By Jeff Giles
Updated November 30, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

A Morning for Flamingos

  • Book

In James Lee Burke’s third Dave Robicheaux thriller, A Morning for Flamingos, the hero is a mellow cop-a detective who never seems to arrest anybody. A Vietnam vet and recovering alcoholic, Robicheaux is now working undercover on a drug war in New Orleans. The book has the requisite amount of macho boys-in-blue patter — ”Clete backs my play or it’s up the spout,” for instance. In general, though, the prose is wistful and poetic. Robicheaux is ambivalent about his job. Instead of shooting first and asking questions later, he befriends shady characters and urges them to change their lives, which they usually do. The chief drug lord — a wonderfully engaging character who subscribes to The Atlantic — even sends Robicheaux a thank-you note. There is plenty of suspense here, and there are scores to be settled, and there are good cops and bad cops. And, of course, there’s the likable Dave Robicheaux — half Don Quixote and half Don Johnson. B+

Episode Recaps

A Morning for Flamingos