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Heaven's Prisoners by James Lee Burke
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Jan 09, 2010

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An early chapter from Dave Robicheaux's career. In this book he rescues a five-year-old girl from a plane that's come down in the Gulf. He and his wife, Annie, decide to keep the child who is clearly an illegal immigrant and who's mother died in the plane. Dave is struggling with addiction, childhood memories, and nightmares of Viet Nam. His anger and violence have not yet been tempered.

The language is compelling, Burke's descriptions are top rank --- even in the winter the reader can feel the Louisiana heat suffocating every breath. And Robicheaux's angst is strong. Though this has its own raw appeal, I prefer the later books because Burke has not yet learned how to make his women three-dimensional.

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