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The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke Review

Title: The Tin Roof Blowdown

Author: James Lee Burke

First published January 1, 2007

528 pages, Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9781416548508 (ISBN10: 1416548505)

Rating: 4.18


The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has left New Orleans in a state of chaos, with violence and looting rampant. Detective Dave Robicheaux of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office is on the hunt for a group of criminals who stole a rescue boat and a fortune from a drug-addicted ex-priest during the storm.

As the city is plunged into lawlessness, Robicheaux must navigate the dangerous landscape to bring the criminals to justice. In a world without order, only he can restore balance and safety to the city he holds dear.

Get ready for a gripping tale of revenge, justice, and survival in James Lee Burke’s The Tin Roof Blowdown.

About the Author

James Lee Burke is an accomplished author, most famous for his Dave Robicheaux mystery series. He’s received the Edgar Award twice for Best Novel, once in 1990 for “Black Cherry Blues” and again in 1998 for “Cimarron Rose.”

Born in Houston, Texas, Burke grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He earned his BA and MA from the University of Missouri after attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Burke has had a variety of jobs throughout his life, including working in the oil industry, as a reporter, and as a social worker. He was also Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette after his friend, the posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole.

Burke taught in the Creative Writing program at Wichita State University in the 1980s before moving to Montana.

Burke and his wife, Pearl, divide their time between Lolo, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana, and their daughter, Alafair Burke, is also a mystery novelist. Burke cites William Faulkner’s 1929 family tragedy “The Sound and the Fury” as the book that has had the most significant impact on his life.

Editoral Review

Title: The Tin Roof Blowdown

Author: James Lee Burke

Published: January 1, 2007

James Lee Burke is a prolific writer of mystery and crime fiction, and his novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown, is no exception. Set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this book not only tells a thrilling story but also shines a light on the social and political issues that arose in the devastating wake of the storm.

The story follows Dave Robicheaux, a New Orleans detective investigating the brutal murder of a local priest, as he navigates the chaos of the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The city is in ruins, and the police force is overwhelmed, leaving Robicheaux to rely on help from friends in the community to track down the killer.

Burke’s writing is outstanding, and he skillfully blends the thriller genre with social commentary. The novel’s themes of corruption, greed, and inequality are relevant today, as we continue to see the effects of natural disasters disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities.

One of the strengths of the book is the character development. Robicheaux is a complex and flawed protagonist, struggling with alcoholism and PTSD from his time in Vietnam.

The supporting characters are also well-drawn and add depth to the story. The pacing of the novel is well-done, with intense action scenes interspersed with moments of reflection and contemplation.

Burke’s descriptions of the devastated city are haunting, and he captures the desperation and despair of the storm’s survivors. However, some readers may find the plot to be convoluted or overly complicated, with a large cast of characters and multiple plot threads.

Additionally, the book contains some graphic violence and may not be suitable for all readers. Overall, The Tin Roof Blowdown is a thought-provoking and gripping read that blends thriller and social commentary in a powerful way.

Fans of James Lee Burke’s work or those interested in crime fiction with a social conscience should definitely give this book a read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.