At the start of this stunning supernaturally tinged entry in MWA Grand Master Burke’s long-running Holland family saga (after 2021’s Another Kind of Eden), a teenage boy spray paints a swastika on the barn of octogenarian author Aaron Holland Broussard in rural Montana. Broussard’s interactions with the teen lead him into conflict with a host of villains, including evangelical bikers and a meth dealer who has been known to bury people alive. On the side of the angels is Ruby Spotted Horse, the state trooper who responds to his call about the graffiti and who, it turns out, is also entrusted with keeping the malevolent Old People from escaping their confinement beneath her house. Broussard’s other ally is his dead daughter, Fannie Mae, who appears from time to time to just converse or to bring him warnings. Setting aside the ghosts, this is one of those extraordinary crime novels that feels more like real life, with incidents and people that aren’t obviously connected piling up in the protagonist’s life, rather than a neat set of clues pointing to a culprit. Once again, Burke uses genre fiction to plumb weighty issues, both social and emotional. Agent: Anne-Lise Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (May)
Praise for Every Cloak Rolled in Blood
"Stunning...this is one of those extraordinary crime novels that feels more like real life, with incidents and people that aren’t obviously connected piling up in the protagonist’s life, rather than a neat set of clues pointing to a culprit. Once again, Burke uses genre fiction to plumb weighty issues, both social and emotional." –STARRED review, Publishers Weekly
“Burke rolls together the driving themes that have dominated his work—the inescapable presence of evil, the restorative power of love, the desecration of the planet, humanity's long slouch toward Armageddon—into an intensely, heartrendingly personal exploration of grief.” -STARRED review, Booklist
"Less mystery than history, less history than prophecy, and all the stronger for it."– Kirkus Reviews
Praise for James Lee Burke
“James Lee Burke is the reigning champ of nostalgia noir.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Burke’s work transcends genre classification.”—Philadelphia Inquirer
“Burke’s evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder.”—Entertainment Weekly
“In a world of overstuffed, overwritten ‘blockbuster’ books, it’s a pleasure to pick up 243 perfect pages with not a word or comma out of place. James Lee Burke doesn’t need filler to flesh out his stories... one of the finest novelists in North America.” —Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail
"You can always count on Burke, the prolific best-selling author and two-time winner of the Edgar Award, to deliver a white-hot page-turner."—AARP Magazine
“James Lee Burke is one of a small handful of elite suspense writers whose work transcends the genre, making the leap into capital-L Literature.” —Bookpage
“Burke remains an icon of the crime fiction world and one of its truly great practitioners, packing more soul and more poetry into a paragraph than some authors can manage in a book.” —CrimeReads
“In many of Burke’s books, he breaches the curtain between what we think of as the real world and the past, the supernatural, the alternative, whatever lies on the other side...invit[es] the reader into a potent vision of the battle between good and evil that animates all his fiction.” —Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
“Incorporating elements of horror into otherwise realistic thrillers is a thing these days, but few manage it with Burke's special eloquence, at once melancholic and macabre.”—Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
In Barclay's Take Your Breath Away, Andrew Mason is suspected of murdering wife Brie after she disappears, and further complications arise when someone resembling her shows up at the couple's old address before vanishing again (100,000-copy first printing). First seen in Brown's 2021 New York Times best seller, Arctic Storm Rising, former U.S. Air Force officer Nick Flynn now faces a Countdown to Midnight, with Midnight the code name for a secret project between Russia and Iran involving a lethal new weapon (125,000-copy first printing). In Burke's Every Cloak Rolled in Blood, novelist Aaron Holland is guided by the ghost of his recently deceased daughter when his do-gooding efforts draw him into a shady crowd that includes a former Klansman, a not-so-saintly minister, some scary fake-evangelical bikers, and a murderer (100,000-copy first printing). In Carr's In the Blood, a Mossad operative known to former Navy SEAL James Reece is killed in a plane explosion (she herself had just completed a targeted assassination), but searching for the culprit might mean walking into a trap (200,000-copy first printing). In Horowitz's third James Bond outing, as yet Untitled, 007 is starting to question his role as the Cold War wears on but agrees to act as a double agent so that he can infiltrate a newly hatched Soviet intelligence organization (50,000-copy first printing). Unfolding 15 years after events in Iles's "Natchez Burning" trilogy, Southern Man reintroduces Penn Cage, back in action as shots fired at a Bienville music festival nearly kill his daughter, a militant Black group takes responsibility for the torching of antebellum mansions, and a close friend is shot to death by a county deputy (200,000-copy first printing). Her career stumbling, lawyer Nicole Muller gladly complies when she's asked by the exclusive women's professional group Panthera Leo to Please Join Us, but as author McKenzie soon reveals, membership comes at a price (60,000-copy first printing). Demoted from the elite Hawks police unit for being too keen on uncovering state corruption, Meyer's stalwart detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido await transfer from Cape Town to dull duty in Stellenbosch when an anonymous warning and a missing-student assignment reveal that The Dark Flood of corruption they knew was there is worse than they imagined. On a business trip with her new, much younger husband, Pavone's latest heroine, Ariel Price, can't enjoy her Two Nights in Lisbon; she awakens one morning to find her spouse missing and begins to realize that she hardly knows him (200,000-copy first printing). Edgar-nominated for The Impossible Fortress and also the editor behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Rekulak returns with Hidden Pictures, featuring a nanny whose five-year-old charge draws increasingly creepy and sophisticated pictures (shown in the text) hinting at a long-ago murder (250,000-copy first printing). A woman lies murdered, surrounded by Dark Objects that include the book How To Process a Murder by forensics expert Laughton Rees, who's of course immediately called to the scene; the latest from "Sanctus" author Toyne (50,000-copy first printing).
More or less retired to Montana, SF author Aaron Holland Broussard is faced with a series of crimes evidently committed by someone who’s been dead for more than a hundred years.
Aaron, now 85, has been haunted by the specter of his daughter, Fannie Mae, ever since she succumbed to alcohol, Ambien, and unsuitable men at the relatively tender age of 54. All he wants is to be left in peace on his homestead near the Flathead Reservation. Instead, he sees resentful neighbor John Fenimore Culpepper and his son, Leigh, painting a swastika on his barn door. Soon after he reports the outrage to State Trooper Ruby Spotted Horse and Sister Ginny Stokes, pastor of the New Gospel Tabernacle, stops off to repaint his door, he gets an unwelcome visit from Clayton and Jack Wetzel, a pair of meth-head brothers looking for trouble. Clayton’s problems end when he’s found dead near the railroad tracks, and Aaron tries to assuage Jack’s by giving him some work around his place and treating him with unaccustomed decency. But Aaron himself is more and more troubled, not only because two cafe waitresses are killed in separate incidents, but because his visitations from Fannie Mae are supplemented by increasingly painful visions of Maj. Eugene Baker, who ordered a historic massacre of the Native Americans living on the land in 1870. The arrival of murderous meth dealer Jimmie Kale, a familiar Burke type, convinces Aaron that “Baker had the power to commit crimes in the present”—and that present-day America offers him unique avatars and opportunities to do so.
Less mystery than history, less history than prophecy, and all the stronger for it.