Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Tin Roof Blowdown (Dave Robicheaux, #16)” as Want to Read:
The Tin Roof Blowdown (Dave Robicheaux, #16)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Tin Roof Blowdown (Dave Robicheaux #16)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  9,088 ratings  ·  644 reviews

HURRICANE KATRINA HAS REDUCED the Big Easy to the level of a medieval society. Now, with looters descending and violence erupting in the streets, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Detective Dave Robicheaux combs the apocalyptic landscape for a quartet of criminals who hijacked a rescue boat from a drug-addicted ex-priest at the height of the storm, and then scooped up a gangster’s h
Paperback, 528 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Pocket Books (first published July 17th 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Tin Roof Blowdown, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Brian Neary Yes, Great read. See my review. I have included reviews by a couple of friends as well.

Brian Neary
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonBlood Line by John J.  DavisThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Thrillers You Must Read!
234th out of 1,801 books — 2,724 voters
Taste of Fire by Jeannie Faulkner BarberThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonHeavy Duty People by Iain ParkeThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonClosure by Angela Ford
Best Modern Mystery, Crime fiction
172nd out of 534 books — 648 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tea Jovanović
Nije loš autor, i ne piše loše, ali smatram da nije za naše tržište, tj. da je mala ciljna grupa za njega na ovim prostorima... Možda je previše "američki"... Ne znam ni sama... Ali da me je Algoritam konsultovao na vreme ovaj autor ne bi bio objavljen na srpski... dovoljno je hrvatsko izdanje...
James Lee Burke's sorrow and anger are almost palpable in this novel set during Katrina. I read a lot of it with tears in my eyes, because, more than any news story I've yet read, his novel brought back the loss of New Orleans and the overwhelming indifference exhibited by our government to the poor of New Orleans, while telling a gripping tale involving vigilantism, diamond smuggling, and murder.

Once again, James Lee Burke captures his returning characters with honesty and depth. His plots are
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Burke fans
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Ben Suckewer
Shelves: read-in-2008, mystery
Burkes mystery takes place at the same time as Katrina and he does describe horrible events that went on there in the context of his book so we see people fighting over scarce resources and bodies floating in the waters and rescuers saving people etc and I have no real beef with his limited description of the catastrophe as it is part of the setting of the book, but its his mystery that I find faulty. I really think the book is overlong and the plot convoluted, unconvincing and generally full of ...more
I have never been disappointed by a James Lee Burke novel, and this, most recent in the Dave Robicheaux series, is no exception. Robiicheaux is a wonderfully complex character, genuinely and consistently conflicted between his visceral urges and more socially acceptable behaviors.

Robicheaux, a Sheriff of New Iberia, Louisiana, has a strong and deep sense of justice, and repeatedly champions the downtrodden, abused and abandoned, while meting out his own version of just desserts to the mean-spiri
These books, which I listen to on tape, are like sedatives. Dave Robicheaux is a dark conflicted hero. He is the male version of "the hooker with a heart of gold" stereotype.

James Lee Burk has always painted very vivid and poignant pictures of New Orleans and the area surrounding it. This is his first novel post hurricane, and you can just feel his heart seizing as he writes a fictional account of Katrina and the aftermath.

I know this book type isn't for everyone. I don't know if the fact that I
Rick Hautala
Can I give this one TEN STARS? ... I love James Lee Burke's writing, and I consider him THE BEST writer working today (Shakespeare and Hawthorne are dead.) I used to think HEARTWOOD was truly his best book to date, but this, pardon the expression, blows everything he's written out of the water. It is a masterpiece for its story, for its description (especially of the devastation), for its honest and unflinching view of humanity, and for the sheer power and scope of storytelling at its ABSOLUTE B ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Crime Fiction fans
I'm not at all sure I really got what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans until I read this book. Sometimes fiction, at least Burke's fiction, is far more evocative than all the news reports, specials and other stuff in the media.

That said, this is the story of how series hero, Dave Robicheaux, is dragged into the chaos following the disaster and is swallowed up in the aftermath of investigating a number of killings. The plot is typical of the series in that it bounces from a first person narra
Booklist review (I can't say it better) "I wanted to wake to the great, gold-green, sun-spangled promise of the South Louisiana in which I had grown up. I didn't want to be part of the history taking place in our state." That sentence wouldn't be out of place in any of Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels, all of which have been distinguished by their elegiac tone, but it's only fitting that it should appear in his latest, a heartfelt post-Katrina ode to a lost New Orleans and a lost world. In a sense ...more
This is the second Burke novel I've read, and I'm starting to really appreciate his style: passionately moral and teeth-grindingly realistic. Larger than life.

For some reason, this is the time of year that I like to read murder mysteries. This was an extremely satifying and intelligent shoot-'em-up mystery story. There was a strong good v. evil conflict and a big tangled mess of characters in a variety of colors and flavors. Loved it. The mess of characters doesn't get perfectly organized and ex
Steven Kent
Let me start by saying that this book epitomizes the reason I try to avoid reading series books. The suspense is simply gone.

Look, the detective/hero, his wife, his daughter, and his best friend in this book all walk around with invisible shields. They need to appear in the next installment, so nothing anyone does is ever going to kill them.


Hence, when the evil mercenary with the seventh-degree black belt goes off to shoot one of them, he suddenly can
Mark Victor Young
So much more than a police procedural! This is James Lee Burke's elegiac for America in the aftermath of Katrina. So much rage and pain, but also a great story and characters who are trying to carry on despite the disaster, despite finding they didn't live in the country they had thought. The writing is so much better, the ideas so far surpass what you would find in an average detective mystery, that James Lee Burke should be up for literary prizes at the same time he writes a great page-turning ...more
Jul 23, 2008 Kathryne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any adult
Burke centers this complex story around the tragedy of hurricane Katrina. When I bought the book, I was a bit reluctant, wondering how in the world he could take such haunting images as were created by the aftermath of that killer storm, and diminish them enough to allow us to focus on the foibles of his characters. Well, James Lee Burke is the quintessential wordsmith. Not only does he use his words well, he uses them with emotion that tells us he has lived in dark places. Either that, or he dr ...more
Jun 07, 2008 Allan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dave Robicheaux fans
Oh lordy yes! Detective Dave Robicheaux and Hurricane Katrina...what better combination of natural forces could be better calculated to lay waste the Big Easy?

James Lee Burke continues his stellar writing in yet another Robicheaux novel. If you've ever read any of Burke's writings, I'm preaching to the choir. If you haven't, you pitiful wretch, rectify the situation immediately and get thee to a bookery! This man writes with more power and pain than anyone I know of. He is simply our best writer
Oct 16, 2007 Diane rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like crime and mystery
Shelves: diane
I could hardly watch the news coverage of Katrina. It was too cruel and awful and I couldn't do anything to help. I wanted to participate in the pet rescue, but someone would have ended up rescuing me before it was over. Reading Jim Burke's book brings it all back and I have a love-hate relationahip with the reading experience. I dread going into that world again, but I'm also fascinated by it and can hardly put it down. Robicheax provides the voice for all those enraged by a government that is ...more
Andy Wiggins
This continues the series of books dedicated to the experiences of Dave Robicheaux a New Orleans sheriff's department detective. All of these books are great. They are not just cop stories. They give great feeling and flavor of life in New Orleans. Burke is a student of the human condition and really brings empathy to good guys and bad guys alike. In fact, you come out of these books feeling that there is no such thing as a truly good or bad person. This book is about the days following Katrina. ...more
First...Will Patton IS Dave Robicheaux...and Clete Purcell...and Helen Swallow. He makes Mr. Burke's rich prose an intimate conversation with the reader. I am all about the audio for these books.

Second...prepare to be haunted for days, even weeks, by the pain, sadness and loss in these words. Only someone who has grown with and loved New Orleans - and New Iberia - as much as Mr. Burke could have written this book.
Eric Wright
Burke's Tin Roof Blowdown weaves crime throughout the horrific pictures of New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had breached levees and basically destroyed much of the town. Burke's pictures of the loss of life, unbelievable damage to homes and infrastructure, the ineptitude of local and particularly national agencies, law enforcement leave me slack-jawed in unbelief. He gives a picture we are only used to associating with third world countries.

Burke's style is inimitable conjuring a p
James Lee Burke's "Dave Robicheaux" books follow a fairly similar formula. I've read most of them, so I know.
Here's what you can expect:
1) There will be multiple grisly deaths.
2) Dave will reflect on his time in Vietnam and his time as an alcoholic.
3) Dave's old partner, Clete Purcel, will stumble through the case like a wet elephant, trying to do good and silence his inner torment.
4) There will be at least one mobster...some are colorful...some are dangerous...most are both.
5) All the murders D
I wanted to like this book. I tried. Hard. On every page I searched and made a good faith effort. My wife would ask me, "How do you like that book?" I kept saying. "I don't know yet." I've finally made up my mind. The book is not for me. Initially, I found the near constant whining about how the federal government did a lousy job after the Katrina disaster to be tiresome and grating. Didn't the inhabitants of New Orleans have any responsibility for their own condition and recovery? (Check out th ...more
Rob Kitchin
I’ve read a few of Burke’s previous books but I had a hard time with The Tin Roof Blowdown. Some of the lyrical prose for which Burke is known is present, and the dialogue is often sharp, but I nearly gave up after the first thirty pages. It felt to me as if two books had been clunked together – one a political commentary on Katrina and its aftermath (particularly in the first 60 pages or so), the other a police procedural. Rather than letting the story do the commentary, Burke has whole paragra ...more
This Dave Robicheaux novel was better than most. Burke writes with a crisp style and you can almost feel the humidity of New Orleans as you read. This time, Burke attempts to sermonize about some of the terrible events that occured during Hurricane Katrina. He almost seems to attempt to justify the shooting of looters- some of which was likely a proper use of force while most of it was likely open season on young blacks.

Burke actually manages to weave an actual mystery and even surprise me in t
Andrew Hill
What a disappointment. I had not read Burke's work before, but he is a highly regarded noir writer, and I had it on good authority that this was one of his best novels. Set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, it seemed to have a lot of dramatic potential. What a colossal waste of time this book was. I wanted to give it up, but I kept thinking that something would improve, and then I reached the point at which I just wanted to find out the mystery.

I won't say Burke is a bad writer.
haven't finished this yet but i find this book pretty amazing. i love its noirness, its alcohol-fueled duskiness/dustiness/twilightness/undergroundness. the simmering violence. the simmering heat. the rage (the acknowledgment of the rage is terrific: too bad there is no investigation of female rage as well). the despair. the hanging in there. the chaos. the descent into hell. the each man for himself. the androgynous women. the no-nonsense. the death vibes. the rotten smells. the dirty bodies. t ...more
Jul 11, 2008 L rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gio, laura
Shelves: mystery
I don't know if Burke was in Louisiana right after (even during) Katrina, but his descriptions ring true; he goes beyond the media hype (and stereotype) that the nation saw, deals with the abandonment of the poor, the unimaginably horrid situation, and more. I'm not finished with the novel, so can't speak to the story itself. No matter. This is by far my favorite of Burke's novels. Mind you, much of it is not easy to read or fun, but it is powerful.

On a different note, Burke has a way with words
It feels redundant to say that this was a brutal and angry book, because most of Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels are -- but this one was particularly brutal and angry, because it's Robicheaux's (and Burke's beloved) New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and all the anger, fear and frustration that it's clear Burke is harboring for the government's reaction in the wake of Katrina seeps through easily and obviously.

But it's really good anger, it's really good brutality -- I wouldn't recomme
I always enjoy Burke's writing and this is no exception. Beautiful wrought and strongly emotional. The story takes place during and immediately after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, which brought back a lot of memories for me.

Although I like the David Robicheaux character quite a lot, I found myself irritated in places with him in this book. In particular he seems to show greater sympathy for one particular criminal, who has been involved in two rapes and inadvertently caused the
James Lee Burke has a real love for Southern Louisiana and it is apparent in his novels. With this in mind I had wondered how he would respond to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This book takes rural detective/ex- New Orleans cop, Dave Robicheaux into the center of the aftermath to help with recovery efforts. Burke/Robicheaux provides the reader with a very real and disturbing picture of how the hurrican affected the people and the City he loves. Along with this insight is the development ...more
Feb 22, 2008 Diane rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a mystery
James Lee Burke's sixteenth novel in the Dave Robicheaux series opens as Hurricane Katrina churns its way through the Gulf, homing in on its target of New Orleans. In The Tin Roof Blowdown, New Iberia police detective Dave Robicheaux finds himself in the heart of the Hurricane Katrina disaster when his department is temporarily assigned to rescue and response duty in the Big Easy. Burke once again assembles a large cast of characters whose lives inevitably collide, causing chaos and death.

This m
Oct 28, 2007 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who just watched "When the Levees Broke"
Burke is back in classic "Burke" form--moody, atmospheric, violent, angry, etc. This is the first Dave Robicheaux novel set post-Katrina. Though Burke has always explored the seamy underbelly of New Orleans (the "big Sleasy" as one character calls it), now the underbelly has spent too much time in the water and lies rotting on top of a pile of garbage. Numerous events collide the night of the hurricaine and in the weeks that follow, Dave, his family, and his best friend, Clete Purcell, get sucke ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
A favorite author 10 47 Aug 27, 2012 06:56AM  
Lights in the water 3 27 Aug 27, 2012 06:50AM  
Brown Bag Book Club: Getting an Education 1 3 Apr 15, 2012 03:40PM  
mystery lovers 2 21 Sep 04, 2008 09:01AM  
  • Hard Revolution
  • Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1)
  • Exit Music (Inspector Rebus, #17)
  • The Long-Legged Fly (Lew Griffin, #1)
  • Poetic Justice (A Kate Fansler Mystery #3)
  • Sunset Express (Elvis Cole, #6)
  • Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Mystery
  • Bones and Silence (Dalziel & Pascoe, #11)
  • A Rich Full Death
  • Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski, #11)
  • Malice Aforethought
  • The Great Impersonation
  • The Blue Room (Crime Masterworks)
  • Twelve Mile Limit
  • Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins #1)
  • Wolves Eat Dogs (Arkady Renko, #5)
  • The Four Just Men  (The Four Just Men #1)
James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Dave Robicheaux series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.

Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving
More about James Lee Burke...

Other Books in the Series

Dave Robicheaux (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1)
  • Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux, #2)
  • Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3)
  • A Morning for Flamingos (Dave Robicheaux, #4)
  • A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux, #5)
  • In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6)
  • Dixie City Jam (Dave Robicheaux, #7)
  • Burning Angel (Dave Robicheaux, #8)
  • Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux, #9)
  • Sunset Limited (Dave Robicheaux, #10)
The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1) Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3) The Glass Rainbow (Dave Robicheaux, #18) In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6) Swan Peak (Dave Robicheaux, #17)

Share This Book