The Lost Get Back Boogie, by James Lee Burke

Iry Paret is released from a Louisiana prison after serving part of a manslaughter sentence and eventually makes his way to Montana where his ex-prisoner friend Buddy lives on a family farm. Buddy's father is engaged in a campaign to shut down a local pulp mill, and Iry finds himself getting in trouble with the law, and risking his paroled status, as a result of the local community's hostility towards Buddy's family.

This turns out to be an early book and I think predates the first Robicheaux book - it's still very well written but seemed rather meandering compared to that one - there were a couple of different subplots so it felt a bit episodic rather than being a single long story.

It's written in the first person like the Robicheaux book and like Robicheaux, Paret has the habit of musing about the countryside and his feelings and these passages are very well written and evocative.

Another thing that reminded me of the Robicheaux book was the way that the hero comes across a strong female character who he falls for (in this case Buddy's estranged wife), and how she stands by him against the problems he's tangled up in. I don't know how many more of Burke's books have the same pattern, but it feels a bit like he re-used some of the elements of this novel in the Neon Rain at least.

Pretty good book, although not as good as the Robicheaux one - the main reason I picked this up in preference to another in that series is that this was read by Will Patton again who again has a fantastic voice for the Louisiana turns of phrase that pepper the book.

Completed : 07-Jan-2015 (audiobook, read by Will Patton)

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