Heaven's Prisoners (novel)
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Heaven's Prisoners Novel
Heaven's Prisoners
Heaven's Prisoners.jpg
AuthorJames Lee Burke
CountryUnited States
SeriesDave Robicheaux
GenreDetective novel
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages292 pp
Followed byBlack Cherry Blues 

Heaven's Prisoners is a crime novel written by James Lee Burke and published by Simon & Schuster in 1988. The fictional work follows Dave Robicheaux, a retired police officer and army lieutenant, who finds himself in a situation where he must protect his wife and a plane-crash survivor from a local drug kingpin. Heaven's Prisoners is the second novel by James Lee Burke featuring Dave Robicheaux, and was adapted into a film in 1996.

Plot summary

, Once an officer for the New Orleans Police Department and before that a U.S. Army infantry lieutenant who fought in the Vietnam War,[1]Dave Robicheaux is living a quiet life in the swamplands of Louisiana with his wife Annie. The couple's tranquility is shattered one day when a drug smuggler's plane crashes in a lake, right before their eyes. Robicheaux succeeds in rescuing a lone survivor, a Salvadoran girl, whom he and Annie quickly adopt and name Alafair. However DEA Agent, Minos P. Dautrieve, tells Robicheaux that the plane was connected to Bubba Rocque, the leading drug kingpin in the area and Robicheaux's childhood friend from New Iberia. Robicheaux must now defend Alafair and Annie from a world of murder and deception.[2]

Release details



  1. ^ James Lee Burke, Heaven's Prisoners, Simon & Schuster, 2018, pages 6-7: "I had seen drowning victims before, and their faces had the same expression as the faces of people I had seen killed by shell bursts in Vietnam".
  2. ^ James Lee Burke, Heaven's Prisoners, Simon & Schuster, 2018, page 36: "I kept the U.S Army-issue .45 automatic that i bought in Saigon".

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