Bitterroot by James Lee Burke
A Billy Bob Holland Mystery
Simon and Schuster - June 12, 2001
ISBN: 0743204832 - Hardback / Audio/ Large print

Reviewed by Sue Johnson,
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Billy Bob Holland is an ex-Texas-Ranger-turned-lawyer with a haunted past. His most persistent apparition is the ghost of his dear friend, L.Q. Navarro, whom he accidentally shot and killed while hunting down drug mules in Mexico.

In an effort to escape his inner demons and take a much-needed vacation, Billy Bob accepts an invitation from his friend, Doc Voss, to visit him and his teenage daughter in Bitterroot, Montana. Upon arrival, Billy Bob finds himself drawn into Doc's fight first with local bikers, then with White Supremacists and lastly, the local mining company. After Doc's daughter is brutally raped, the dead bodies start piling up. Is Doc taking his revenge in the style he has grown accustomed to while stationed in Viet Nam, or is there a more sinister power at play?

Thrown into all of this is the release of a psychotic prisoner turned rodeo cowboy who holds Billy Bob responsible for the death of his child-killing sister. With him is a young man who has developed a sick fascination for Doc's daughter. Also added to the mix is a local female doctor who has taken a shine to Billy Bob.

James Lee Burke is a painter with words. His books never fail to transport the reader to the location of which he is writing, should it be the sultry atmosphere of the swamps of the New Iberia parish in the Louisiana of his Dave Robicheaux novels, or the Texas skies and gorgeous mountains, plentiful wildlife and wonderful fly-fishing in Montana of his Billy Bob Holland books.

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