Trilby's Reviews > The Tin Roof Blowdown

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
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's review
May 26, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: detective-story, mystery, new-orleans, crime
Read in May, 2009

In a way, this novel set in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina could be considered an historical novel. The descriptions of the terrible destruction of "one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere" (as the author put it) are graphic and disturbing. Reading the novel brought me back to the time when Americans watched horror after horror being revealed through the media: the dead bodies, the looting, the stench. Burke weaves the story around the chaos, corruption, violence, and death that came in the wake of the hurricane. From the mobsters to the poor blacks and junkies, to the FBI agents and cops, the characters are colorfully drawn. Most memorable is Bertrand, the abused young black man turned career criminal. He's so mindlessly violent and selfish you can't quite feel sorry for him. But his actions are realistic, given his damaged psyche. In addition, the descriptions of the bayous northwest of New Orleans are so exotically beautiful, I decided to put the area on my list of places to visit soon. Finally, I usually dislike "morals" in fiction, but Burke manages to make scathing commentary about the authorities' handling of the post-Katrina crisis without preaching.

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Reading Progress

05/26/2009 page 201

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