"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've read/listened to every Burke/Robischeaux/Patton effort and am not quite finished with this one so maybe I should wait to write this, but a few things stand out. I know that all the books are violent but I got through that because the writing and description is so extraordinary that it didn't matter so much, but it seems a bit more acute here. I'd have to go back and listen again to some of the others for a comparison, but I find the brutality in this book unsettling when before it took a back seat.
The second problem for me is Will Patton. He's a great narrator, and his voices for Dave and Clete (especially) are spot on. Except his voicing of the women here doesn't quite work. He pushes into the higher register for Gretchen and Alafair and it sounds like a falsetto. Both women, in "real life" would have strong voices. Again, I need to go back and compare it to what he's done before, but here the high pitch is irritating.
The writing is still first rate. Burke could tell the same story in half the pages but his tendency to describe people and places and smells and light lifts up the whole experience. This is still true here, but I'd still be happy with less descriptions of the blood and stuff.
As I said I've read them all and enjoyed some more than others (faves are "Jolie Blon's Bounce," "Tin Roof Blowdown" and "Creole Belle"). Neil Young characterizes his output as "It's all one song." Burke has that characteristic too, there is a unifying theme and feeling that lifts all of his books to a remarkable level. Neil has a greater quality variance quotient than Burke, but neither is consistently great.
Writing one really good book let alone 20 is a tremendous feat so I feel a bit churlish about this note. On the other hand, this is not the best of the Burke/Robischeaux/Patton series. Those already on the train will dig this but newbies should start elsewhere.
Exciting, riveting beautifully written.
Gretchen is relentless and strong.
The final scene with Dave and Cletus.
My fear that Cletus would actually die.
This was one of my favorites because the writing was so beautifully eloquent but he didn't get too verbose and become irritating!
And, of course, Will Patton ads an enticing flavor with his gift.
Yes, you can always appreciate something else in a reread of JLB books.
I love when Molly becomes vocal about a situation. It doesn't happen often, but she is strong. I loved all the characters being in this book.
For me, there is no other narrator who could read a "Dave and Clete" book. He is the only one.
This one has it all!
Burke's poetic writing and Patton's perfect reading. A true listening marriage made in heaven!
Yes. I don't want to give anything away...
He's perfect. I can't imagine listening to anyone else read James Lee Burke.
Yes. Fell asleep to it night after night because I couldn't put it away.
If you love audible books, don't pass this one up. It will transport you (like all great books do) into another world.
I thoroughly enjoy the Burke method of character development and story. This book was superb.
I'm a retired professor of geography. A few years ago my health deteriorated and I had to give up reading. Audiobooks are my life-saver.
In the top 5%.
Yes. The story-telling is linear without many flashbacks, and there is an incredible array of richly-drawn characters. Halfway through the book my mind is exploding with various threads, leading towards the whole cloth.
As other reviewers have said, Will Patton IS Dave Robicheaux. He's one of the very best narrators in the business. Offhand I can't think of anyone better.
No idea. I'm not very good at this sort of thing.
I don’t write reviews often, and only if the book is remarkable in some special way. “Light Of The World” is one such book. Over the last three years I have bought over 300 books from Audible, so I have a reasonably wide experience of writers and narrators.
James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors, and I have listened to all of his available audiobooks, twice and occasionally three times to each of the previous Dave Robicheaux novels. I am only hallway through this latest one but I definitely rate it as one of the best – and offhand I can’t think of another that stands out equally well. They are all outstanding but this one is special: a wonderful sense of place, rich character descriptions and a taut, complex and detailed plot.
The other standout is the narration by Will Patton. Suffice it to say that, among the literally hundreds of narrators I’ve had the pleasure of listening to, Will Patton is the best.
Not in my top 20. Will Patton's "Gretchen" voice was a tad annoying. I am a will Patton fan but I feel he sort of mailed this one in.Asa and the surrogate baddies were paper cut outs. The bear trap was, however, inspired genius.
I really enjoy Will Patton. I just didn't think this was one of his best efforts.
No, it was way to long to read in one stretch.
I really liked this book , tension was high all through it and you really feel yourself transported to Montana.
Just as good as Pegasus decending and tin roof blowdown , but it has a different feel to it
Will Patton is amazing as usual.
I could not stop listening , it only took me 2 days to get through it .
My name is Mark and I love Audible!!
James Lee Burke is the best writer of American fiction in the country today. No one strikes a better prose. The only thing that I can comment on is that I have to wait another year or so until the next Dave Robicheaux novel. If your a fan of the series make sure to add this one, if this is your first exposure to the series you can start with this one. Thanks Mr. Burke!!!!
Couldnt stop listening to this book. Not knowing if Alafair would wind up in Asa's clutches was keeping me on edge!
As always Clete Purcel is my favorite character. Will Patton is the best in the biz today. He bring's Clete to life!
Good vs evil, the light vs the dark, finally Dave and Clete meet a true modern master of evil!
I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha
Absolutely without hesitation
The whole book from beginning to end was interesting, intriguing, fast paced, mysterious, & a few dozen other good words.
All of them!!!!!!
No but I stayed with it until it was done. That made me feel lkie a rodeo rider.
Man what a book!!! I even looked up the author & narrator on the Internet to see what they looked like & that was fun.
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