House of the Rising Sun

This book caught me by surprise. I hadn't heard of James Lee Burke, despite the fact that he is a prolific author of more than 30 books. He is best known for a series of mysteries with a recurring Louisiana detective named Dave Robicheaux. However, this book is part of the Holland Family Saga, westerns featuring a fascinating Texas Ranger named Hackberry Holland. Holland is wonderfully complex; plagued by his mistakes as a husband and father, unwittingly the victim of vindictive love, and prone to extreme violence he does not seem to be able to avoid or truly understand. The touchingly sparse and realistic dialogue reminded me of one of the greatest westerns of all time, Larry McMurty's Lonesome Dove. The book started a bit confusingly, and lost a bit of steam at the end, but it's a series I will certainly revisit until I know the whole tale.