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Pegasus Descending (Dave Robicheaux #15)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,253 Ratings  ·  254 Reviews
WHEN A NICE YOUNG WOMAN named Trish Klein blows into Louisiana passing hundred-dollar bills in local casinos, Detective Dave Robicheaux senses a storm bearing down on his new life of contentment. Twenty-five years ago, lost in a drunken haze in Florida, Robicheaux was too far gone to save his friend and fellow ’Nam vet Dallas Klein, murdered in cold blood for gambling debt ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 18th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2006)
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Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a love/hate relationship with James Lee Burke. I continue to buy his books and then let them sit in my to-read queue for a long time. Then, needing a break from other genres, I sigh, pick up his latest Dave Robicheaux novel, blow off the dust, and am enthralled.

His writing is beautiful and dark; his characters are tortured and prone to self destruction; his crimes are personal and realistic. And the resolution to the stories, like life, does not always give you what you expect.

So, why do
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Once again in Pegasus Descending the past is never too far away and it's impact can be felt in the present day. At least in the world of Dave Robicheaux. Today he is sober and functioning but it was a different story twenty years ago. Back then he was still with the New Orleans Police Department and part of an exchange program with a training academy for police cadets in Dade County, Florida. When he wasn't teaching he was hanging out in a watering hole in Opa-Locka. He was "going steady with Ji ...more
Emilie Richards
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
James Lee Burke is one of the most talented writers out there. His descriptions of Louisiana are so evocative I feel like I'm sitting on the bayou with Dave Robicheaux. These are dark books, sometimes frighteningly so, but I always come back to them and I'm always sorry when the story ends. I'm listening to this one on audio and the reader is so perfect, it adds a great deal to the prose.
David S.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, suspense, audio
My first and only James Burke novel before this one was: RAIN GODS. And, I remember it being very dark and dreary, quite like reading McCarthy. However, Burke seems to give the reader some sort of redemption in his endings. And, this is what I most remember about that book.

PEGASUS DESCENDING is my first Robicheaux novel. And, holy crap, where the hell did this character come from. Full, three dimensional charismatic badass. This character is like a mixture of Vaschs' Burke, and Parker's Spenser.
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2006-reads
PROTAGONIST: Dave Robicheaux
SETTING: New Orleans
SERIES: #15 of 15

Dave Robicheaux has always been a man haunted by his past, and never more so than in PEGASUS DESCENDING. More than 20 years after the fact, he is still experiencing strong guilt about not preventing the murder of a good friend, Dallas Klein, who was mowed down by mob types. Dave witnessed the event, but was unable to do anything about it because he was completely drunk at the time. When Klein's daughter shows up almost
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(2nd read/listen) Gritty......from start to finish. Classic James Lee Burke style with Dave & Clete keeping the mayhem in order in lovely yet suspect New Iberia. All of the rich elements are shining in this dialogue......which makes this author one of a kind. Seriously, give a listen to any JLB audiobooks narrated by Will Patton...this man is Dave Robicheaux & Clete Purcell.
Louisiana, with the exception of New Orleans would go unnoticed without this irrepressible author's retelling of i
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
An absolute perfect match of novelist and narrator is James Lee Burke and Will Patton!
João Carlos
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2014
“Pegasus”, no original “Pegasus Descending”, editado em 2006, é o décimo quinto livro da série protagonizada pelo detective Dave Robicheaux, escrito pelo norte-americano James Lee Burke.
O cenário da narrativa de “Pegasus” mantém-se na pequena cidade de New Iberia, no sul do Louisiana, na zona do “bayou” (pequenos “braços” ou afluentes do rio Mississipi, numa rede navegável de milhares de quilómetros, infestado de crocodilos, mosquitos e outros insectos voadores) e de áreas pantanosas, fustigada
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys well-written stories
James Lee Burke is an American treasure. As the author of thrillers in different locations and times: Louisiana, Texas and Montana, he has the knack of making both the characters and the scenery come alive even if he's writing an historical novel.

His most well-known works are the Dave Robicheaux novels about a troubled but highly ethical Vietnam veteran, ex-alcoholic, ex New Orleans PD detective and survivor. "Pegasus Descending" continues Robicheaux's story with a great plot that takes the ent
May 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is not a stellar Robicheaux outing. The case felt murky and dirty in ways that made me cringe from time to time, as well as utter a loud "ick" as I was reading. I feel like I need a shower after reading this. The hidden homosexual urges and extreme violence against women (well, to be fair, not all of the women were defenseless) were, I thought, overwrought. I still love Dave and his relationships with Helen, Clete, and Molly, but I didn't come away from this novel with much other than frust ...more
Kelsey Hanson
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This story was very well written but it's the type that I don't typically like to read very often. This one is grittier than my usual fare and all the characters are the hardboiled, world weary type. This series can get depressing in long settings despite how well it is written. That being said this book featured many great characters and despite how intricately all of them are woven together I was always able to keep everyone and their motives straight which is impressive. There were a few good ...more
Jim Thomas
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
This is a 4 1/2, perhaps should be a 5 but I'm being conservative here. If one were to decide to get into reading mysteries don't make the mistake of reading Dave Robicheaux and Matthew Scudder books are you are liable to think a prerequisite to being a private investigator is also being a member of AA. Sometimes I get tired of the AA stuff perhaps because I think I know a bit more about it than either of the authors who created the above mentioned detectives.

In this one we have Clete Purcell, D
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
PEGASUS DESCENDING by James Lee Burke is 487 pages in paperback. This is #15 in The Dave Robicheaux series.

Brief Description:

When a nice young woman named Trish Klein blows into Louisiana passing hundred- dollar bills in local casinos, detective Dave Robicheaux senses a storm bearing down on his new life of contentment.... Twenty-five years ago, lost in a drunken haze in Florida, Robicheaux was too far gone to save his friend and fellow 'Nam vet Dallas Klein, murdered in cold blood for gambling
Dave Robicheaux is working on three cases that he believes are somehow connected. The first, the death of a young co-ed who is an apparent suicide but Dave feels that the facts don't add up. He is also investigating the death of a homeless black man found in a coulee by the roadside. He might be a hit and run victim. Not many people would care about the loss of a vagrant but to Dave, it's a matter of justice.

As these cases are underway, Dave is asked to check a young woman passing bills at the c
Dec 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Pegasus Descending is a continuation of the Dave Robicheaux novels, and there-in lies the trouble.

Burke is best at descriptive flights, and the word-smithing he puts into describing Louisiana. He is second best at describing the culture and the complex relationships of the old, deep South, particularly this French flavored South. He has less luck with plot - his protagonist seems must less clued in than most law enforcement people should be, and the surprises in the book seem to be as large a ju
Sep 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, audiblecom
I listened to the audiobook from

Narrator: Will Patton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio, 2006
Length: 12 hours

Publisher's Summary

A troubled young woman breezes into Detective Robicheaux's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of his friend: a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life.

The twists begin when Trish Klein, the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy, starts passing marked hund
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: large-print-read
This is James Lee Burke at the top of his game. I've read a lot of his Dave Robicheaux novels before, but, I think this one is one of his better efforts, if not his best. It is one of an example of why I love the crime novel genre. Robicheaux has his problems, but, they're tame compared to his buddy, Clete Purcel. This book draws them out and lays bare their problems, both with each other and with the world that they live in. I highly recommend this one. If you've not read any Robicheaux novels ...more
Dave Riley
Jul 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
I thought this was one of the best Burke/Dave Robicheaux novels until I got to towards the end and it seemed almost as though Burke wanted to quickly wrap it up.

If you know the drill, each time Dave's on a case it pans out like a Shakespearean tragedy -- thrilling and dramatic with a cast of extraordinary characters. But in this one, some characters were inexplicably pushed to the margins as Burke dived deeper into plotting complexity.

But then reading Burke is a Zen like experience because it's
Emmett Hoops
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I start a book one evening, then read it until my eyes tell me to go to sleep -- then wake up and read the same book as I drink my coffee, eat my breakfast,'d better believe, it's a good story. Such is Pegasus Descending.

Sometimes, Burke gets his plots so convoluted that it's hard to see why he does it, other than to justify writing a 350 page book. (That might be uncharitable, but when you've read every Burke book, you can't help but see this.) Pegasus Descending has a complex
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another solid one by JLB.
This is a series in my opinion that keeps getting stronger with each installment . Even with the obvious similarities between some of the novels and a evident formula that repeats itself for most ,
I have never been disappointed after finishing reading any of them.
I always look forward to these and never get tired of Burke's beautiful writing , the dialogue, his characters (who doesn't love Clete?) , corrupted villains and his amazing descriptions of Louisiana , a place I
I've concluded that detective fiction functions for me as a form of travel writing--whether the setting is Iceland or Southern Louisiana or Japan, what I enjoy are small the cultural wrappings around what is in every respect an incredibly predictable genre (including the cultural details). Burke's special contribution is his alusive range--references to Dante and Homer abound. And the man can pen a metaphor. My favorite: she had a voice "like a piano falling down a stairwell."
Fredrick Danysh
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Detective Dave Robicheaux conducts three major investigations at once. A hit and run victim is found in a drainage canal. A racial conflict at a fast food joint leads to a dead body in warfare between a black gang and the mob. Robicheaux's drunken past comes to roost in New Iberia as the daughter of a deceased friend appears to be robbing banks and casinos drawing the attention of the FBI. A good read of the New South.
Marty Greenwell
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another good Dave Robicheaux novel. No Alafair, but plenty of Molly and Clete Purcel. I especially liked the discussion of the closeness described between Dave and his boss. Why no five stars? Seemed to close up too tidy with a non-player being the last standing antagonist. Continual wonderful pose and descriptiveness of the bayou county in South Louisiana.
Sean Cronin
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

Burke's books are consistently terrific. This one is tight, tense, a real mystery and has a multi-generational sins of the fathers element (which Burke does often).
I think any of Burke's books are worth reading. this one is particularly strong in the "who done it?" "what's gonna happen?" sense.
Highly recomended.
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ah, James Lee Burke, my favorite gritty crime novelist. His prose is so beautiful, and he writes about Louisiana... home to my wonderful New Orleans. This was another satisfying page-turner. I can count on JLB when I want something to grab my mind and take it away to someplace I wouldn't ordinarily go. He is very good with plot and the characters are very realistic.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the second James Lee Burke book that I have read. He is able to keep the reader hooked and interested. Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell are characters that you grow to love; even though the author shows you sides of them that compare to those who are the scum of the earth. I love the raw style of writing. I think will have to continue reading about Dave's adventures.
Ellen Ashe
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am working my way through ALL of the Dave Robicheaux mysteries/thrillers created by James Lee Burke. The author's poetic style and edgy characters has certainly captured my attention. A movie has been made from the book "In The Electric Mist"... who better to play the part of Dave Robicheaux than TOMMY LEE JONES!
Denis Kaufman
Oct 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is my first introduction to Detective Dave Robicheaux and New Iberia, LA. I really, really enjoyed James Lee Burke's writing, characters and plot development. Robicheaux and the inhabitants of New Iberia are coming to my kindle!
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Listened to the audiobook. Read by Will Patton - outstanding performance, as usual. The man can read me the phone book I would be enthralled! Story was good - excellent twists and kept you on your toes.
JoAnn Ainsworth
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Descriptions and transitions were confusing. I kept getting lost and I had to go back to reread. Interesting storyline so I took the time and finished the book.
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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, receiving
More about James Lee Burke...

Other Books in the Series

Dave Robicheaux (1 - 10 of 21 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)
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“Louisiana is a fresh-air mental asylum.” 82 likes
“All drunks, particularly those who grew up in alcoholic homes, have that same sense of angst and trepidation, one that has no explainable origins. The fear is not necessarily self-centered, either. It’s like watching someone point a revolver at his temple while he cocks and dry-fires the mechanism, over and over again, until the cylinder rotates a loaded chamber into firing position.” 6 likes
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