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House of the Rising Sun

(Hackberry Holland #4)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,476 ratings  ·  535 reviews
New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke returns with his latest masterpiece, the story of a father and son separated by war and circumstance-and whose encounter with the legendary Holy Grail will change their lives forever.

From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Simon Schuster
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Rob Robinson Yes! Read it and start loving JLB. He is simple one of the best authors around. His detective books are great but I think his Holland books are better…moreYes! Read it and start loving JLB. He is simple one of the best authors around. His detective books are great but I think his Holland books are better. Regardless, he is truly a jewel of a writer and should be enjoyed as such.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  3,476 ratings  ·  535 reviews

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Andrew Smith
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
No bones about it, JLB is my favourite writer of crime fiction. Correction, he’s my favourite writer – period!

In this latest episode in the saga of the Holland family we go back in time to catch up with Hackberry Holland, a Texas Ranger battling with Pancho Villa’s revolutionary force. We switch to the trenches of Marne as Holland’s estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army, fights to stay alive as the WWI draws to it’s conclusion. And then back to Texas where Holland is now tr
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grit-lit
James lee Burke where have you been all my reading life?? I'm stunned we haven't been introduced before reading this magnificent book.

It's the turn of the 20th century and Hackberry is on the search for his son who is serving in the military but has now been kidnapped. He wants to make amends for a life where he was absent. He's an unstable, violent and dark man, who takes to the drink frequently.
This has a deeply western get in your face feel with gunslinging bad guys, whore houses, crooked ch
Angela M
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4+ stars .

This is my first James Lee Burke book . I guess I never read him before since he's known for his crime and mystery books and I don't typically read them . I don't really enjoy books with a lot of violence . Having said that , it was a way of life at various times in history - the wars, the pioneer days , the wild west and in this case , Mexico during the time if Poncho Villa and Texas in the early 1900's . To understand those times and the history, reading a book like this can be a tru
Diane S ☔
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
We are literally dropped into Mexico and a bordello of the title name. Hack is looking for his son Ishmael, a son he hasn't seen since he was a child, but had recently been the commander of a Negro troop in revolutionary Mexico. That visit to the bordello and his theft of an artifact from a cruel arms dealer will change his life for the foreseeable future.

Hack is a study in contradictions, a man who regrets actions he cannot change but who is unable to let an injustice go unpunished. He is at ti
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it

In this 4th book in the 'Hackberry Holland' series, Hackberry tries to help the grown son he abandoned as a child. The book can be read as a standalone.


Hackberry Holland, former Texas Ranger and lawman, seems to find trouble wherever he goes. He runs his mouth, gets blackout drunk, and is quick to use his guns and fists.

As the story opens, it's 1916 and Hackberry (Hack) is in Mexico searching for his estranged son Ishmael - a captain in the U.S Army.

The Mexican Revolution is ongoing, and
Cathrine ☯️
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing

“Goodbye Mr. Holland. You never fail to distinguish yourself. I thought I had met every kind of man. I didn’t realize how vain I was.”

I’m thinking James Lee Burke is a man’s man, or more pertinent, a woman’s man. This was my first time with him and it won’t be the last. I think I'm in love. Not a book for those with a delicate constitution and I loved every hard core moment with it. Thanks to friends Angela, Jen, and Diane for their reviews pointing the way to this one. Such fascinating sto
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
Oh, James.

You and I have been have been exchanging glances for quite some time now. And you’ve been trying to get my attention through my friends. After your date with Jen, she wondered where you’d been all her life. Diane said you were “amazing.” After your first time with Cathrine she said, “Hot damn… I think I’m in love.” I was intrigued.

We were still beating around the bush with each other, though, until you invited yourself into my home (via a winning entry in a GoodReads Giveaway). Bold m
The reason I decided to read this book was because of the narrator, Will Patton. I will happily listen to him narrate anything and this audiobook was available to download at my library. Unfortunately, I did NOT realize that it was the 4th book in a series at the time, but I don't think I missed out on much. However, I am hoping that Will Patton narrates the rest of the them and if so I will be downloading those as well!

This is a western that takes place around the late 1800's up to around 1918.
I love when an author has the ability to convey the dregs of society, the dark and the dirty; and then in the next sentence he describes in lovely prose the way the leaves on the trees reflect sunlight in just such a way, or the color of the clouds in the sky, or shares his thoughts on the beauty of a woman. It just makes me happy to go along from chapter to chapter, no matter how disgusting certain characters are. When one woman said to her stepson, "I'll be your mother and your lover and your ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Why only two stars? This should have been an automatic 5-Star: Mexican Revolution, Battle of the Marne, Texas Rangers, and Burke's writing. What could go wrong? Sadly, most of it. Let us count the ways.

The book is ponderously plotted - Elmore Leonard could have gotten to the same place in half as many pages - and has all the subtlety of a thousand pound weight dropped off a twenty-story building. Protagonist Hackberry Holland is not a particularly nice man, more a sociopath, really. Unfortunatel
Don Gorman
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
(2 1/2) I don't know if I am getting too old and cranky, too impatient, or too ADD. I used to love James Lee Burke. The early Dave Robicheaux books were a must read. Now, I feel like the convoluted plots and flowerly language have gotten out of control. His later books are like trying to swim across the English Channel when it is full of oatmeal. This book is not far removed from that. The first 400 pages are very slow. Our fearless protagonist, Hackberry Holland, is quirky, wild and crazy and t ...more
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I struggled to get my mind around this sprawling novel about middle aged Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland's lifelong search for his estranged son Ishmael, a wounded veteran of the Great War. After a fast, lean and mean start in Mexico during the US army's pursuit of Pancho Villa, Hack's odyssey becomes mired in prose so sluggish it's like trudging through deep snow. Burke's devotion to lengthy descriptions of the weather, the locales and confrontational Texas dialogue seemed self indulgent to me l ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: western
Getting Away Froom Sociopaths

James Lee burke is one of my brother’s favorite authors, along with Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurty.

When he told me about McCarty, I read one of his books, Suttree, and I had to agree with him. McCarthy became my favorite author. I can’t say that I even like Burke’s writing, even though his descriptions of scenery are well written. I just thought that this story was too crude, too vulgar, and had too many sociopaths, not that McCarthy doesn’t have sociopaths in so
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advanced Reader's Copy in return for a review. The storyline of James Lee Burke’s new book HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is as big as Texas and as intimate as the human heart. There is power of place, people and history both in Texas and in Old Mexico. Burke’s lush prose can break or fill your heart and makes readers active participants in the action. Mr. Burke’s beloved poetic observations are expressed through the points of view of his multiple characters.
Set in a three part Holland Fa
Connie Ciampanelli
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of "House of the Rising Sun" in exchange for an honest review.

Approaching age eighty has done little to diminish James Lee Burke’s narrative gifts or his power and skill as one of America’s premier novelists. He is often called, with just cause, an American national treasure.

His newest novel, "House of the Rising Sun," focuses on the early years of the Hack Holland saga. It is a story of a fractured family and its seemingly doomed struggle to reconcile and reunite, of
Michael Robotham
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Poetic, mystical, philosophical and atmospheric. An old fashioned western with elements of the Holy Grail.
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
Well, that was … different.
I loved the language in this book, the descriptions of the landscape were exquisite. Mr Hackberry captivated me, he is an intriguing complex man, the author did and excellent job of exposing his troubled inner soul. But, what I liked most was the fact that James Lee Burke chose to include some tough women along with the ubiquitous tough guys: Maggie, Ruby and Ms. DeMolay. Another character that I liked was Andre, the Haitian driver, I wish the author would have spent
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rate this author among the finest American writers of the 20/21st century and this novel is so amazing it is up there with the best of Hemingway and Steinbeck. The main protagonist is so complex and so mixed up with a guilt that is hard to comprehend.
It is America with no holds barred at the turn of the 20th Century in the old wild west that is coming to turns with the modern ways. This book is so compelling you would find it hard to put down. One of the greats
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010s
I received an advanced review copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I'm on a roll, three 5-stars in a roll. James Lee Burke's still got it! I loved it as much as my first Dave Robicheaux (In the Electronic Mist with Confederate Dead) novel.

Set in 1918 Texas/Mexico, former Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland (I love the name) is searching for his United States Army Captain son, Ishmael. Holland will do whatever it takes to find him, and you better not get in his way. While on the hunt,
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am ... so ... glad ... it's ... over. I think I need a shower, a bath, or, in this context, "a good soak." Or maybe a stiff drink. Or ... a good night's sleep (without dreaming) ... or ... something.

Great book, no doubt about it. Compelling - right out of the starting gate through the (gratifying) conclusion - hard to put down, immensely distracting, tightly constructed, vivid, yes ... oh ... so ... vivid - and (not surprisingly, for JLB readers) artfully done, nay lyrical, chock full of trans
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His books are always fascinating. His use of the English language challenges one to have a better vocabulary. The characters are bigger than life, just always a good book when he writes it.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a Hackberry Holland book alright, but this one is Hackberry's grandfather (also Hackberry), a former Texas Ranger, who is trying to reunite with his estranged son, Army Capt. Ishmael Holland.

First he searches for him as Pershing's troops fight in Mexico during the revolution, then he looks for him after he is wounded in the World War One Battle of the Marne.

Since it's a Holland Family novel, you know there's going to be lots of blood-letting and soul-searching along the way. But the origina
Donna Davis
I confess that I am a big fan of Burke’s. He’s written a prodigious number of novels over the past fifty years, and I have read almost all of them. This is why, although I get nearly all of my books free prior to publication, I put this title on my Christmas wish list when I wasn’t given access to a galley. Perhaps because my spouse paid full jacket price for it, I am holding it to a higher standard than I usually do. This book is either a three star or four star read, depending on whether we fa ...more
Sam Sattler
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hackberry Holland is a man within whom the forces of good and evil are constantly battling. On the one hand, Hack is a good man who always strives to do right by his fellow man. On the other, he is a man who, despite all his innate kindness, sometimes loses control in the heat of a moment and does some very bad things. His life is now filled with so much regret that Hack has come to believe that it is his personal failings that best define him.

His friends (many of them ex-Texas Rangers like Hac
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I typically regard a new book by James Lee Burke with the reverence a wildebeest in the Serengeti feels upon seeing newly born baby Simba held aloft by the wise monkey, Rafiki, as the soaring bars of Circle of Life fill the air. Burke’s books are almost all masterpieces and like pizza, puppy kisses, and warm wool socks on a snowing January morning can universally be depended upon to satisfy 100% of the time.

House of the Rising Sun: A Novel continues Burke’s streak of winners. (Seriously, if the
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
House of the Rising Sun has it all--a villain you love to hate, a hero you will sympathize with, and a cast of great supporting characters that keep you wonder whose side they are on. James Lee Burke's writing paints pictures in your mind and hones your emotions to a razor sharp edge and this book is his work at its best! A must-have book that comes out just in time for the holidays! ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: skimmed, first-reads
I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I'm a fan of Burke's Dave Robicheaux books. So, I was surprised I didn't enjoy this book. I ended up just skimming it. I found I didn't care about Hack Holland and couldn't care what happened to him. ...more
Fred Shaw
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Once again Mr. Burke did not disappoint.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story, taking place from the late 1800's to 1918. Hackberry Holland is a strange character who is his own worst enemy. Burke's prose is always amazing. Recommended. ...more
Patrick Read
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hackberry Holland is a complicated, older than old school hard boiled former Texas Ranger who is getting his proverbial mojo back. He sets out to find his estranged son in old Mexico and encounters several hard core Santa Ana hold outs, prostitutes, thieves, murderers and in general the dregs of south Texas. One notable exception however is an Austrian arms dealer who thinks Hackberry stole an ancient artifact and what he thinks is the 'Holy Grail'. In other words, the cup Jesus drank from and s ...more
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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, receiv

Other books in the series

Hackberry Holland (4 books)
  • Lay Down My Sword And Shield (Hackberry Holland, #1)
  • Rain Gods (Hackberry Holland, #2)
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