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Once an officer for the New Orleans police department, Robicheaux constantly breaches the ethical code over the course of just about every case he works on and currently pursues cases in New Iberia, Louisiana as sheriff's deputy. He is a recovering alcoholic whose demons stem from his service in the Vietnam War and his impoverished difficult childhood in rural Louisiana; his mother abandoned the family (and was later murdered) and his father died in an oil rig explosion.
He still experiences periods of savage depression and nightmares, which are only exacerbated by the murder of his wife Annie Ballard, a social worker. He married a mobster's widow Bootsie, a lupus sufferer, and adopted the El Salvadorean orphan Alafair (the namesake of Burke's own daughter), after he saves her from the wreckage of an airplane.
His best friend is the violent, alcoholic ex-police officer and private investigator / bail-bondsman Cletus Purcel.
Appearances in movies
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