Burke crafted another haunting tour de force with Purple Cane Road, not his latest Dave Robicheaux novel, but one of his best. It is laced with the poetic, evocative imagery and fully fleshed-out characters, often hacked from the seamiest strata of real life, that typify his work. And it sets the New Iberia detective on a driven course to find the true story behind his mother’s death.
Complex subplots provide additional twists and turns as Robicheaux gropes his way toward a solution. The mystery haunts him–and stirs up feelings of anger and vengeance so powerful that they threaten to demolish his long-held concepts of morality, justice and his own responsibilities as an officer of the law.
His friends fear that his obsession may destroy him. Even Clete Purcell, Dave’s former partner on the NOPD and never known for his restraint or caution, shows concern.
“What you want is God’s permission to paint the trees with bad guys. That ain’t going to happen, big mon.”
His boss, the New Iberia Sheriff, and partner, Helen Soileau, share Clete’s view. In the end, however, all three help him solve the mystery and at least partially exorcise his demons.
If you haven’t read any of Burke’s Robicheaux books before, Purple Cane Road is a good choice to try for openers. If you’re already a fan, don’t miss this one!