Jason Bovberg is a longtime customer and friend of the store here at Old Firehouse Books. We’ve recently been allowing him sneak-peeks into our ARC closet in exchange for reviews, and so we’re back with another What Our Readers Are Reading post with ANOTHER KIND OF EDEN by James Lee Burke. This thriller came out this week on August 17th, and you can grab it today!
Here are the lovely things Jason has to say about it:
The publication of a new James Lee Burke novel is always cause for celebration. I’ve been reading and collecting Burke for decades—an eye-opening proposition, as he recently marked the release of his fortieth book. Burke is perhaps best known for his series of Dave Robicheaux novels (including such titles as A Stained White Radiance, In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, Dixie City Jam, Cadillac Jukebox, and about twenty others), which are beautifully written detective novels largely set in Louisiana. These books dwell on police detective Robicheaux’s righteous quests for justice, become often spiritual in their breadth and gorgeous in their language. Robicheaux is a complex, flawed, but ultimately heroic character acting in a vivid, sumptuous setting filled with serial killers and sexual predators and other assorted monsters.
But Burke has other series and standalone novels going on, too, and one of those series is the historical Holland family saga, taking place in the 1960s American southwest. The previous books in this series are Wayfaring Stranger, House of the Rising Sun, and The Jealous Kind, and they form a loose, generational look at the Hollands and mid-century America. This latest book, Another Kind of Eden, more directly follows The Jealous Kind and its focus on drifting novelist Aaron Holland, but this book also works as a standalone work.
The story begins with Aaron working on a farm in southern Colorado, where he’s almost immediately implicated by sinister sorts in a local crime. Aaron has also just fallen for local artist Joanne McDuffy, but that would-be romance is complicated by the presence of a shady professor. Increasingly enmeshed in the town’s seemy underbelly, Aaron soon finds himself in a fight for his own survival.
Another Kind of Eden has that mystic, often mythic, use of language that’s at once simple and so gorgeous that you want to read passages aloud. You feel the settings—the landscape, the weather, the quality of the light—as surely as you’re there. You might call Burke’s use of language poetic, as it’s certainly that, but it’s also precise, not a word wasted. Another Kind of Eden is an excellent addition to the Burke bibliography, and perhaps even a good starting point if you haven’t dived in yet. It’s relatively short and sweet, and the story feels elemental. Now is as good an opportunity as any to see what all the fuss is about regarding James Lee Burke. Go for it!
Thank you, Jason, for submitting this fantastic review of what’s definitely an amazing book, if your words are anything to go by!
If you are interested in submitting a review for the What Our Readers Are Reading segment of the blog, please email Nicole at email@example.com.