Simon & Schuster, Oct 2003, 24.95, 335 pp.
New Iberia, Louisiana homicide detective Dave Robicheaux and his friend private investigator Clete Purcel rough up former porn movie star Gunner Ardoin. Dave and Clete were retaliating for Gunner's beating up New Orleans priest Father Jimmie Dolan. Gunner gets back at the duo for their assault by suing them.
Meanwhile hitman Max Coll stalks Father Jimmie. Apparently there is a nebulous connection to 1951 Angola Penitentiary where blues singer Junior Crudup was sent before vanishing. Then there is the link to three teens dying in a DUI incident. Thus Dave has a lot on his plate, jurisdiction not withstanding. However, his typical two-fisted approach will not bring down Castille LeJeune, who is the alleged power behind the scenes of all these seemingly unrelated incidents.
LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS is the usual brutal but exciting look at the underbelly of society from James Lee Burke. If the story line sounds a bit disjointed that is because it is. Dave remains an intriguing wild man who does not worry about losing his job as he metes out street justice as few characters do. Fans of Dave will appreciate this rowdy ride while those who prefer a more gentile or just a straightforward plot will want to pass rather than wait to see how the subplots finally tie together.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner