We gave it a B-
Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux’s latest mystery overflows with vibrant characters. Like an expert police artist, author James Lee Burke draws quick, indelible sketches in Jolie Blon’s Bounce: ”Her face always seemed enameled with anger, without cause, her manner sharp as razor wire,” he says of assistant DA Barbara ”Battering Ram” Shanahan. And he paints an equally evocative portrait of politically swampy Louisiana (or ”Guatemala North,” as Dave’s ex-partner bitterly dubs it). But the plot slogs along as if stuck in a bayou, trickling off into so many rivulets — including flashbacks to the Old South, Vietnam, and the JFK assassination — that you might find yourself forgetting halfway through the book what case Dave’s investigating.