"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
Long haul commuter. Audiobooks keep me from causing serious physical harm to my fellow commuters. Bless you, Audible!
JLB once again weaves a wonderful mystery full of vivid imagery and unsavory characters. If you have followed the adventures of Dave and Clete you will not be disappointed. In addition to the usual cast of characters, we learn more about Clete's daughter, Gretchen - who is a chip off the old block. A colorful character from Bitterroot, Wyatt Dixon plays a large role in the story and provides some of the best scenes.
I've listened to a Will Patton performance of James Lee Burke's work every summer for a while. His narration is always perfect and always a great story to go along with it. Good stuff!
It is too long. Burke could have taken a bit more time and edited this one a bit more. It feels like a rough draft, rambling around without a point, with too many loose ends. Not as tight and well written as most of the series.
Weird ending. Too many characters just stop doing anything for the last ten minutes of the book.
While I still enjoyed the book, the themes are getting repetitive and tired. I am glad it took place in Montana, but it wasn't that accurate. All the final action seems to take place near Flathead Lake, yet he refers to the same sheriff as in Missoula (Flathead Lake is part in Lake County, part in Flathead County: different sheriffs).
Too many people die in these books for it to be realistic. I didn't add up the total death toll, but it is high. Too much gore, more than is needed. There are as many murders in this one book as Missoula would see in a year.
Yet I still enjoy Burke's prose. It is poetic and beautiful, and Patton's wonderful narration makes it sing. Despite my complaints, I am still glad I listened to this book.
FAN TAS TIC
None. James Lee Burke is a unique writer.
Will Patton is such a great narrator that each character is distinct enough to love.
Fast paced and thought provoking.
Love Gretchen. She really adds a fresh character to this series, one I would be disappointed to see not included in every book. Also glad that Aliphair has more to do. This gives the novels a chance to grow up and into a new generation. And Wyatt and his woman are such welcome additions. How will Burke deprive us of them now? They are amazing new characters.
The writing is impeccable. The characters are well developed and the way James Lee Burke crafts a scene is spectacular. On top of this, the narration by Will Patton absolutely captures the color and feel of this novel. I can't say enough good things about his nuanced performance. The writer and narrator have created a masterpiece together.
about in the middle
Incredibly good changes of voice and accent for each character
It's a good story but pretty heavy on the evil and deranged minds. Sometimes I had to shut it off-- feeling too much like I was absorbing the vibes of bad company.
The whole book appeared to be an amalgamation of prior Robicheaux storylines. The character Gretchen Horowitz, who was introduced in the prior novel, Creole Belle, is in this one again. I guess she is now destined to be a main character in future books. I can not wrap my head around her character at all. Wyatt Dixon and Asa appear to me to be resurrected characters from Burke's prior work. I am a Will Patton fan and to me he is one of the best voice actors in the business. I have been listening to him narrate the Robicheaux series for years. However, in this performance, it appears that he had too many characters to work with. There were times that Dave sounded like Clete; the Sheriff at times sounded like Dave; and for some reason the voice he lent to Gretchen just put me off.Overall, I regret having spent a credit on this long-anticipated release. I guess from now on I will instead wait for the book to come to the city library and check it out first before I invest in the audio version.
Keep it in Iberia and for gosh sakes, you do not need new characters. I still like to hear about Nig and the rest of the old gang. Also, there was very little in the way of Molly in this book, and come to think of it, in the past recent ones.
I think he had too many characters to lend voice too.
Most of the scenes involving Gretchen and Alafair. The dialogue between the two ultimately becomes predictable. Gretchen pisses Alafair off; Alf rebukes her for it, Gretchen apologizes, Alafair again forgives Gretchen and reaffirms love and loyalty.
Also the firefight scene near the end. Dave too easily allows Alifair to be a part of the kill team. This from Dave who is always overprotective of Alf.
Will Pattons reading was perfect for a Robicheaux story.
The setting in Montana
Yes. Too hard to cast
I think it is changes in my life and my age that may have tainted this Burke story. I found the characters too cryptic and odd and there did not seem to be even one character who wasn't overly odd or dark. The story seemed lacking in any police procedural aspects compared to previous Burke books. Certainly a classic Burke/Robicheaux but was a downer for me.
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.
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