Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I reviewed House of the Rising Sun (Simon & Schuster) by James Lee Burke for Lone Star Literary Life. A Burke novel is always an experience and this one is no exception. If I were handing out stars, this one would get all five. From the review:
It’s 1916, Pancho Villa is raiding across the border, and Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland is searching for his long-lost son, Ishmael, a captain in the US Army, in Mexico, “a feral land, its energies as raw and ravenous as a giant predator that ingested the naïve and incautious.” Hackberry doesn’t find Ishmael this time, but he does run afoul of the Mexican Army and Arnold Beckman, an international arms dealer, escaping with a religious artifact that had been in Beckman’s possession, which may or may not be the Holy Grail. 
House of the Rising Sun is an apocalyptic tale of addictions — alcohol, Morpheus, pain, love, power — which rob us of mercy, kindness, and human dignity. “I have nothing of value to impart,” Hackberry says. “My life has been dedicated to Pandemonium. That’s a place in hell John Milton wrote about. That also means I’m an authority on chaos and confusion and messing things up.”
 To read the entire review please click here. Thank you!

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