James Lee Burke is one of my favorite living authors and I've read almost everything he's written. Many of his books are mysteries and he has a long running series with detective Dave Robicheuax. "White Doves at Morning" is something of a change of pace as it's a historical novel set during and after the Civil War. As with many of his novels, Burke explores injustice, racial tension, and male anger and violence. This is a more direct treatment of racism than most of his books and as such is one of his most penetrating and profound. With its sense of the burden of the past it recalls Faulkner, although Burke's clear, hard prose is the opposite of Faulkner's. I don't know why this didn't win any awards, as it's deeper and better than just about anything those bespectacled, bottled water drinking New York boys named Jonathan have produced.
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