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House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
a novel
James Lee Burke
Author: James Lee Burke
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
# of pages: 448
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New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke returns with his latest masterpiece, the story of a father and son separated by war and circumstance—and whose encounter with the legendary Holy Grail will change their lives forever.
From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, House of the Rising Sun is an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance, and retribution that follows Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland on his journey to reunite with his estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army.
After a violent encounter that leaves four Mexican soldiers dead, Hackberry escapes the country in possession of a stolen artifact, earning the ire of a bloodthirsty Austrian arms dealer who then places Hack’s son Ishmael squarely in the cross hairs of a plot to recapture his prize, believed to be the mythic cup of Christ.
Along the way, we meet three extraordinary women: Ruby Dansen, the Danish immigrant who is Ishmael’s mother and Hackberry’s one true love; Beatrice DeMolay, a brothel madam descended from the crusader knight who brought the shroud of Turin back from the Holy Land; and Maggie Bassett, one-time lover of the Sundance Kid, whose wiles rival those of Lady Macbeth. In her own way, each woman will aid Hackberry in his quest to reconcile with Ishmael, to vanquish their enemies, and to return the Grail to its rightful place.
House of the Rising Sun is James Lee Burke’s finest novel to date, and a thrilling entry into the Holland family saga that continued most recently with Wayfaring Stranger, which The New York Times Book Review described as “saturated with the romance of the past while mournfully attuned to the unholy menace of the present.”
Praise for the author
“The heavyweight champ, a great American novelist.” Michael Connelly
A classic saga of the American West from James Lee Burke
House of the Rising Sun
One of America’s most acclaimed and versatile novelists returns with a harrowing, historical epic featuring Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland. Starting in revolutionary Mexico circa 1918 and winding through seedy, gang-controlled San Antonio, Holland fights his way back to his Army captain son while protecting one of history’s most fabled artifacts.
“A gorgeous prose stylist.” —Stephen King
“The reigning champ of nostalgia noir.” —The New York Times Book Review
With my busy schedule, I’m embarrassed to admit that I prefer books that jump right to the meat and potatoes. James Lee Burke serves you a fancy multi-course meal. He is truly an artist that wraps you up in his beautiful descriptions and realistic characters. After dragging my heels through the first few courses, Burke grabbed me by the eyeballs and wouldn’t let go. Even as I tried to rest my eyes for the night, my mind spun with questions that wouldn’t be answered until I finished the book. What did Hack do to his son that was so unforgivable? What does the Cup of Christ have anything to do with all of this?
While the supporting characters are irritated by Hack, I actually loved the guy. I liked his understated sarcasm and wit. I liked even more that Ruby, who you would think would be a simple woman, calls him out on his encyclopedic knowledge used to abuse people. Burke is very Tarentino-esque with his strong and crafty female characters. As interesting as the Hack, Arnold, and Andre characters were, I was more interested in what made Ruby, Maggie, and Beatrice tick. As intelligent and strong as the men were, they were often bested by the women.
I haven’t said this about any other book on tour, but I could see this one as a movie *ahem, Tarantino*.

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels and two collections of short stories. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

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