Detective Dave Robichaux finds his past isn't completely past when his murdered friend Dallas Klein's daughter Trish, a suspected grifter, shows up in town counting cards at blackjack tables and then involves herself with his longtime buddy and P.I. Clete Purcell who has a weakness for damaged women.
At Dave's day job he is put on the case of a young woman who has apparently committed suicide after being raped repeatedly at a frat house. Investigating that case leads him back to an unsolved murder of Crustacean Man, an unidentified homeless wino who had died as a result of a hit and run that Dave traces back to the Lujan family who also seem to be implicated in the death of Cesaire Darbonne's daughter.
Throughout the investigation tempers flair and Dave finds himself pounding his fist into the face of the sleazy D.A. in defense of his lesbian boss, the unflappable Helen Soileau. When his own family is threatened, Dave seeks vigilante justice with full time thug Lefty Raguzza. Although Dave behaves with his own moral code, you can forgive him just as his wife Molly does (she's a former Roman Catholic nun) because he is almost always right.
James Lee Burke writes convincing characters with true human frailty and scripts a plot at breakneck speed. I'll be reading as many of his books as I can find.