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The Tin Roof Blowdown (Dave Robicheaux #16)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  11,355 Ratings  ·  760 Reviews
This is James Lee Burke's latest mystery featuring Dave Robicheaux. It is also much more than that. The story begins with the shooting of two would-be looters in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and then follows a motley group of characters - from street thugs to a big-time mob boss, from a junkie priest to a sadistic psychopath - as their stories converge on a cache ...more
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by Simon & Schuster
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Brian Neary Yes, Great read. See my review. I have included reviews by a couple of friends as well.

Brian Neary
Dennis No you won't be confused. In each of his novels in the Robicheaux series Burke gives the reader bits of the backstory to keep you up-to-date. This is…moreNo you won't be confused. In each of his novels in the Robicheaux series Burke gives the reader bits of the backstory to keep you up-to-date. This is the book that "got me hooked" on this series. All are great reads, and like this book, some are very good.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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...
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have been reading all of the books in the Dave Robicheaux series since the beginning of the year. I have enjoyed them all. James Lee Burke's prose is rich and lyrical. His characters are vivid and come alive and you become immersed in the story. Even if you have never been to New Orleans or Southern Louisiana you will come to know it, to taste the foods, hear the music, see the sunrise on the bayou, or listen to the the rain on a tin roof. I knew that this story dealt with Hurricane Katrina an ...more
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Burke fans
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Ben Suckewer
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2008
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
Jan 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
João Carlos
“blues por new orleans”, no original “The Tin Roof Blowdown”, publicado em 2007 pelo norte-americano James Lee Burke (n. 1936) é o 16º livro com o detective Dave Robicheaux.
O furacão Katrina está a devastar a costa do Lousiana…
Nova Orleães - depois do furacão Katrina

James Lee Burke “mistura” admiravelmente detalhes e descrições verídicas das consequências e do rescaldo do furacão Katrina com uma narrativa ficcional criminal/policial dominada por duas subtramas – a história do padre Jude LeBlanc
Apr 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mark Victor Young
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Here is another superb piece of N'Awlins noir from James Lee Burke, one of the best mystery writers out there, period. This weaves together a few strands of criminal suspense and sets it in the Crescent City just after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Burke cranks up the tension and keeps it simmering as he jumps around following a few different story lines that may or may not intersect. Of course he has his fine lead detective, Dave Robicheaux, right in the middle of it all - there is a lot goin ...more
Irene Koo
Mar 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the worst writing I have read in years.
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
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Rob Kitchin
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Russ Melrose
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite James Lee Burke novels. He does a wonderful job of chronicling the post-Katrina landscape, and Dave Robicheaux is the perfect narrator to guide us through the dark, murky aftermath of Katrina's New Orleans. The story and characters are a perfect reflection of a city in shambles. And it's not the mystery that grabs you as much as it is the atmospheric landscape with it's desperate characters, all scrambling to take advantage of the chaotic aftermath.

James Lee Burke is t
Andy Wiggins
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leídos-en-2017
Todo un descubrimiento.
Ya sabía que me gustaban las novelas ambientadas en Nueva Orleans pero es que las descripciones de Lee Burke me han encantado.
Estamos ante una novela negra-negra que tiene como telón de fondo el huracán Katrina que asoló la ciudad en 2009. Está historia nos enseña que las fuerzas de la naturaleza pueden ser devastadoras pero que las de los seres humanos pueden ser aún peores.
El policía protagonista, Dave Robicheaux me ha gustado mucho y me ha caído muy bien así que, por su
Andrew Hill
Oct 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
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
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Eric Wright
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
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Huntsville-Madiso...: The Tin Roof Blowdown 1 8 Jun 16, 2016 08:00PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #26 - The Tin Roof Blowdown (Robicheaux #16) by James Lee Burke 1 2 Mar 09, 2016 04:04AM  
A favorite author 10 51 Aug 27, 2012 06:56AM  
Lights in the water 3 32 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  
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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)
  • 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

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