James Lee Burke writes genre fiction; mystery/thrillers. But, one could argue that is mainstream fiction today. People don’t read a lot of literary fiction anymore. Though Burke’s fiction follows a predictable story line, and Faulkner’s certainly didn’t, they’re both telling tales about American culture in their own day. Through Faulkner’s window in The Sound and The Fury we see a formerly aristocratic family in the final stages of deterioration in a culture on auto pilot since the Civil War. Fast forward 85 years and Burke is showing us Clete Purcell struggling with his PTSD and drug addiction while Ozone Eddy and No Duh Dolowitz do dirty tricks for the mob in New Orleans, and Dave Robicheux records how the swamp smells on a foggy November morning while he’s trying to figure out who dropped a whore imbedded in a block of ice into the bayou. Each gives us an accurate picture of their time. What do you think?