You’ll want to hang tight when reading ‘The New Iberia Blues’

Your hand is deep in a bucket of crunchy goodness.

Without popcorn, a movie is just a bunch of flickering lights, a series of stills in a row, a story that begs for butter and extra salt. Without popcorn, a film is deadly dull or, as in the new book “The New Iberia Blues” by James Lee Burke — it’s just deadly.

Desmond Cormeir had a rough raising up.

Born in a truck stop parking lot and quickly abandoned, he was bullied as a child by peers and adults and he always seemed to be abashed about his Cajun background. Detective Dave Robicheaux knew Cormeir then and he watched as the boy made something of himself. Robicheaux was just as proud as anyone when Cormeir became a successful filmmaker and returned to Louisiana, to his roots.

When Lucinda Arceneaux was pulled from the waters surrounding Cormeir’s house, Robicheaux figured his pride was misplaced. Lucinda had died gently, but her corpse was defiled and left in a disturbing manner. Cormeir lied about seeing the body but, oddly, he wasn’t the person Robicheaux had his eye on; instead, Cormeir’s roommate, Antoine Butterworth, seemed to be the man to watch.

Robicheaux’s new partner, a young woman by the name of Bailey Ribbons didn’t trust Butterworth. Neither did Clete Purcel, Robicheaux’s former beat partner and best friend. Butterworth was a truly strange man… but was he a murderer?

When a local fisherman was discovered rotting in a fishing net with a spear through his middle, it was obvious that someone was, possibly Hugo Tillinger, an escaped Texas convict who was spotted diving into a nearby bayou to hide. Or maybe it was Smiley Wimple, once mistaken as dead and as dangerously addled as ever. And yes, the killer could have been Butterworth.

But there was something unusual about the bodies being found: each had some tie to a tarot deck. Each corpse corresponded to a card. Each subsequent death was becoming more and more violently gruesome.

And each was getting closer to Dave Robicheaux.

Reading “The New Iberia Blues” is like sitting on a folding chair during a tornado: you’re sucked in, tipped around, lose your grip and get a whole lot queasy before things smooth out for a minute. As it is with tornadoes and Dave Robicheaux novels, though, things ain’t over ‘til they’re over.

The only thing to do is to hang on tight, then, and keep this word handy because you’re going to need it: “ARGH!”

You’ll need it for the twists that discombobulate even the most determined armchair sleuth; try as you might, forget pre-solving this novel. Know that (argh!) bad things happen to good characters you’ve come to like in this series. And know that this book ends, and you’ll eventually have to leave the world that author James Lee Burke has placed you in. Argh!

Indeed, filled with spookiness, spirituality, and slayings a-plenty, this may be the best, most hard-to-figure-out Robicheaux novel yet. Get your hands on it today, because “The New Iberia Blues” positively pops.

More in Life

Enumclaw High’s ‘over 50’ reunion set for Aug. 8

Anyone who attended or graduated from EHS from 1969 or before is welcome to attend.

Guild gathered for annual spring luncheon

The next Guild event, its annual Christmas Luncheon and Auction, is scheduled for Dec. 4.

Image courtesy Public Health Insider.
The weather is heating up — time for a water safety refresher

Whatever you do, always wear a life vest.

Antiques show coming to Expo Center

The event will be held June 29 starting at 9, though early birds can pay extra to get in before the crowds.

Washington wants to know more about the LBGTQ community | Public Health Insider

A new anonymous study, open through mid-September, wants to better understand the lives of LGBTQ residents.

Recycling event at Expo Center can help your spring cleaning

The annual Enumclaw Collection event is June 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Teens encouraged to volunteer at Pierce County libraries

The opportunity is offered at all Pierce County Library locations.

Help the Soup Ladies in their quest to help others

In times of crisis, The Soup Ladies have been there for first responders.

‘Elk on the Trail’ art installation hosts public ribbon cutting

The event is 4 p.m., May 19 near the corner of state Route 410 and Warner Avenue.

Most Read