Obsessive themes in James Lee Burke’s novels

I like to read crime books, but it’s hard to find one that isn’t following a cookie cutter story, is written well, and has good characters. One of my favorite authors is James Lee Burke, especially his Dave Robicheaux series. If you don’t know him, don’t waste a moment and start reading! His writing is great, is main characters are deliciously flawed, and his bad guys…man, they are bad guys!

However, if you read a couple of his books you’ll notice that he gets obsessed with one particular thing or phrase that will keep popping up again and again, sometimes over several books.

  • Bad (and good guys) getting beaten up in the men’s room, involving their heads getting smashed either into the urinal or the toilet bowl proper.
  • Men are lifting weights and the outline of their ‘phallus’ is very visible through their pants.
  • Bad guys smell of testosterone ironed into their clothes.
  • In a couple of books Dave Robicheaux is eating a lot of ham and onion sandwiches.
  • I didn’t know plastic cowboy boots exist, but apparently, they do.

Unfortunately I don’t remember the books in which those…fixations…occur, because I read them (the books) completely out of sequence, but the fact that these themes stuck in my head tells you something.

Anyway, the books are great.


One thought on “Obsessive themes in James Lee Burke’s novels

  1. Pingback: Happily Reading Myself to Death « SERENDIPITY

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