Dixie City Jam
By James Lee Burke
(Hyperion, Mass Market Paperback, 9780786889006, 512pp.)
Publication Date: July 1995
Categories: Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
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As a child he was frightened by the stories...
It's out there, under the salt of the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast--a buried Nazi submarine. Detective Dave Robicheaux of the New Ibera Sheriff's office has known if its existence since childhood, when he was terrified by nightmares of the evil Nazi sailors just offshore. Then, as a teenager, he stumbled upon the sunken sub while scuba diving--but for years he kept the secret of its watery grave.
... And now he must face the terrible reality.
But decades later, when a powerful Jewish activist wants the sub raised, Robicheaux's knowledge puts him at the center of a terrifying struggle of conflicting desires. A neo-Nazi psychopath named Will Buchalter, who insists that the Holocaust was a hoax, wants to find the submarine first--and he'll stop at nothing to get Robicheaux to talk.
James Lee Burke looks long and hard into the human heart of darkness in his most electrifying novel yet, a story of terror and courage in a Southern Louisiana where the horrific and the beautiful rise from the same fertile soil.
James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B. A. Degree in English and an M. A. from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps.
He and his wife Pearl met in graduate school and have been married 48 years, they have four children: Jim Jr., an assistant U.S. Attorney; Andree, a school psychologist; Pamala, a T. V. ad producer; and Alafair, a law professor and novelist who has 4 novels out with Henry Holt publishing.
Burke's work has been awarded an Edgar twice for Best Crime Novel of the Year. He has also been a recipient of a Breadloaf and Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant. Two of his novels, Heaven's Prisoners and Two For Texas, have been made into motion pictures. His short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Antioch Review, Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication by Louisiana State University press was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Today he and his wife live in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.
"Mr. Burke's Davie Robicheaux novels have been among the best in American crime fiction of the past decade. DIXIE CITY JAM, one of the strongest books in the series, may just put him over the top."
"Burke's in top form here.... He evokes the rank, steamy, decaying beauty of New Orleans and evirons better than anyone. Each chapter leaves you panting."
-San Jose Mercury News
"[Burke is] at the top of his form in DIXIE CITY JAM. A dandy read."