In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana. This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers when he is deployed to New Orleans. As James Lee Burke's new novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown, begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed and New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city. In a singular style that defines the genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst, The Tin Roof Blowdown is not only an action-packed crime thriller but a poignant story of courage and sacrifice that critics are already calling Burke's best work.
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".