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  • Worth the Fighting For

    Montana author Aaron Holland Broussard can no longer see what is left for him. His world exploded into a million fiery fragments of hell the day his daughter died. He will not accept his daughter’s death, he will either find a way to bring her back or he will go to her. He says he feels like he’s in a house of mirrors and wants to break every one of them. In a wrenching scene we see him tasting the barrel of his gun…”Oh, God, don’t let me do this.” Heartbreaking business. The physical world revs up to push the man even further. A teenage son of a former imperial wizard spray-paints a swastika on Aaron’s barn. The kid’s father is now active in a hate group with outlaw bikers, posing as a church. Two young meth-head members show up armed at Aaron’s in the middle of the night, possibly to take him out. Subsequent murders pop up, interwoven into all of this. Finally, a cold-blooded drug dealer arrives to deliver more evil to Aaron’s doorstep. And the supernatural world has its part to play. Aaron’s lost daughter, Fannie Mae, answers her father’s pleas and appears to him, attempting to counsel and comfort. State trooper Ruby Spotted Horse reveals to Aaron she is the guardian to an underworld portal– spirits are locked up in her cellar. These spirits may include Major Eugene Baker, the man who pushed through the Marias Massacre of 1870, where over 200 Piegan Blackfeet human beings were butchered. Baker approaches Aaron in the guise of friendship, but he recognizes Baker as a threat not only to the living but somehow also a threat to Fannie Mae. Friends question how much supernatural involvement can be directly related to the mental distress Aaron is going through. Aaron subscribes to the belief some of James Lee Burke’s other characters do; his Dave Robicheaux has said he does not believe we all come from the same gene pool, there are monsters among us lying in wait to commit any kind of atrocity. In this respect Aaron is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in “No Country for Old Men,” a man at a loss for what society has become, what evil it is capable of. In the Preface, Burke states “...I also believe the Garden of Eden is within our grasp…That’s what this book is about. Some scars never leave us. But scars can’t break us; only we can do that. As Ernest Hemingway said, the world is a fine place and worth the fighting for.” (Quote taken from the ARC), At 85 years old, Aaron Holland Broussard is not giving in to evil, though. He may be demoralized by the loss of his daughter, but he can not turn his back and let that evil stand. The constant throb throughout the novel is the pain of Aaron’s loss. Author James Lee Burke lost his own daughter Pamela a year prior to the book’s writing and the torment is real in these pages. In the acknowledgements he thanks her, saying she literally helped him write the last few pages. This is a magnificent book, easily one of his best. We can all be grateful this master is still delivering at the top of his game. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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  • well done

    grief, grieving, violence, visions, PTSD, famous-author, family-dynamics, [email protected] crimes, law-enforcement, historical-places-events, cultural-exploration, Montana, reservation, relationships, rural, drug-trafficking, drugs-issues, ghosts, legend***** This book is a paean to every parent who has lost a child before their time. It is a story of an overwhelming grief told in the visions of pain of those who suffered at the hands of people whose fear of those different from themselves led to unspeakable acts of mass murder right here in this country. It is a story that will stay with some of us for a very long time. I requested and received a free e-book copy from Simon and Schuster via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • Outstanding tale

    I received a free electronic copy of this remarkable novel from Netgalley, James Lee Burke, and Simon Schuster publisher. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Every Cloak Rolled in Blood of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am always thrilled to receive a new Burke novel, be it featuring Dave and Clete in Louisiana or Aaron Holland Broussard and family in the mountains of Montana. Burke is one of those writers who, whatever focus he is writing from, he shares it in a way that it is exactly the perspective you will see it from. This book especially touched my heart. Losing a child is the hardest thing we humans can experience. Without apology, Burke lays his heart open to share his personal loss with us. And those of us who have been there, that pain so devastating there isn't even a name for a surviving parent, appreciate the fact that he has been able to put words to it for us all. Thank you, James Lee Burke. Almost everyone in my whole extended family has lost a child or young adult to an accident or military duty or illness. This work gave me closure and solace I have not accepted until now. It is a book I will want to share with all the parents of those cousins we have lost over the years. And you know the older we get, the easier it is to understand the whoo-whoo bits, as well.

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