James Lee Burke
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011 / July 17, 2012
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 x 1.2 inches
Publisher: Simon And Schuster, Inc.
In James Lee Burke’s gritty bayou mysteries, the line between sin and salvation is always a narrow one. The opening of Creole Belle
finds Dave Robicheaux in a New Orleans hospital, mind clouded by painkillers, barely able to discern reality from drug-induced nightmare, much less right from wrong.
As Dave convalesces from the bullet wound in his back that nearly killed him, he’s visited by his impulsive, two-fisted friend Clete Purcel—who also barely survived the shootout—and Tee Jolie Melton, a young Creole woman whose sister, Blue, has vanished. Like a ghostly vision, Tee Jolie appears in Dave’s room after midnight, gives him an iPod containing the blues chestnut “My Creole Belle,” then disappears herself, leaving Dave’s lingering memory of her visit to grow into an obsession. Especially since no one believes that he actually saw the elusive Tee Jolie.
However, out in the Gulf of Mexico, where an oil rig blowout threatens the future of the Louisiana bayou, the body of Blue Melton turns up—frozen in a block of ice, the victim of an overdose. And she bears evidence that not only corroborates Dave’s vision, but launches Dave and Clete into a fateful confrontation with the sins of the past.