Friday, February 23, 2007

Pegasus Descending, by James Lee Burke

I got this book from the library on compact disc, so I cannot tell you offhand how may hours long it was. It came on 11 discs and was read by Will Patton.

I know we just did a JLB novel recently, but people line up to get them at the library, so I have to be opportunistic. This one was released just last year, and it is yet another Dave Robicheaux novel. Dave is an on again off again Iberia County Sheriff's Detective, as well as an on again off again dry alcoholic. He is on his third or fourth wife, Molly, an ex-nun with leftist political tendencies.

Dave is once again doing battle with the dirtbags of privilege as he is investigating the death of a homeless man, the apparent suicide of a young girl, and a group of grifters who are trying to take down a local gangster as an act of revenge for a murder committed long ago. Yes, resurfacing evil from a bygone era is a recurring theme in these books. And since this is Louisiana we're talking about, the swamps are full of hastily sunken evil.

As usual, there is the poetic descriptions of the creepy southern crime scenes and romantic poverty, juxtaposed with trash-talking bad guys and cops with flexible consciences. Burke writes about promiscuous and vulgar people as well as anyone. He is a good story teller. But what is troubling is that I have started to do the math on Dave Robicheaux. If Dave was 20 years old in 1958, he is now 69, getting into brutal bar fights, taking beatings, and does not need to take a pill 30 minutes before intercourse. Dave is a baby-boomer fantasy. It's time that he retires, and puts down his three-legged pet raccoon, Tripod. Maybe in some future Dave Robicheaux novel, Dave will be solving cases in his nursing home, but I doubt it.

This was a 3 star book, but the series is beginning to stretch credulity.

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