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Chris High books reviewed

The Tin Roof Blowdown

James Lee Burke

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Orion

ISBN-10: 0752889168
ISBN-13: 978-0752889160
15 Nov 2007

Image: Front cover of the book 'The Tin Roof Blowdown'.


Crime master, James Lee Burke, has delivered with great poignancy and vigour one of the most powerful novels of the year, The Tin Roof Blowdown, his sixteenth – and best – Dave Robicheaux novel to date.


The gruesome reality facing Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective, Dave Robicheaux, begins as he is deployed to New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina leaves the commercial district and residential neighbourhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. With the power grid of the city has destroyed, New Orleans is reduced to the level of a medieval society; there is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city.

This is a demonstration of an author writing at the very peak of his capabilities. Tough, engaging and totally engrossing, this is so much more than a crime “fiction” novel, as it records the devastation wreaked by the costliest natural disaster to have ever struck the USA, and the implications of governmental ineptitude, that has seen the inhabitants of a city being left to fend for themselves.

James Lee Burke with The Tin Roof Blowdown, who has refused to pull his punches and quite rightly so, has produced a novel of such touching realism, with such vivid descriptions and such beautifully drawn characters, any reader who fails to appreciate what is happening in its pages and puts this down before it is finished, deserves to dwell in the land Bad Craftsmanship for evermore.


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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