Book Review: Creole Belle by James Lee Burke

Creole BelleCreole Belle by James Lee Burke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have been a fan of James Lee Burke for more than 20 years but have drifted away from his later novels for some reason. I recently discovered this new novel and fell right back into the lives of Clete and Dave and the world of New Orleans and the surrounding area.

The story picks up with Dave Robicheaux in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds and having an odd and possibly imaginary encounter with Tee Jolie Melton a local singer with a history filled with trouble. This meeting and subsequent phone calls from Tee Jolie (which might or might not be real) serve as the start of the tale that ultimately involves unspeakable evil and human suffering.

There were parts of this novel that were so compelling that I couldn’t put down my E-Reader. At the same time the later scenes in the novel get very disjointed. Right in the middle of action sequences Burke goes off on some very long philosophical tangents that detract from this powerful section of the narrative.

The epilogue is also somewhat lengthy and filled with long passages that seem unnecessary to the wrap up of the story. Over all though it is a compelling read and the characters are interesting and complex as is typical of Burke’s masterful work. It has convinced me to go back and catch up on the latest adventures in Dave Robicheaux’s world.

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Jerry Sutton

I am, at heart, a software developer though I am currently managing a small Information Technology department for a mid sized company located in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. When I am not playing with the latest smart-phone or trying to become inspired to write code I read almost anything I can get my hands on from Pulp Era adventures to biographies of world leaders and everything in between.