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Extended Audio Sample The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, by James Lee Burke Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Will Patton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Dave Robicheaux Series Release Date:
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In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off of 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, and 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 Hurricane 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 calling Burke’s best work.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Burke mixes street slang and exquisite, but always precise, descriptive writing…Robicheaux is the perfect vehicle for expressing the brooding and righteous anger which is the only possible response to the failure of the United States Government to organise relief when the levees broke. The Tin Roof Blowdown is proof that current affairs can be worked into fiction. It's account of the destruction wreaked by the floods has an enduring power.” 

    Times Literary Supplement

  • “The story, about greed and murder and redemption, contains some of Burke's most brilliantly realised characters…a compelling and moving narrative, punctuated by his devastating descriptions of the ravaged city.” 

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • The Tin Roof Blowdown is the novel James Lee Burke was born to write. His imagination has always tended to the apocalyptical—but Hurricane Katrina outdid his worst inventions…The passages describing the actual flooding are tremendously powerful but Burke also weaves a fully satisfying story into this extreme event.” 

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “This New Orleans looks like Bosch and reads like Ballard…it's worth emphasising that no 'literary' novelist has performed this task of imaginative witness to disaster yet. And none will do it half so well as Burke…he proves more forcefully than ever that he can dive down these mean—or drowned—streets and strike both a tragic, and epic, note.” 

    Independent (London)

  • “Probably his finest novel…it's quite an achievement to make the 16th novel in a series a personal best, but its more than that—it stands comparison with the best of Southern fiction.” 

    Observer (London)

  • “Burke's novel is a powerful mix of near-journalism reportage…undercut with a simmering rage at the corporate theft and government incompetence that made the clear-up such a difficult and devisive task.” 

    Irish Times

  • “Katrina was no fictional event, and Burke writes about its aftermath as vividly and powerfully as any nonfiction chronicler… the novel’s power comes from the way it explores the tragedy of Katrina in a way that is perfectly in tune with the series, a kind of perfect storm brought together by the confluence of fictional and non-fictional realms.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Burke creates dense, rich prose that draws the reader into a web of greed and violence. Each of his characters feels the hands of both grace and of perdition, and the final outcome of their struggle is never quite certain. Burke showcases all that was both right and wrong in our response to this national disaster, proving along the way that nobody captures the spirit of Gulf Coast Louisiana better.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Burke's prose, jagged and discordant…has always had a hallucinatory quality, but here his descriptions of drowning, floating corpses and devastated buildings provide a background tableaux of madness and terror that knowingly invokes Bosch's visions of hell.” 

    Metro

  • “In the US, he's often regarded as the crimewriter's crimewriter. But that was before Hurricane Katrina ripped the soul out of Burke's beloved New Orleans and inspired him to write what has to be his most gripping thriller to date…Burke's descriptions, especially of the aftermath of the hurricane, are more vivid and powerful than any piece of reportage I've yet to come across.” 

    Mirror

  • “Apart from the operatically scaled evocation of the hurricane, a shattering portrait Burke was born to create, the most striking creation here is Bertrand Melancon, a lost soul who can’t decide whether he’s an avenger or a penitent.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Finalist for the 2008 Anthony Award for Best Novel
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2008 Gumshoe Award for Best Mystery

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Suzanne | 4/17/2011

    " I have always had a huge fasination/love for New Orleans and this book captured it so nicely with a good story to boot. YAH!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mike | 4/1/2011

    " He's my favorite author. Read a Burke book and your in a dark theater by yourself surrounded and engulfed by his images. I've read them all but can only do so once every 3-4 months because in the end they are their message about the human condition is not hopeful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jo Marie | 3/10/2011

    " I gave this 3 stars because Burke has a wonderful way with words and because I really like Dave Robicheaux, but this story was way too brutal and grim for me and a bit convoluted. Probably a realistic picture of what happened in New Orleans during and right after Hurricane Katrina. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Linda | 3/8/2011

    " I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read earlier books in the series. I started with book #16 in the series so I did not know much about the characters' relationships and backgrounds. For the first 50 pages or so I kept trying to figure out who everybody was. "

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