James Lee Burke's most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this gritty, atmospheric mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana.
Dave Robicheaux is a haunted man. From the acts he committed in Vietnam, to his battles with alcoholism, to the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts pepper his reality. Robicheaux's only beacon remains serving as a detective in New Iberia, Louisiana.
It's in that capacity that Robicheaux crosses paths with powerful mob boss, Tony Nemo. Tony has a Civil War sword he'd like to give to Levon Broussard, a popular local author whose books have been adapted into major Hollywood films. The sword's history can be traced back to Broussard's ancestors, and Tony figures it belongs to Levon. But Tony's intentions aren't so pure; he believes the gift will lead to a slice of Broussard's lucrative film adaptations. Then there's Jimmy Nightengale, the young poster boy of New Orleans wealth and glamour. Jimmy's fond of Levon's work, and even fonder of his beautiful, enigmatic wife, Rowena. Tony thinks Jimmy can be a US Senator someday, and has the resources and clout to make it happen. There's something off about the relationship between these three men, and after a vicious assault, it's up to Robicheaux to uncover the truth.
Complicating matters is the sudden death of T.J. Dartez, the New Iberian local responsible for Molly's death. Robicheaux's colleague, Spade Labiche, thinks Robicheaux had something to do with it. Robicheaux's determined to clear his name. He's not alone; his daughter, Alafair, along with his old friend, Clete Purcel are right by Robicheaux's side as he searches for the killer, where a shocking discovery awaits.