Dixie City Jam (Dave Robicheaux Series #7)

( 7 )


As a child he was frightened by the stories...

It's out there, under the salt of the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast--a buried Nazi submarine. Detective Dave Robicheaux of the New Ibera Sheriff's office has known if its existence since childhood, when he was terrified by nightmares of the evil Nazi sailors just offshore. Then, as a ...
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Dixie City Jam

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As a child he was frightened by the stories...

It's out there, under the salt of the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast--a buried Nazi submarine. Detective Dave Robicheaux of the New Ibera Sheriff's office has known if its existence since childhood, when he was terrified by nightmares of the evil Nazi sailors just offshore. Then, as a teenager, he stumbled upon the sunken sub while scuba diving--but for years he kept the secret of its watery grave.

... And now he must face the terrible reality.

But decades later, when a powerful Jewish activist wants the sub raised, Robicheaux's knowledge puts him at the center of a terrifying struggle of conflicting desires. A neo-Nazi psychopath named Will Buchalter, who insists that the Holocaust was a hoax, wants to find the submarine first--and he'll stop at nothing to get Robicheaux to talk.

James Lee Burke looks long and hard into the human heart of darkness in his most electrifying novel yet, a story of terror and courage in a Southern Louisiana where the horrific and the beautiful rise from the same fertile soil.

Detective Dave Robicheaux confronts his most fearsome enemy, neo-Nazi Will Buchalter, and, before their face-off is finished, Robicheaux's wife is stalked, a Mafia war explodes, and an interdepartmental struggle sears the police force.

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Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun
"Mr. Burke's Davie Robicheaux novels have been among the best in American crime fiction of the past decade. DIXIE CITY JAM, one of the strongest books in the series, may just put him over the top."
San Jose Mercury News
"Burke's in top form here.... He evokes the rank, steamy, decaying beauty of New Orleans and evirons better than anyone. Each chapter leaves you panting."
Tony Hillerman
"[Burke is] at the top of his form in DIXIE CITY JAM. A dandy read."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After his dreamy sojourn into Civil War history in In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead , former New Orleans cop Dave Robicheaux comes up against the residue of Nazism in his action-packed, somewhat rambling seventh adventure. When Batist, who helps Dave run his bait shop, is arrested for the latest in a series of murders of New Orleans drug dealers, Dave must raise money for his bail. For a $10,000 finder's fee, he agrees to search for a Nazi submarine sunk in 1942 off the coast of New Iberia, where he is now deputy sheriff. While the sub search draws the attention of a neo-Nazi sadist who threatens Dave's wife, Bootsie, Dave is distracted by the antics of his former partner, Clete Purcel, who has decided to take on mob interests and, in one instance, destroys a crime boss's mansion with an earth mover. Before a dramatic resolution at sea draws the threads of the plots loosely together, Dave traces an intricate course marked by ritual killings, bouts of torture, Bootsie's anxiety (from which she seeks relief in drink) and racial and gender politics within the New Orleans police force, drawing Dave into the lives of a feisty black woman cop and her teenage son. A standout in the diverting supporting cast is doom-predicting Brother Oswald, who employs a maddeningly roundabout manner of discourse. In this physically demanding, fast moving plot, Dave is less ruminative than when last seen, though he holds on to his trademark melancholy-tinged sensitivity. $200,000 ad/promo; 20-city author tour.
Library Journal
Louisiana sleuth Dave Robicheaux (who made it big in the Edgar Award-winning Black Cherry Blues , LJ 8/89) confronts his nastiest villain yet: neo-Nazi Will Buchalter.
Bill Ott
There comes a time in the life of any successful mystery series when its author must decide whether change is necessary. You really can't win at this game. Either you stick with what brung you and are criticized for repeating yourself, or you attempt something new and alienate those who have grown comfortable with the series' familiar rhythms. James Lee Burke knows there is really only one way to solve this conundrum: keep writing good books. His Dave Robicheaux series is now in its seventh installment and shows no signs of fatigue, though Burke continues to stick close to his basic formula: New Iberia, Louisiana, cop Robicheaux becomes entangled with a sociopath who poses a threat to Robicheaux's family; Dave, usually with the help of former partner Cletus Purcell, reacts violently, eventually vanquishing the foe but not without experiencing loss, sometimes to those around him, sometimes to his sense of self. This time the foe is a neo-Nazi sadist who thinks Dave is the key to finding a German U-Boat that has been bouncing around the Gulf of Mexico since World War II. Threats to Dave's wife and child draw Robicheaux into a violent confrontation. A Robicheaux novel can always be counted on for atmosphere (no one uses New Orleans and evirons better), for bone-hard realism (especially on the subject of violence, its allure and its horror), and for melancholy reflection on the inevitability of the old giving way to the new. Burke keeps it all fresh by never losing sight of the soft edges around his hard characters and by somehow being able to crank out a little extra lyricism at just the right moment. New Orleans stays the same without going flat. Why shouldn't Burke?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786889006
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: Dave Robicheaux Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 178,845
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B. A. Degree in English and an M. A. from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps.

He and his wife Pearl met in graduate school and have been married 48 years, they have four children: Jim Jr., an assistant U.S. Attorney; Andree, a school psychologist; Pamala, a T. V. ad producer; and Alafair, a law professor and novelist who has 4 novels out with Henry Holt publishing.

Burke's work has been awarded an Edgar twice for Best Crime Novel of the Year. He has also been a recipient of a Breadloaf and Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant. Two of his novels, Heaven's Prisoners and Two For Texas, have been made into motion pictures. His short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Antioch Review, Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication by Louisiana State University press was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Today he and his wife live in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.

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    1. Hometown:
      New Iberia, Louisiana and Missoula, Montana
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 5, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Houston, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Missouri, 1959; M.A., University of Missouri, 1960
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    Classic JLB. Vivid imagery, exploding prose, and inspiring characters. Tightly written story with a hot boudin flavor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is more like a 2.5 star book. I love Burke and this series

    This is more like a 2.5 star book. I love Burke and this series and am reading them in order. All have been very good to great so far, but this one is a step or two backwards. The writing is vivid as usual and the characters are always excellent and deep. The plot on this one, along with the subplots, just seem all over the map all the way through. Sometimes that works out fine and sometimes not so much. Dixie City Jam - not so much. I'll stay with the author and series and you should as well. Just don't expect much from this particular novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Difficult to Read

    This is the second James Lee Burke novel I have read.I enjoyed the first one. I found this one hard to keep up with the plot and subplots and just difficult to read.The only think that kept me in the book was that I know the setting very well and well I hate to give up on a book.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Burke is a new favorite

    Even though Burke isn't new, he's new to me and has immediately become a favorite. The biggest reason is that he is so literate. This guy can just flat out write. Witty, sarcastic, lucid, philosphical, descriptive. What more could you want from a novelist. You can taste and smell Louisiana. You gain an appreciation for the people an the culture (the good, the bad and the ugly).
    If you like crime novels Burke is the one. If you enjoy stories about people and human nature, Burke is the one.
    Buy 'em all!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Great way to "read" Burke

    It's really interesting to have the characters come to life. Although I've read 15 of Burke's books having Will Patton narrating brings the words to life. Typical plot and cast of characters in this book which is why I bought it.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Compleat Villain, hapless victims, sunken demi-treasure

    The evident joy Burke takes in words, his delight in vicious villains, his brooding sense of place and history -- all combine here to stir up a genuine thriller. Beyond that, there's a certain symmetry to the story that only becomes evident well into the telling. The characters are, as is the case with all his books, simultaneously delicious and outrageous;
    completely unforgettable. His later preoccupation with psychological underpinning for aberrant behavior is not as evident here, but there are Jungian clouds on the horizon and again, as always, a soft Catholicism lurking in the shadows of the bayou.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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