Wow...is all I can say.
The first thing that shocked me was the scene where Clete contemplated suicide, to the point where he had the gun to his head.
Once I figured out that he didn't end up taking himself off the board, I literally had to put the book down for the rest of the night. Even my wife noticed that my mood had soured. Unfortuntely, though, suicide is a topic worth discussing. It is all-too prevelant in this world, and ignoring it will only let others die who otherwise could have been saved. In my experience, most people who kill themselves really do not want to die, they just want to escape the pain of living.
They just need someone to relate to, who can help them through their inner struggles. I think Clete is a good example of that. The person who came in and found him knew the signs-- as her husband had died by his own hand. What a blessing this was for Cletus.
The ending, how great. Whether or not The Boys actually die, I think that Jim has done them a justice by ending the story this way.
I don't think he could have drawn their demise any better. I don't want this series to be over, but if it is, I'm ok with it. Death is part of life, and at least this story would end the series properly. I know that Clete said that The Bobbsey Twins From Homicide are forever...but isn't Heaven also?
If this is the end, we still have 18 or so other Robicheaux books to look back on, and some movies as well.
I don't think the Hollands are going anywhere (Hack OR Billy Bob). Who knows, maybe there is a new series to come!
I would really like to read another book of short stories by JLB.
Interestngly enough, the night I finished the book, I had a dream. I went on a picnic in a park with Dave, Clete, and (grown-up) Alafair. I knew it was them because they looked and spoke how my mind thought of them. Was it my subconcious saying goodbye? It was a beautiful spring day. We sat on a wooden picnic table with a red checkered tablecloth. The sun shone on our faces. The light was filtered through the trees, so it was not harsh. A slight breeze tickled our ears and ruffled the tree limbs. I could smell the gardenias and the cleanness of the river. We spoke warmly to each other. It was one of those glorious days where thoughts of sickness and evil would never enter our minds.