The Neon Rain, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


The outstanding first book in the ever-popular Dave Robicheaux series. Introducing the New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux. Johnny Massina, a convicted murderer bound for the electric chair, has warned Dave Robicheaux that he's on somebody's hit list, and now the homicide detective is trying to discover just who that is before he ends up dead.

Meanwhile he has taken on the murder investigation of a young black girl found dead in the Bayou Swamp - a case no one seems keen for him to investigate.

But Robicheaux persists and uncovers a web of corruption that some would kill to protect, leading him to a terrifying confrontation with the one horror he fears most of all.


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Grimey. Captures life in the seventies New Orleans quite well, complete with the corruption and racial contempt. At times this doens't match the occasionally flowery language.Dave Robicheaux is a black Leutenant in the New orleans police. He mostly enjoys his joba dn is realistic enough to know since his first wife left him, that it is a demanding calling. He's also been ry for the last few years. Just about all the cliche's in one hit for a policeman. During a rare weekend off fishing, he discovers a body floating in the weeds - a young formerly pretty black girl. The local force quickly chalk it up as another druggie drowning, but Dave digs a little deeper and stirs up the interest of the local arms dealers. Despite his friends and relations (brother) with the mob contacts, these characters have little compunction about casual violence and use almost any means to keep their dirty game going. Dave isn't impressed, and sets out to single handedly clean up New Orleans. Fortunetly his Capatin is a decent guy who stands by him. I never really enagaged with this. New Orleans is always a somewhat exotic location and there are a lot of assumptions about local culture that just don't transfer to this side of the pond. The grimy atmosphere remenisicent of Marlow doesn't help either. Some longer tracts of descriptive langaugae -whilst being good for enlightning the mood, don't help the plot along, and I frequently forgot who was betraying whom and why, let aone what the invented motives of the bad guys were supposed to be. There was some involvment with US foreign policy in the South Americas at the time, but that's not just ancient history but foreign history and to me, so I didn't follow what was happening. Dave is hardly charasmatic (cf Reacher to whom he's often compared), but the supporting cast were even worse, the girlfriend particularly unbelivable.I guess this is one for the locals. If you were around at the time, and or knwo the coity and it's history then this was probably (assuming hte author got his facts more or less straight) and interestingrea with local colour (much like Stuart McBride). It I'm not and so - like Elmore Leonard - I'll pass on this series.

Review by

Gets pretty violent but classic Burke.

Review by

I'm quite torn about this book. I did not like the plot, finding it difficult to follow. However, Burke is a fabulous writer, with richly described characters and descriptions of the Deep South that make me want to visit!

Also by James Lee Burke   |  View all