New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke, best known for his famous Detective David Robicheaux series, is set to release a new standalone novel this year called Flags on the Bayou, available everywhere on July 11th, 2023.
It’s been two years since the last Robicheaux novel, A Private Cathedral (2020), hit bookstores, but James Lee Burke is still cranking out books. Over the last two years, the beloved author, now 86-years-old, has released new titles in his Holland family saga. This year, though, he will change course and publish a new Civil War-era standalone novel set in New Orleans that’ll explore the life of an enslaved woman named Hannah Laveau who goes on the run after being accused of murder.
Check out the official plot details and cover art below.
From American master James Lee Burke comes a novel set in Civil War-era Louisiana as the South transforms and a brilliant cast of characters – enslaved and free women, plantation gentry, and battle-weary Confederate and Union soldiers – are caught in the maelstrom
In the fall of 1863, the Union army is in control of the Mississippi river. Much of Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is occupied. The Confederate army is retreating toward Texas, and being replaced by Red Legs, irregulars commanded by a maniacal figure, and enslaved men and women are beginning to glimpse freedom.
When Hannah Laveau, an enslaved woman working on the Lufkin plantation, is accused of murder, she goes on the run with Florence Milton, an abolitionist schoolteacher, dodging the local constable and the slavecatchers that prowl the bayous. Wade Lufkin, haunted by what he observed—and did—as a surgeon on the battlefield, has returned to his uncle’s plantation to convalesce, where he becomes enraptured by Hannah. Flags on the Bayou is an engaging, action-packed narrative that includes a duel that ends in disaster, a brutal encounter with the local Union commander, repeated skirmishes with Confederate irregulars led by a diseased and probably deranged colonel, and a powerful story of love blossoming between an unlikely pair. As the story unfolds, it illuminates a past that reflects our present in sharp relief.
James Lee Burke, whose “evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder” (Entertainment Weekly), expertly renders the rich Louisiana landscape, from the sunsets on the Mississippi River to the dingy saloons of New Orleans to the tree-lined shores of the bayou and the cottonmouth snakes that dwell in its depths. Powerful and deeply moving, Flags on the Bayou is a story of tragic acts of war, class divisions upended, and love enduring through it all.
James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He has authored forty novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.
Readers excited about Flags on the Bayou can pre-order Burke’s latest novel here or anywhere else books are sold.
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