For those that are not familiar with Burke's tragic fictional character, Dave "Streak" Robicheaux, this is his 16th novel in this series. Burke first introduced the alcoholic, Vietnam veteran, New Orleans police detective in 1987 in Neon Rain. Both Burke's writing style and his fictional hero have matured over the years. Although it is fun to read all 16 books in ascending order, this is not a requirement. Burke uses a lot of recurring characters and spends just the right amount of time refreshing his reader's memory on those characters as he adds more depth to them. This novel takes place just after Katrina wipes out New Orleans. A family that suffered through a brutal attack prior to the hurricane only to see the crime go unpunished is shocked when they see looters paddle up to the house across the street from them and realize they are the attackers that were never brought to trial. The question of justice vs. vengeance is shrouded in a time when the law does not prevail. We had an elderly aunt who had to stay at the Superdome until she got taken to the Astrodome in Houston and then eventually settled in California. Her stories about her experiences were a lot like some of the experiences that Burke describes. Burke captures the destitution and hopelessness that still torments the Katrina survivors. Whenever I read his books I can't help but feel the humidity he describes or the smell of the magnolias blossoms, or swat at the gnats and mosquitoes.�His settings always seem to come alive and his characters are always tragic and noble, Mon.
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