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Friday, 25 March 2016

‘House of the Rising Sun’ by James Lee Burke

Published by Orion Fiction,
28 January 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-4091-6344-2

The main story running through the book is of an ex Texas Ranger by the name of Hackberry Holland looking for his son Ishmael whom he deserted many years ago.

The book opens in 1916 in the American West with Hackberry coming across a house with four black soldiers hanging from the trees. After a Battle with the owner of the house, Hackberry steals an artifact believed to be the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper from him and destroys a hearse containing guns and ammunition. He later discovers these all belonged to an Austrian by the name of Arnold Beckham.

The story then goes back to 1891 to tell how Hackberry meets a Ruby Dansen and they have a son Ishmael, but Hackberry and Ruby have a big row and Hackberry walks out on them, he then becomes an alcoholic.

We then go to 1918 and Hackberry learns of Ishmael being injured in the war. He tries to find him but Beckham uses Ishmael to get Hackberry to return his atifact to him. Can his father get to Ishmael before Beckham carries out his threat to kill him?

There follows a cat and mouse game between the two making for exciting reading with a very satisfying Epilogue.

This was certainly a very different book, apparently the fifth involving Hackberry Holland. It is very well written and although quite brutal in places, there were some “laugh aloud” moments. Hackberry does have a tendency to shoot people and try to ask them questions after!

I know some people do not read Epilogues but this is not to be missed, one of the best chapters of the book!
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, many featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He won the Edgar Award in 1998 for Cimarron Rose, while Black Cherry Blues won the Edgar in 1990 and Sunset Limited was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger in 1998. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia, Louisiana.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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