The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke: A Short Review
This morning, I’m on my way to do storytelling and sign books at the Highland Games at Jackson, Louisiana. I should have a grand time. This is my first trip to this festival. You’ll hear more on my trip later. Now, I wanted to post a short review of The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke, a novel I just finished yesterday. Burke, an award-winning author with over twenty published novels to his credit, has always intrigued me. Here is a man who truly knows how to write. Possessing a unique style of writing, he spins metaphors and similes one after another in a masterful fashion. Burke’s novels are full of historical and law enforcement details, revealing he is a careful researcher. This is the first Dave Robicheaux novel, and with this Cajun detective, Burke has created a life so intricate and fascinating that I’m sure a biography could be be written on him, just as someone did on the fictional Sherlock Holmes. So real is the setting that every one of these novels makes me want to spend more time in South Louisiana. As far as I know, I’ve now read all of the Robicheaux novels. I wish I had read this novel first. That would have been ideal, but you don’t always discover good series in sequence. Burke may not have even intended a sequence. Like Doyle with the character of Sherlock Holmes, I feel the public will be reluctant to let Robicheaux die or fade away. Time will tell. Here are a couple of quotations from the read that I liked:
“Someone once told me that the gambler’s greatest desire, knjowledge of the future, would drive us insane” (24)
“Gamblers and lovers pay big dues and enjoy limited consolations. But sometimes they are enough” (173).
“The road to Roncevaux lures the poet and the visionary like a drug, but the soldier pays for the real estate” (217)
“Scared money never wins” (238).
There are many other quotations, but these caught my eye this morning. Now, off to Jackson!