"America’s best novelist" (The Denver Post) and "the reigning champ of nostalgia noir" (The New York Times Book Review) introduces his most evil character yet in the 20th thriller in the best-selling Dave Robicheaux series.
A New York Times best-selling author many times over, James Lee Burke is a two-time Edgar Award-winner whose every book is cause for excitement, especially those in the wildly popular Dave Robicheaux series.
In Light of the World, sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders he committed while capital punishment was outlawed in Kansas. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair about possible other crimes committed by Surette, the killer escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana - where an unsuspecting Dave happens to have gone to take in the sweet summer air, accompanied by Alafair, his wife Molly, faithful partner Clete, and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz, whom listeners met in Burke’s most recent best seller Creole Belle.
"James Lee Burke remains the heavy weight champ," says New York Times best-seller Michael Connelly, "a great American novelist whose work...is unsurpassed." The master proves it once again with this harrowing novel that examines the nature of evil and pits Dave Robicheaux against the most diabolical villain he has ever faced.
©2013 James Lee Burke (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I have listened to all the Robicheaux novels and this won wore a little thick. The book could have been shrunk by deleting much of the over the top philosophizing. Also, one cannot help but think that it is time for Dave and Clete to get their heads shrunk.
Will Patton does his usual job, but even his performance seemed a bit too much in this book.
Many have commented on Burke / Patton combo. In audio book circles they most certainly must have made their mark.
If I'm ever in a hurry I just download the most recent Burke / Patton book and hit the road.
Don't even need to read the reviews.
All the virtues of a very good book are there. High end literature? No. But then that high end lit requires ones complete attention to enjoy.
These books are like going for a long walk in the bush with a talkative and interesting friend.
You still listen to everything your friend is saying, but it's not so taxing that you don't enjoy your walk. Or your friends jabbering for that matter.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
The bobsy twins from homocide are certainly back. Other reviewers have outlined the overall plot so I'll focus on the strengths and weaknesses of this book. As always this book has the beautiful poetic moving style of JLB's writing. I've enjoyed almost every book from this author and his latest doesn't disappoint.
The bad guys are truly scary and evil. There is one character who moves between good and evil and sane and insanity; his presence in the book is profound.
The plot kept my interest I didn't want to put it down. However I can't say I was sad when it ended either.
The character that is Clete's daughter, Gretchen, I found a bit annoying and unrealistic at times. Although as we all know, Will Patton has such amazing talent however I felt he was not really comfortable with Gretchen's character and unfortunately this was evident throughout the book.
Nonetheless overall this was a terrific mystery adventure story. I'm looking forward to Dave and Clete's next.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
James Lee Burke writes in his usual poetic literary form that paints a vivid & authentic picture in ur mind like a painter on a white canvas while Will Patton, who I believe is the ONLY voice of the series does an amazing job as always creating a distinct voice for every character. The last book 'Creole Belle' is one of my favorite books in the series although I was forced to either listen to an abridged version of books before 'Crusaders Cross' to listen for Patton narration or read the hard copy, because I refuse to listen to Mark Hammer & his monotone voice that literally puts me to sleep. I'm not from the south, & Hammer could very well have a great southern voice but its the only 1 voice he uses for every character.
What happens when a rodeo clown, his mysterious girlfriend, an escaped serial killer looking for Alafair, ex hit-girl (kinda), & a family of malicious 'old-money' Montanan-ian's walk into a bar where the Robicheaux family, Clete, & reformed daughter are spending vacation time in?? Well, u know one fact for sure... things won't turn out all copasetic. I've felt that in the last few books the relationship divide between Dave & Clete was morphing into something new, but I think in this book the duo falls back to old times. Dave continues to battle his demons while giving an internal dialogue that borders on a meta-physical/profiling examinaton of the nature of evil in each slimy character, dialogue, & events that occur (there is a great line that Dave says suggesting he needs a chaperone when examining the depths of his own mind); while Clete leaves the analytical for Dave & just wants to rock & roll; BUT instead of trying to tame the animal that lives in Clete, Dave just lets his friend live & let be because he's not the only one that 'needs to/feels obligated to' watch his friends back anymore; just like Clete can't think of only himself anymore now, he has years he feels responsible to make up for with lost family... This dynamic between friends & family is a great storyline in itself, but add to it a serial killer whose determined to pay back the favor Alafair did for him in writing during his trial & how any of these random people & encounters can somehow be a small part of an overall larger & much more sinister picture is exactly what Burke does best. No one does skin crawling evil like Burke & u won't be disappointed.
I can't say this is the best that Burke has written in the series, considering the last 3-5 books he's written were spectacular but most books that are only average for Burke would be a highlight for another author. No one matches DLB's writing style & how he can transport the reader from the swamps of Louisiana or this case the wild outdoors of Montana. Cheers Clete, & the Dr. Pepper is on me Dave because its well worth the credit...
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
Many have observed the synergy between James lee Burke and Will Patton. Their artistic talents stand well enough on their own, but when put together they deliver on a scale equivalent with Sean Connery and Ian Fleming. Remarkable.
For audible mystery/ thriller addicts, any of the Robiceaux series are a no brainer. So any critique I have has to be taken with the understanding that this book is well worth it's price.
I've stated before that I'd feel safer in the Louisana of True Blood than that of Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. This one is set in The Bitteroot Valley of Montana, but the results are the same. Our heroes are magnets of violence, cruelty and evil. Their lives are a constant contradiction, hating bad language and marital infidelity while shrugging off cruel violence. They grew up poor and with mean, ignorant parents, but quote Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Tennyson and various poets in the midst of unimaginable chaos.
When I read other great crime authors like Connelly, Slaughter, Nesbo and the like, I always marvel at the realism in each of their works. Robicheaux, Purcell and company are truly larger than life characters and their adventures are likewise. Nevertheless Burke's prose and style are matchless in this genre. So in a very real sense, for me anyway, all of the Robicheaux series is more like a Western fantasy world.
I suspect Burke wrote himself into one of the key supporting roles in this one. Dave, Clete and their daughters and Dave's wife Molly are vacationing at the home of a famous crime ) novelist (a New Orleans' native) in the Bitteroot Valley of Montana.
Guitarist with The Prudes
Another great adventure, the kids are nearly as badass as the parents now. I look forward to the next installment. I hope we get back to New Orleans and more sedate cerebral mystery.
I know I should wait until I am finished listening to the book but I am 3/4 of the way through the second part and ready to just give up. Only with Will Patton narrating was I able to even get this far. This story just rambles on and on and on and most of the things the characters are doing are just simply stupid at best! The story line is absurb. Save your money.
Ending the series on this book.
His relentless dedication to the downtrodden
Great vocal diversification
Finished with this series
Will Patton is the best there is at the linguistics of southern and rural tough guys.
The motion picture industry.
I used to enjoy Robicheaux novels. Sure they're simple Punch and Judy morality tails, with the upright but imperfect detective against a slew of the misshapen underbelly of the criminal class with a few corrupt elite cherries on top. But there's a angst-ridden teasing out of the tangled morality as Dave punches his way through his adventures. And always the language is rich and lyrical without being even slightly obscure. And then there's what the series has become with this. Burke panders so obsequiously to the political messaging of the entertainment industry that it's hard to stomach. No derriere left unkissed among the greenlight crowd. I wish he was writing for the readers who buy his books instead of movie executives who may never give him another dime.
The Bobsy Twins from homicide still rock n roll
The story development on this one was weak. Dave n Clete are on vacation in Montana blah blah blah, halfway through the book they finally get around to getting involved in the plot. This one was unnecessarily slow.
Will is great, good match to Burkes novels
I though for a second that Burke was going to kill Cletus off. Just for a moment though
If I had listened to this novel before all the others I would not have liked it. But after listening to every other novel I feel like Dave n Clete are old friends.
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