movie is worth a look I strongly suggest you read the novel first After book one Neon Rain our hero, David Robicheaux hereinafter DR , has retired from the NOLA police department and opened a bayou fishery up by tapping into his pension He s also married to his love interest from book one but DR can t avoid a mystery and one stumbles upon him while he s out fishing on the bayou they rescue a child from a small plane that sinks in the bayou and just like any good fictional detective he pokes his nose into places and violent, corrupt people get angry This particular volume focuses upon forming a family, remorse and the repercussions of leading a violent life People who want a happy ending, well, wait Didn t you read the first novel and realize you were in the wrong emotional section Heh Anyway, as usual this is a melancholy piece of beautiful writing with moral questions posed to its readers but not forced down your throat Get it Yeah, Teri Hatcher is in this film before her later implants but again I seriously suggest you read the book first The movie may very well ruin your appetite to read the novel No pun intended I would present that the real strengths of this tale other than it being a solid mystery are its usual focuses upon the bayou, New Orleans NOLA and DR s alcoholism for a dark tragedy comes down upon him and he finds himself drinking that golden fire once he alludes to drinking before the series started and having an alcoholic father Rarely have I read something that has made me understand the addictions of alcohol and how hard it is to shake off But even all those reading pleasures are a still a notch down from the character of New Orleans The Bayou with its balmy heat waves, summer rains, Poorboy sandwiches, evening skies that are the color of torn plums, cicadas in the purple haze, fireflies lighting up the trees, and, of course, the charm of not just New Orleans but its French Quarter That makes it a pleasure to read and bumps up the overall quality of the novel I look forward to reading the next one Some excerpts I particularly enjoyed chokengititikchokeng 3Until her innocent love made me feel that all my years, my love handles, my damaged liver were not important after all Maybe I had grown foolish, or perhaps fonds is a better word, in the way that an aging animal doesn t question its seduction by youth But her love wasn t a seduction it was unrelenting and always there, even after a year of marriage, and she gave it eagerly and without condition She had a strawberry birthmark high upon her right breast, and when she made love her heart filled it with blood until it became a dark redchokengtitiktitikchokeng 64They all had the same numb expression, the same drowning eyes, the same knowledge that they somehow deserved their fate and that they were absolutely alone in the worldchokengtitiktitikchokeng 88 90I shook open the paper and tried to read the sports page, but my eyes wouldn t focus on the words My skin itched, my face burned, my loins felt as though they were filled with concrete I folded the paper, dropped it on the bar, and walked back outside into the late spring night.I could smell the odor of dead fish on the wind.It was a generous and kind note I should have been content with it But it disturbed me as much as it reassured me, because I wondered if Annie, like most people who live with alcoholics, was not partly motivated by fear that my unpredictable mood might lead all of us back into the nightmarish world that AA had saved me fromchokengtitiktitikchokeng 102I sat at my kitchen table with a glass of iced tea and mint leaves and looked out the window at the blue jays swooping over the mimosa tree in the backyard The ducks in my pond were shaking water off their back and waddling onto the bank in the shaded created by the cattailschokengtitiktitikchokeng 124 You remember what you had to say about Kansas This is probably the only place in the United States that would be improved by a nuclear war p 165It was a morning of abstinence in which I tried to think in terms of five minutes at a time I felt like a piece of cracked ceramic In the clothing store my hands were still trembling, and I saw the salesman step back from my breath In an open air food stand on the beach, I drank a glass of iced coffee and ate four aspirins I squinted upward at the sunlight shining through the branches of the palm tree overhead I would have swallowed a razor blade for a shuddering rush of Jim Beam through my systemchokengtitiktitikchokeng 218And like most middle aged people who hear the clock ticking in their lives, I had come to resent a waste or theft of my time that was greater than any theft of my goods or moneychokengtitiktitikchokeng 266The air was purple, swallows covered the sky, and a wind had come up and was blowing the insects back into the flooded trees so that the bream and sunfish and goggle eye perch were feeding deep in the shadows The western sky was a burnt orange, and cranes and blue herons stood in the shallows on the tips of the sandbars and islands of cattailschokengtitiktitikchokeng 292I brood upon it and sleep little I wait like a denied lover for the blue glow of dawn CHARACTER PLOTTING B STORY PLOTTING B minus to B SETTING B plus to A minus OVERALL GRADE B plus WHEN READ February to March 2011 revised review 4 14 2013.

  6. says:

    If I didn t know what a fantastic writer James Lee Burke was Heaven s Prisoners may have made me pause and reconsider whether I wanted to continue this series.But it would have been because I was angry at Dave Robicheaux not because the book was badly written.This book had the same name of the main character inThe Neon Rain but the resemblance ended there The main character inThe Neon Rain was a hero who saved the day and sailed off into the sunset with the girl The Dave Robicheaux in Heaven s Prisoners was an idiot on a dry drunk whose stubbornness badly hurt not only himself but those he loved This may be a pattern in this series but since this is only the second book in this series, it s too soon to tell Dave Robicheaux does get the bad guys in the end but the cost is prohibitive I gave Heaven s Prisoners 3stars because I found it disappointing after The Neon Rain I do plan on continuing in the series however.Posted on Goodreads and

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  8. says:

    I have read most of James Lee Burke s Dave Robicheaux series but, somehow I had managed to skip, Heaven s Prisoners, the second book in the series In reading it, I enjoyed taking a look at Robicheaux s life much earlier in his career as a cop in New Iberia, Louisiana than in recent books I also enjoyed the fact that it was one of James Lee Burke s earlier works.Burke is an absolute artist with words, painting elegant and compelling pictures that are so vivid that reading his work is almost like watching the story unfold in real life If he did not write mystery stories, I suspect that he would have been hailed as one of America s finest contemporary writers He has lived much of his life in New Iberia and his writing reflects his intimate knowledge of its sites, settings, tastes, range of people, culture, smells and feel I won t go into the story but suffice it to say that it was superbly composed, filled a gap in my Robicheaux experience and was entirely uncompromised by the fact that I read it far out of sequence.

  9. says:

    Well, this one wins the prize for robbing one of the holiday spirit Phew, what a dark and gritty ride this book is, interspersed with profound thoughts.I had read later books in the Robicheaux world and wanted to read the first two, so now I have some key blanks filled in like the rescue of his adopted daughter from a submerged plane.Man, what emotional hits this book is filled with I must now cleanse and jump into a very light and enjoyable collection of Christmas tales with Sherlock.

  10. says:

    the innocent who suffer for the rest of us become anointed and loved by God in a special way the votive candle of their lives had made them heaven s prisoners James Lee Burke s novels are a wonderful reading experience He is a gifted author and master story teller I have never been to New Orleans, or any part of Louisiana for that matter, but when reading one of Burke s books I feel like I am right there I can see the sunrises and sunsets I can hear the music and the rain on the tin roof I can smell the food I am totally immersed in the story It is not just the scenes James Lee Burke creates some of the greatest characters in fiction This is the second novel in the Dave Robicheaux series He has quit the New Orleans police department and along with his wife, Annie, he has opened a bait and boat rental business on a bayou in New Iberia The story opens while they are out on the bayou and witness a small plane crash Robicheaux has scuba gear on his boat and dives down to the crash site The only survivor is a small girl whom he pulls from the plane The other occupants, four adults, are all dead When federal authorities report that there were only three bodies pulled from the wreck Robicheaux begins investigating He may have turned in his badge but apparently he hasn t changed His investigation brings him to the attention of the DEA, Department of Immigration, and the mob And soon he is confronting Bubba Rocque, a local hood he has known since childhood His obstinacy and continued pursuit at first leads to tensions in his marriage and then tragedy One of the main characters in the story tells him You hurt for other people and for some reason you feel guilty about them I think this trait is one of the reasons Dave Robicheaux is such a compelling character Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam veteran who appears to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder He often has dreams about his experiences from the war He is also a recovering alcoholic In the novels I have read his recovery seems to be tenuous and there are slips There are mentions of Alcoholics Anonymous and some slogans but no sponsor or working the steps to recovery At some point in the stories he seems to have a slip, goes on a bender, hits bottom, and then sobers up again Fortunately for fans of the series he always appears to be able to realize when he hits bottom and can sober up again I am not sure how often that happens in reality Dave Robicheaux comes across as a genuine and caring person but a person with a lot of demons that he must deal with I am looking forward to reading the next novel in this series Black Cherry Blues