Englischsprachige Literatur

Burke James Lee

Black Cherry Blues

Avon/HarperCollins, New York 1990


This is the fifth of eleven Dave Robicheaux novels by Burke, and looking at the portrait of the author at the back of the book I get the feeling, that Robicheaux is modelled after his creator who looks quite relaxed and mildly ironic at the reader from under the wide brim of his hat, as if he had seen it all and nothing whatever could surprise him.

Burke´s main character is an ex-cop, who retired after the murder of his wife to lead an unobtrusive life renting out boats and selling supplies to fishermen in the bayous. And he is a dry alcoholic, prone to “black cherry blues”. When an old friend asks for his help he very unwillingly leaves his safe haven and sooner then expected finds himself accused of murder.

In an almost unendurably painful process for himself- and the sympathetic reader - he finds out the truth about two murders way back in the past. Of course, in the end, the bad guys are blown to dust in a helicopter and Robicheaux can take up his seemingly peaceful life again, but 6 more adventures are already lurking in the shadows.

Burke has a very intense way of describing the sultry climate of coastal Lousiana, the smells and noises of the water, the animals, the trees around his house. It´s almost a different language, at least for the non-native reader. And quite thrilling.