My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What gripped me about this story was less the crime that made up the main plot and more the role the hurricanes Katrina and Rita and their consequences played in it. The effects of the storms on the native city of Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell were not separate from how they affected the characters. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that James Lee Burke had been to New Orleans right after Katrina or while it hit.
The entire book is filled with his grief over the losses endured by the city and its people. Details I’d never heard of — like the flocks of birds flying in the sky as if they had nowhere to land — made the destruction and loss all the more real. In the end, the book gave me a strong sense of how it might have felt to have been in New Orleans after the hurricanes. A unique novel.