Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN by James Lee Burke (2007)

Set in New Orleans in the weeks following the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN offers up people under extremis at their best and their worst. Among other places Burke takes us into the dome where many victims were "rescued" and where looters and criminals raped with abandon among the human waste. Talk about "man's inhumanity to man."

In the through line of the narrative, a young black criminal tries to make right all of his wrongs by apologizing to the family of the girl he gang-raped a few years previous and offering them blood diamonds he stole from the local Mafia hood as compensation.

TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN will make you feel like you are there, swirling in the detritus along with local cop Dave Robichaux. But, don't take my word for it. Go to Ian Rankin's website and find out why he calls Burke's new book the best book he read in 2007.

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