Few writers in America today combine James Lee Burke's lush prose, cracking story lines, and tremendous sense of history and landscape. In Cimarron Rose, longtime fans of the Dave Robicheaux series found that the struggles of Texas defense attorney Billy Bob Holland show Burke at his best in exploring classic American themes -- the sometimes subtle, often violent strains between the haves and the have-nots; the collision of past and present; the inequities in the criminal justice system.Heartwood is a kind of tree that grows in layers. And as Billy Bob's grandfather once told him, you do well in life by keeping the roots in a clear stream and not letting anyone taint the water for you. But in Holland's dusty little hometown of Deaf Smith, in the hill country north of Austin, local kingpin Earl Deitrich has made a fortune running roughshod and tainting anyone who stands in his way. Billy Bob has problems with Deitrich and his shamelessly callous demeanor, but can't shake the legacy of his passion for Deitrich's "heartbreak-beautiful" wife, Peggy Jean.When Holland takes on the defense of Wilbur Pickett -- a man accused of stealing an heirloom and three hundred thousand dollars in bonds from Deitrich's office -- he finds himself up against not Earl's power and influence, but also a past Billy Bob can't will away. A wonderfully realized novel, rich in Texas atmosphere and lore, and a dazzling portrait of the deadly consequences of self-delusion, Heartwood could only have been written by James Lee Burke, a writer in expert command of his craft.
American mystery author, James Lee Burke, was born in Houston, Texas, explaining why most of the lead characters in his novels are Texan. He has won two Edgar awards, which is a very rare experience, and is a bestselling author of two short story collections and over thirty novels. Burke is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series. His Edgar Awards were for Black Cherry and Cimarron Rose. Two of his series were made into screen plays with each movie having a-list actors playing the Robicheaux character (Alec Baldwin - Heaven's Prisoners, and Tommy Lee Jones- In the Electric Mist).
A writer must usually hold down other employment while they attempt to gain a degree of following readers. Burke's various jobs included.......truck driver, newspaper reporter, social worker, land surveyor, unemployment system employee, Job Corps worker, teacher, and finally, novelist.
Burke lives in Montana with his wife, Pearl, two daughters, and four grandchildren. His favorite advice was given by Irving Stone, when Burke was nineteen.......... "Never write a story to pay your gas bill......if you do, be assured your utilities will be turned off".