Monday, June 01, 2009

Heaven's Prisoners by James Lee Burke

Heaven' Prisoners is book number two in the series about Dave Robicheaux. In this book he has resigned from the New Orleans policeforce, which he might have done already in book one, Neon Rain, which I read years ago, so I cannot remember.

Anyway, he has moved to New Iberia, about 150 miles from New Orleans and is now living with his wife Annie, with whom he own a boat-rental place. His days passes catching fish, thinking, supressing his alcoholic tendencies and his inner demons.

One day he and Annie are witnesses to a plane crashing into the Mexican Gulf, and Dave manages to dive down and save a little girl from the sinking plane. Annie and Dave take the little girl with them and plans to just get on with their lives, after reporting the crash to the relevant institutions. This plane crash is just the beginning of a case involving local small time criminals, federal government, Middle American smugglers, whores, thieves and threatening people from Haiti. Dave gets involved in the case, much to Annie's dismay, and it has fatal consequences. Now I haven't really said more than what is also on the back of the book!

The pages are almost moist with swampy Southern heat, mixed with violence, blood, alcohol and hangovers. There are some beautiful descriptions of nature and landscape in Louisiana, and when Robicheaux is hungover, the reader can feel the jackhammer behind the eyes. No doubt that James Lee Burke can write.

The plot of the book didn't really catch me. It wasn't that there were endless subplots, but the connections between one end of the plot and another was hard to follow and from time to time I just found too many weak links between a lot of characters. Considering how philosofical our main man, Robicheaux, is, I think he went pretty fast through a lot of things which I personally would have been thinking a lot about!

I liked the book and will probably read the rest, but it wasn't that great a mystery. The writing and the descriptions were fab though.

No comments: