Billy Bob Holland, the protagonist of Cimarron Rose, is an attorney in the dusty Texas town of Deaf Smith. An ex-Texas Ranger (cop, not ball-player) who mistakenly killed his partner during a drug bust, Holland is jolted from his brooding when his estranged illegitimate son is accused of the rape and murder of a party girl. He takes the case, of course, and things get complicated mighty quick. On a hunch only a father could believe, Holland is sure his son is being railroaded. Doggedly pursuing the truth, he runs afoul of sadistic cops, a powerful family, and the euphoniously-named Garland T. Moon, a feral thug with something to hide. Luckily, the folks on his team are just as tough. Burke's book isn't gritty realism--Holland's dead partner visits him often--but the characters ring true in a weird way. They are quirky and appealing, and even the criminals make good company while the whodunit unfolds. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Burke begins a new series set in Texas, September 12, 2003 Reviewer: John DeTurk from Seattle, WA United States Fans of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux/cajun cop series now have a new series with Texas lawyer Billy Bob Holland. If this had been the first Burke book for me, I would have rated it higher. The main plot involves Billy Bob defending his illegitimate son against a murder charge in a fishy-smelling situation involving a rich kid deviant with fetal alcohol syndrome and speed on the brain, a former football hero, DEA officers, and a sociopath named Garland T. Moon. The inner plot involves Billy Bob wrestling with ghosts and demons from his past, namely private conversations he has with his old partner from their Texas Ranger days. There is also some mystery surrounding the death of Billy Bob's father in 1965. Burke does an excellent job weaving all of the plot threads together, and the characters are believable. His descriptions are spare and elegant, and he has the ability provide sensory detail in a few short sentences. One word of warning is that the cast is a rogue's gallery, like other Burke novels, and features a very flawed protaganist, but one we can root for just the same. Still, we're in some dark territory here, and Burke's writing is edgy, graphic and not for everyone. While the book was well-written, I didn't get enough distance between Dave Robicheaux and Billy Bob Holland, who are essentially the same character. Both are men in their forties who stay in good shape, have father issues, and share similar demons in their past. The same self-righteous attitude was evident in both men. I hope that Billy Bob's voice takes a different shape in future novels of this series. The other problem is that Burke is starting to recycle some of his details. The wealthy southerners always hold glasses wrapped with paper napkins secured with a rubber band. He's used this one a lot. There's also one where the night smells of fish spawning that's been used multiple times. Still, this was a gripping read filled with tension on every page that made me want to know what was going to happen next.