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Book Nook: Robicheaux, by James Lee Burke


Dave Robicheaux is a character James Lee Burke imagined many years ago. When Burke tried to find a publisher for what became the first book in this series about a troubled Louisiana lawman the response was a blizzard of rejection slips. But the author is steadfast and a bit stubborn and he never gave up. All these years later he is recognized as the writer who invented this type of character in the crime fiction genre, a character that is often imitated but never surpassed.

The author is now in his eighties and he's not slowing down one bit. He had set the Robicheaux series aside for a few years to focus on some other projects. Finally after a hiatus of five years Dave has returned in "Robicheaux" and this book was certainly worth waiting for. In my latest interview with James Lee Burke I felt compelled to tell him that this is the best book in the series so far. That's saying a lot, this is an incredible group of books.

In this interview the author talked about the relevance of this story to the state of the world that we are witnessing today. Dave is at his darkest. He has relapsed and gone off on a drunken bender that has left chaos in his wake. His best friend Clete Purcell is in trouble and Dave is trying to help him out. A charismatic politician is amassing power by pandering to the darkest fears of the electorate. Then there are all those unsolved murders of poor women that nobody seems to care about. Except for Dave.

"Robicheaux" is another beautifully written and brilliantly conceived novel from the pen of James Lee Burke. He is a writer who is truly at the peak of his powers right now.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.