House of the Rising Sun: A Novel (A Holland Family Novel) (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

In the battle of good versus evil, Hackberry Holland is racking up the body count.  Formidable odds do not deter this Texas Ranger, as the book opens he takes on a house full of Mexican soldiers. The story spans a couple decades in the early 1990's from Revolutionary Mexico to Europe during WW1 concluding in the early days of Hollywood as hackberry seeks to be reunited with his son Ishmael. While Hack.s father skills may have needed a bit of polish, his record with the ladies truly gets him in trouble.  And what a grand group of feisty women Burke assembled for Ha Kerry! There is his wife Maggie, also a part time lover of the Sundance Kid, Ruby, the mother of his child, and Beatrice, a brothel madam who tries fruitlessly to keep Hack out of trouble. Along the way Hackberry gets on the wrong side of a sociopathic arms dealer with a taste for revenge. Hack has acquired a relic; the arms dealer wants both the relic and revenge. There is lots of action and a sprinkling of humor. I suspect Burke had fun writing this historical fiction, especially the trio of strong determined women.

— Deon Stonehouse


New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke returns with his latest masterpiece, the story of a father and son separated by war and circumstance—and whose encounter with the legendary Holy Grail will change their lives forever.

From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, House of the Rising Sun is an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance, and retribution that follows Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland on his journey to reunite with his estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army.

After a violent encounter that leaves four Mexican soldiers dead, Hackberry escapes the country in possession of a stolen artifact, earning the ire of a bloodthirsty Austrian arms dealer who then places Hack’s son Ishmael squarely in the cross hairs of a plot to recapture his prize, believed to be the mythic cup of Christ.

Along the way, we meet three extraordinary women: Ruby Dansen, the Danish immigrant who is Ishmael’s mother and Hackberry’s one true love; Beatrice DeMolay, a brothel madam descended from the crusader knight who brought the shroud of Turin back from the Holy Land; and Maggie Bassett, one-time lover of the Sundance Kid, whose wiles rival those of Lady Macbeth. In her own way, each woman will aid Hackberry in his quest to reconcile with Ishmael, to vanquish their enemies, and to return the Grail to its rightful place.

House of the Rising Sun is James Lee Burke’s finest novel to date, and a thrilling entry into the Holland family saga that continued most recently with Wayfaring Stranger, which The New York Times Book Review described as “saturated with the romance of the past while mournfully attuned to the unholy menace of the present.”

About the Author

James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He’s authored thirty-nine novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

Praise For…

"The well-paced action features the usual men at play with fists and guns, but Burke also offers three strong women with pivotal roles, one of whom could be a match for any of the tough guys. Burke [has a] sure hand for crisp dialogue and a compelling story..."
— Kirkus

"Two-time Edgar winner Burke sets Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland the task of protecting a precious artifact (is it the Holy Grail?) from a string of villains, including an Austrian arms dealer who sets his sights on Holland’s son Ishmael, who serves in the US Army; Burke does not disappoint."
— Boston Globe

“Readers of best-selling Burke's novels about the Holland family (Wayfaring Stranger) will gravitate to this prequel featuring the well-known and notoriously cantankerous Hackberry Holland. The large cast features complex and compelling characters, and the action deftly builds to a roaring boil.”
— Library Journal

“Stunning… Crisp dialogue highlights this tale of redemption and the bonds of family, and the breathtaking conclusion is one that readers won’t soon forget.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Burke wins us over yet again with another fusillade of lyrical, deeply moving prose that makes us feel the beating hearts of all his characters, demon-wracked though they may be."
— Booklist (starred)

“James Lee Burke’s finest literary work to date, cementing his reputation as one of America’s all-time masters.”
— New York Journal of Books

“Mr. Burke has crafted another epic tale in an unforgettable landscape about an imperfect man’s search for redemption. Once again, every member of the sprawling cast of characters, minor to major, makes an impression, and rings true…Mr. Burke’s novels always offer a compelling story.But, the reader is rewarded with a multitude of haunting themes that run deepand wide. Pick and choose the ones you wish to explore. They are skillfully andnon-intrusively woven into the narrative. But these layers are what always elevate a James Lee Burke novel above any genre tale.”
– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501107108
ISBN-10: 1501107100
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: December 1st, 2015
Pages: 448
Language: English
Series: A Holland Family Novel