Cimarron Rose (Billy Bob Holland Series #1)by James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke is best known as the creator and author of the popular series about Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux. His 1988 novel, Heaven's Prisoners, was made into a feature film last year that starred Alec Baldwin and Teri Hatcher. The latest Burke novel, Cimarron Rose, is his first novel since the publication of the highly popular Cadillac/i>/i>… See more details below
James Lee Burke is best known as the creator and author of the popular series about Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux. His 1988 novel, Heaven's Prisoners, was made into a feature film last year that starred Alec Baldwin and Teri Hatcher. The latest Burke novel, Cimarron Rose, is his first novel since the publication of the highly popular Cadillac Jukebox, which was his third straight novel on the New York Times bestseller list. Burke's latest book departs from the bayous of Louisiana and marks a new direction as it explodes with all the beauty, power, and violence of the American West.
Dedicated James Lee Burke fans will be delighted to find that Cimarron Rose is written with the same edgy style that has brought his previous Dave Robicheaux books to the forefront of American crime fiction. He delivers a masterful novel of class warfare and self-destructive youth culture in a new setting with a whole new cast of characters. As Publishers Weekly says in its starred review, "Billy Bob Holland isn't Dave Robicheaux; and the dusty Texas town of Deaf Smith where Billy Bob, a former Texas Ranger, now practices law isn't the fetid bayous of Louisiana. But Burke, who can spin a multifaceted tale like few others in the business, continues to be an expert at portraying the psychic pain of a manly hero."
Texas attorney Billy Bob Holland, a former Texas Ranger, has many skeletons in his closet. One of these involves Vernon Smother's son Lucas, now a teenage boy about whom only Vernon and Billy Bob know the truth. Lucas is Billy Bob's illegitimate son, and when Lucas gets arrested for murder, Billy Bob must confront the past and serve as his son's criminal attorney.
Lucas is a 16-year-old country musician accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend. He was discovered unconscious near the girl's dead body and has no clear recollection of what happened. However, Billy Bob knows the way things operate in Deaf Smith, Texas, how scapegoats are made out of the innocent and those without power are exploited. The children of the wealthy East Enders were with Billy Bob's son and the dead girl the evening of her murder. As the trial proceeds, Billy Bob soon realizes that he will have to bring injury upon himself and Lucas in order to save his son. As a result, Billy Bob makes enemies that are much more dangerous than the numerous criminals he faced as a Texas Ranger.
Without his résumé in front of you, you could never tell lawyer Billy Bob Holland (ex-Texas Ranger, ex-assistant US attorney) from Iberia's Dave Robicheaux. Billy Bob's passion for justice, like Dave's, is constantly battling the other passions that have engendered an unacknowledged son, Lucas Smothers, and that keep sending him into battle armed with more than his legal briefs. When Lucas is arrested for raping and murdering Roseanne Hazlitt, there's no question but that Billy Bob will defend him; the only question is how far he'll go. Ranged against Lucas are dyslexic, psychopathic Darl Vanzandt, the spoiled son of a wealthy East End millionaire; Garland T. Moon, the rabid jailmate whose off-the-record confession to a California murder Lucas overhears from his neighboring cell; and just about every law enforcement official resident in Deaf Smith, Texas, from smarmy jailer Harley Sweet to Mexican drug agent Felix Ringo. Burke saves Lucas's murder trial for the end, but the real action takes place long beforehand, as Billy Bob goes head to head with Ringo, Moon, the Vanzandts, two sheriffs, and his own defense witnesses. Each confrontation, as in the Dave Robicheaux novels, is engorged by the hero's overwhelming memories of his own family's involvement with evil: his father's violent death; his great- grandfather's spectral romance with Jennie, the outlaw Rose of Cimarron; and his own accidental killing of L.Q. Navarro, the Ranger partner who haunts his daily rounds as if he hadn't been dead 11 years. Other riddles about the past keep the pot boiling so furiously it's a wonder Burke can get it to the table.
All the roiling intensity of the Robicheaux stories. Even the ragged ends make other mystery novels look anemic.
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