Lay Down My Sword and Shield

Lay Down My Sword and Shield

Book - 2010
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Vintage James Lee Burke: The first novel introducing the memorable Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland, coming of age against the backdrop of the civil rights era in a sultry border town.

In hot and sultry Texas, Hack, an attorney and Korean War POW, is being pushed by his wife, his brother, and his so-called friends in the oil business to run for political office. But Hack would prefer to drink, look after his beloved horses, and represent the occasional long-shot pro bono case at his law firm. When Hack attempts to overturn a conviction for an old army buddy, he finds himself embroiled in the seamy underbelly of the Texas patronage system--and in the earliest beginnings of the United Farm Workers movement, led by a beautiful woman who speaks to his heart in a way no one else has. As Hack begins to bring justice to the underserved, he finds both a new love and a new purpose.

With his skillful blend of engaging plotlines, compelling characters, and graceful prose, James Lee Burke demonstrates the shimmering clarity of vision that has made him beloved by suspense fans all over the globe.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Gallery Books, 2010, c1999
ISBN: 9781439165454
Characteristics: 311 p


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Jan 22, 2014

Originally copyrighted in 1971 and introduced Burke's Hackberry Holland as a restless lawyer involved with the farmworkers union movement while making a bid for a congressional seat. Readers were let into Holland's nightmares in the North Korean POW camp and the steamy world of Texas power brokers.

Dec 05, 2013

Possibly because he's considered a genre writer, possibly because he's so prolific, or possibly because critics are idiots, James Lee Burke has never gotten the attention he deserves. Before he had success with the Dave Robicheuax series, he wrote this book about an alcoholic, self-destructive, but noble and decent lawyer named Hack Holland. This isn't a mystery, but tackles many of the usual issues that inform his work: the South, race, injustice, power and its abuses. He would revive the character for "Rain Gods" and "Light of the World," which is one of his best.

Sep 12, 2013

Good introduction to an interesting character but too many flaws to be a real hero. I will read on to see how Burke humanizes this flawed knight.


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Jan 22, 2014

Since then I've come to believe that one's crimes and private guilt, those obsessions that we hide like that ugly black diamond in the soft tissue of the mind, are really not very important to other people.

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