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Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 20 | [James Lee Burke]

Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 20

In Light of the World, sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1309 )
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Performance
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  •  
    a 08-13-13
    a 08-13-13
    ratings
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    "Disappointed this time around by J.L. Burke"
    What disappointed you about Light of the World?

    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.


    What could James Lee Burke have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    What didn’t you like about Will Patton’s performance?

    I think he had too many characters to lend voice too.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Light of the World?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Seattle, WA, United States 08-12-13
    Chris Seattle, WA, United States 08-12-13
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    2
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    "Its probably just me."
    What did you like best about Light of the World? What did you like least?

    Will Pattons reading was perfect for a Robicheaux story.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The setting in Montana


    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Could you see Light of the World being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes. Too hard to cast


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Bainbridge Island, WA, United States 08-12-13
    Charles Bainbridge Island, WA, United States 08-12-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Ambiviolence, or the Bobbsey Twins Letdown"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deb Cave Creek, AZ, United States 08-11-13
    deb Cave Creek, AZ, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "The Best Yet"
    If you could sum up Light of the World in three words, what would they be?

    Exciting, riveting beautifully written.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gretchen is relentless and strong.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final scene with Dave and Cletus.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    My fear that Cletus would actually die.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    El Pea Hobbs,NM, USA 08-08-13
    El Pea Hobbs,NM, USA 08-08-13 Member Since 2010
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    "I love James LIte Burke."
    Would you listen to Light of the World again? Why?

    Yes, you can always appreciate something else in a reread of JLB books.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Light of the World?

    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.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    For me, there is no other narrator who could read a "Dave and Clete" book. He is the only one.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This one has it all!


    Any additional comments?

    Love it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Rishel REDDING, CA, US 08-06-13
    Andrea Rishel REDDING, CA, US 08-06-13 Member Since 2013
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    "could listen over and over again!"
    What made the experience of listening to Light of the World the most enjoyable?

    Burke's poetic writing and Patton's perfect reading. A true listening marriage made in heaven!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. I don't want to give anything away...


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    He's perfect. I can't imagine listening to anyone else read James Lee Burke.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Fell asleep to it night after night because I couldn't put it away.


    Any additional comments?

    If you love audible books, don't pass this one up. It will transport you (like all great books do) into another world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Gulfport, FL, United States 08-06-13
    Alan Gulfport, FL, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Good as always"
    Would you listen to Light of the World again? Why?

    Yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dave Robicheaux


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Dave Robicheaux


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoy the Burke method of character development and story. This book was superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edgar Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-03-13
    Edgar Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-03-13 Member Since 2010

    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.

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    "Outstanding text and narration."
    Where does Light of the World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 5%.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    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.


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    No idea. I'm not very good at this sort of thing.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard Cincinnati, OH, United States 08-03-13
    Leonard Cincinnati, OH, United States 08-03-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Not my favorite, but that's OK."
    Where does Light of the World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoy Will Patton. I just didn't think this was one of his best efforts.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was way to long to read in one stretch.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carl gothenburg, Sweden 07-31-13
    carl gothenburg, Sweden 07-31-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Top 3 dave robicheux"
    What did you love best about Light of the World?

    I really liked this book , tension was high all through it and you really feel yourself transported to Montana.


    What other book might you compare Light of the World to and why?

    Just as good as Pegasus decending and tin roof blowdown , but it has a different feel to it


    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Will Patton is amazing as usual.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could not stop listening , it only took me 2 days to get through it .


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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