In the mid-1980s, I read James Lee Burke’s first novel about Dave Robicheaux, The Neon Rain, and quickly followed up with Heaven’s Prisoners. I was running the Mysterious Press, Burke was being published by Henry Holt, but I absolutely knew I wanted to be his publisher for the rest of our days. I got into a furious bidding war with Little, Brown for the rights to his next book and, sadly, lost. I have been reading his books ever since and not one word he’s written since then has changed my mind. He is one of America’s greatest novelists—a poetic stylist who also knows how to tell a compelling story.
Featured photo courtesy of author; Additional photos: Simon and Schuster; New Line Cinema; Ithaca Pictures