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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rain Gods: A Novel by James Lee Burke

A dark, wearisome and depressing novel

Crime novels come in all sorts of varieties and flavors. At one extreme are the slapstick Evanovich Stephanie Plum books. At the other end come moody and brooding novels like those that James Lee Burke produces. I have read several of his books and I know that they are not fun-loving romps, but the morose nature of this book takes the cake.

James Lee Burke

With the exception of two brief scenes Rain Gods: A Novel was relentless in its brooding tone. I found it wearisome. Every male character is burdened with evil deeds, obsesses over them and then acts out in self-destructive, often violent ways. All of the female lead characters offer wisdom, strength and guidance. There are literally more than a dozen bad guys and it seems that this desert Texas countryside is full of nothing but broken people, hookers, alcoholics, criminals and a couple of cops. Where are the regular people?

The book was just too much death, despair and regret for me.

A wearisome and disappointing read.
2 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Rain Gods: A Novel by James Lee Burke.
Reviewed August 26, 2009

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