Sunday, February 24, 2008

Review of PEGASUS DESCENDING by James Lee Burke

By James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780743277723
Hardback, 356 pages
Genre: Mystery

Years ago, Dave Robicheaux witnessed a good friend’s brutal death during a bank robbery at a time when Robicheaux was too drunk to intervene or help. This memory has followed him through sobriety and into his job as a detective with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Department. Robicheaux is unsettled when Trish Klein, his dead friend’s daughter, shows up in his hometown, even more so that the men he thinks responsible for his friend’s death are now living there. Robicheaux suspects Trish has vengeance on her mind and grows concerned when he learns Clete Purcel, his former partner and best friend, is involved with Trish. Even more discomfiting to Robicheaux is his investigation into the apparent suicide of a young college student that leads back to the men who killed his friend years earlier.

Dave Robicheaux is a complex character, an alcoholic haunted by demons from his tour of duty in Vietnam. Married to a former nun, Robicheaux desperately tries to lead a good life and seeks redemption through her, but cannot shake the past nor his more primitive nature. James Lee Burke writes with a love and admiration for southern Louisiana, delivered with a Cajunesque lilt. The plot is twisty enough to keep the reader guessing, the characterization intriguing.

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