Eli's Reviews > The Tin Roof Blowdown

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
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Jan 15, 08

Read in November, 2007

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-spirited and predatory. His natural inclination is to meet violence with violence outside the law, and he continually struggles to balance his true nature with his professional obligations.

Tin Roof Blowdown takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans, and Burke's descriptions of the devastation of both the inhabitants and the city are graphic and disturbing.

Burke's prose is spare, yet from his minimalist descriptive phrases you can feel the stifling humidity, sense the impending danger, and smell the swamp -- you are there. He has an uncanny ability to decipher the motivations of a wide variety of characters from all levels of society in the Deep South. His books are moody and dark, but with redemptive themes. The universal conflict between Good and Evil is effectively contained within the soul of one man -- a modern-day knight in not-so-shining armor that you wish you knew.

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message 1: by Chad (new) - added it

Chad Sayban A very well written review. Thank you!


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