The Tin Roof Blowdown

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: James Lee Burke
Narrator: Will Patton
Genres: Detective Stories, Police Stories
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: July 2007
# of Units: 14 CDs
Length: 14 hours
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In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana.

This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers when he is deployed to New Orleans. As James Lee Burke's new novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown, begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed and New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city.

In a singular style that defines the genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst, The Tin Roof Blowdown is not only an action-packed crime thriller but a poignant story of courage and sacrifice that critics are already calling Burke's best work.

Reviews (11)

Written by jay yeast on June 6th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have read most of Burkes books and this one bodes well. The Narrator is excellent. Feels like the character himself!!

Written by Ivar Wigan on April 14th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 4/5

The narrator is first class. A wonderful book. I'll be getting all the others by James Lee Burke

Written by Lisa Roberts on November 5th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Really enjoyed this book. This was my first book by this author, but having enjoyed it so much, I will seek out others. Well written. Easy listening. Holds the attention well. The narrator, Will Patton, does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. He is the perfect choice to narrate this book.


Written by Anonymous on September 5th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book was very good. It is descriptive, and thought provoking.

Talk about pedagoguery!

Written by oodeluph on July 23rd, 2013

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I have loved the Dave Robicheaux series; the narrator is wonderful. The author has a certain, political viewpoint but other than being mildly irritating it tends not to get in the way too much. Unfortunately, here, it does. What he did in this book is unconscionable. He lied. Everything was the Fed's fault. He lied about the horrible role city and state government played in the ruin.of N.O. If anything LA stole federal funds meant to protect the levees. The governor wasn't "crying for help", she refused it and wouldn't allow the feds in any earlier.This should have been a good story. It wasn't. The author inserted himself. I'll have to see whether I read any of his stuff in future.

Excellant story

Written by Seworiginal on February 17th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Really a great story - love all of the layers of different dramas at the same time. The swearing does get a little tedious and overdone at times but I'd still listen to it again.

Written by on October 31st, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Fabulous and gritty...Love James Lee Burke Great detail and authentically New Orleans. He can not write Robicheaux novels fast enough.

tin roof fever

Written by trheyer from Matthews, NC on June 21st, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Another Burke classic. You cant go wrong with Burke, the big sleezy, cleat and some mobster action. this novel does not disappoint.


Written by Barbara L on March 4th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I love listening to the Burke novels. Sometimes I get a bit irritable when I am anxious to get on with the story, and he gives me the background of another minor character that I have no interest in. Then I appreciate the depth of his character development: No one is all bad, no one is all good. Everyone does the best they can in their given circumstances. One bad decision can change the lives of many people. The backgound of this story was particularly difficult, however. Thinking about New Orleans and Katrina makes me cry. Everytime. So I don't think about it. This novel made me cry. Alot.

One of Burke's Best

Written by Anonymous from Chattnaooga, TN on October 10th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

What a great read. Not only do you get an excellent Burke detective novel but you also learn what really happened during Hurricane Katrina and how devastating the damage is that remains in and around New Orleans.

Author Details

Author Details

Burke, James Lee

James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B. A. Degree in English and an M. A. from the University of Missouri in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil Company, pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and instructor in the U. S. Job Corps.

He and his wife Pearl met in graduate school and have been married 48 years, they have four children: Jim Jr., an assistant U.S. Attorney; Andree, a school psychologist; Pamala, a T. V. ad producer; and Alafair, a law professor and novelist who has 4 novels out with Henry Holt publishing.

Burke's work has been awarded an Edgar twice for Best Crime Novel of the Year. He has also been a recipient of a Breadloaf and Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant. Two of his novels, Heaven's Prisoners and Two For Texas, have been made into motion pictures. His short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Antioch Review, Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication by Louisiana State University press was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Today he and his wife live in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.