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“For James Lee Burke, Hurricane Katrina must have been like the 500-pound gorilla in the corner of the room when he sat down to write The Tin Roof Blowdown. Burke’s novels live and breathe Louisiana and you can’t write a novel set around New Orleans without acknowledging one of America’s worst natural disasters. And, just like his grizzled, morality-driven lead character Dave Robicheaux, Burke doesn’t shy away from confronting difficult subjects.
Like most Burke mysteries, this twists and turns, and involves characters that are sinister, misguided, hopeful, and determined. But what is really amazing and powerful about this novel is Burke’s vivid descriptions of the circles of hell that Katrina wrecked in its landfall and its aftermath. Descriptions like brown recluse spiders clinging onto people’s heads as they tread water or people dying in wet attics give the reader a vision of Katrina that is truly haunting. The Tin Roof Blowdown is more than a great thriller/mystery about hired killers, a racial shooting, mob bosses, and blood diamonds—it’s a work of great, contemporary art that bears witness to a catastrophe. Don’t miss this one!”—Michael Phillips, Senior Staff Writer
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