Detective Dave Robicheaux is back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high school honor student, doesnt fit: she is not the kind of hapless and marginalized victim psychopaths usually prey upon. Robicheaux and his best friend, Clete Purcel, confront Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer whom both men despise. When Stanga turns up dead shortly after a fierce beating by Purcel, in front of numerous witnesses, the case takes a nasty turn, and Clete's career and life are hanging by threads over the abyss.
Adding to Robicheaux's troubles is the matter of his daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abelard, celebrated novelist and scion of a once prominent Louisiana family whose fortunes are slowly sinking into the corruption of Louisiana's subculture. Abelards association with bestselling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex, causes Robicheaux to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves. As his daughter seems to drift away from him, he wonders if he has become a victim of his own paranoia. But as usual, Robicheaux's instincts are proven correct and he finds himself dealing with a level of evil that is greater than any enemy he has confronted in the past.
"Starred Review. MWA Grand Master Burke offers everything his readers expect--brilliant prose, prosaic situations that suddenly become mystic experiences, and a complex plot...superlative." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Not to be missed by any follower of the landmark series." - Booklist
"Starred Review. Burke, whose sonorous cadences and obsession with the past have often recalled Faulkner, has never resembled the sage of Yoknapatawpha more closely than in this magnificent attempt to get it all down between one cap and one period." - Kirkus
"Starred Review. It takes an incredible writer to keep fresh an 18th novel featuring a character that refuses to change, but Burke does so with what may be one of the best in his Robicheaux series." - Library Journal
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James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the
Texas-Louisiana gulf coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and
later received a B. A. Degree in English and an M. A. from the University of
Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. 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. S. Job Corps.
He and his wife Pearl met in graduate school and have been married 43 years, they have four children: Jim Jr., an assistant U.S. Attorney; Andree, a school psychologist; Pamala, a T.V. ad producer; and Alafair, a law professor and novelist whose first novel ...
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