Update 2 p.m. Oct. 16:
The fifth meeting of Moira’s Seattle Times Book Club concluded earlier this afternoon, with a small but opinionated group weighing in on James Lee Burke’s “The Neon Rain,” the debut novel featuring detective Dave Robicheaux. Scroll to the bottom of the page and read the comments to access the full discussion.
Overall, most book club members who chimed in weren’t big fans of the book, with several saying that it didn’t linger with them. Reader jillboone noted that “I read this book a week ago and last night I realized I couldn’t remember anything about it except that I didn’t like the main characters,” and amaria remembered “certain exchanges but nothing lasting or connecting.” “If it weren’t for the bookclub and wanting to join in on the discussion, I definitely would not have finished the book,” wrote Patti Taylor. “Found the violence and the ‘cowboy’ behavior tiresome.”
pnledlund found Robicheaux “abrasive bordering on racist and homophobic,” but apparently he evolves as the series develops; Dr. Psych, who has read some of the more recent Robicheaux books (there are 22 in the series) said “his latest books do not offend me like this one did. He changes for the better and his characters become more rounded out and real.” More positively received were the vivid descriptions of the New Orleans locale; several readers who have been to the city found Burke’s writing accurate. And some readers offered favorite detectives from other books: Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch; G.M. Ford’s Leo Waterman.
We’ll post a poll to vote on the next book club selection Oct. 29, and announce the title Nov. 5. Our next book club meeting will be at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
A reminder to all Moira’s Seattle Times Book Club members (and anyone who would like to be a member): Our fifth online meeting will take place at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Bookmark this page and be sure to join us; we’ll be chatting right here, in the comments section below. Feel free to leave a question or a thought about the book before the discussion begins, if you like. I’ll arrive online promptly at noon Wednesday to facilitate the discussion.
This month’s selection, chosen by club members from an array of first-in-a-detective-series novels, is James Lee Burke’s “The Neon Rain.” Published in 1987, it is the first of Burke’s books featuring New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux, an ongoing series that now numbers 22 volumes. Burke, who lives in Montana, is a two-time Edgar Award winner and a recipient of the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America.
Previous selections in Moira’s Book Club include “Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje, “The Friend” by Sigrid Nunez, “Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan and “The Summer Wives” by Beatriz Williams — and all have led to some delightful discussion. Please join us! If you’d like, you can also join the Moira’s Book Club Facebook group (though it’s not a requirement) at facebook.com/groups/stbooks/. If you have any questions about the book club, just let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. See you Wednesday.