Small-time black hustler Tee Bobby Hulin is partly redeemed, in Robicheaux's eyes, by a rare musical gift. Three men are present when Amanda Boudreau is raped and murdered, and Tee Bobby's prints are found at the crime scene. Dave reckons he's innocent, and Tee Bobby pleads so, then attempts suicide in his holding cell. Why? Soon after, hooker and junkie Linda Zeroski is beaten to death by a man wearing leather gloves who, with great care and precision, crushes every bone in her face. Louisiana's murky history casts a long shadow in the work of James Lee Burke, but nowhere longer than here, with the LaSalles family, who settled there before the Louisiana Purchase and built their wealth upon the backs of slave labour. When lawyer Perry LaSalles takes on the defence of Tee Bobby Hulin, Dave knows his motives are fuelled by guilt. For Tee Bobby's grandmother Ladice was seduced by Perry's grandfather, and Amanda Boudreau's death is related to events that happened long before Tee Bobby was born ... In this rich and compelling novel James Lee Burke weaves a web of plots and subplots involving perfectly observed characters. Dense with passion and compassion, Burke's novels get better and better.
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