IN THE ELECTRIC MIST WITH CONFEDERATE DEAD
New Iberia Lt. Dave Robicheaux (A Stained White Radiance, 1992, etc.) is trying to link the murder of a local hooker to New Orleans mobster Julie (Baby Feet) Balboni--back in his home parish as co- producer of Hollywood director Michael Goldman's Civil War film--when sozzled/psychic movie-star Elrod Sykes, pulled over for drunk driving, starts babbling about a corpse he found in the Atchafalaya Swamp--the corpse of a black man Dave had seen murdered 35 years before. Convinced that Baby Feet is the key to both the old murder and the horrific new serial killings of prostitutes, Dave goes outside the law to nail him over the protests of locals getting fat off Hollywood-and- mob money--provoking stunning new outbursts of violence, getting suspended after a shootout leaves still another prostitute dead, and finding himself holding hushed conversations with the specter of a Confederate general whom Sykes had already met deep in the bayou. Dave's visions of the Confederate dead bring a Faulknerian resonance to the miasmal guilt and self-doubt that enrich all his encounters with evil. After outstanding success in the genre, Burke has produced a violent, somber, deeply satisfying crossover novel.