I found this chapter in the Dave Robicheaux saga to be excellent - better, than the last award-winning Black Cherry Blues. (Dave's daughter was given too much time to talk with Dave in BCB- and she does so in such an adult, creepy way. Burke is many things, but not, we have discovered, a writer of children's voices.) In this story, we have a perfect semblance of characters surrounding our hero: Dave's former partner, Cletus, makes a return here, continuing to redeem himself after his earlier doings in books 1 and 2. Dave meets two interesting women, Kim and Bootsy; the latter conjures up Dave's past and challenges him to look beyond his own failings. And then there is my favorite creation of the story, the literate Italian-Cajun gangster, Tony, who shares a link with Dave' Vietnam past. Dave's time in the war has been dealt with in each preceding novel, but only now, in the presence of a kindred spirit with a nightmare of his own, do Dave's experiences fully reverberate with the reader. Tony is perhaps the best supporting character Burke has created, and his relationship with Dave made this a very special read.