James Lee Burke’s eagerly awaited new novel finds Detective Dave Robicheaux back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit: she is not the kind of hapless and marginalized victim psychopaths usually prey upon. Robicheaux and his best friend, Clete Purcel, confront Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer whom both men despise. When Stanga turns up dead shortly after a fierce beating by Purcel, in front of numerous witnesses, the case takes a nasty turn, and Clete’s career and life are hanging by threads over the abyss.
Adding to Robicheaux’s troubles is the matter of his daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abelard, celebrated novelist and scion of a once prominent Louisiana family whose fortunes are slowly sinking into the corruption of Louisiana’s subculture. Abelard’s association with best-selling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex, causes Robicheaux to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves. As his daughter seems to drift away from him, he wonders if he has become a victim of his own paranoia. But as usual, Robicheaux’s instincts are proven correct and he finds himself dealing with a level of evil that is greater than any enemy he has confronted in the past.
Set against the backdrop of an Edenic paradise threatened by pernicious forces, James Lee Burke’s The Glass Rainbow is already being hailed as perhaps the best novel in the Robicheaux series.
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©2010 James Lee Burke (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
"MWA Grand Master Burke offers everything his readers expect - brilliant prose, prosaic situations that suddenly become mystic experiences, and a complex plot that repeatedly plumbs the depths of human depravity and the heights of nobility - in his superlative 18th novel featuring Iberia, La., deputy sheriff Dave Robicheaux." (Publishers Weekly)
"[S]uperb suspense leading to a gripping, set-piece finale that is a masterpiece of texture and mood, with the high-energy climax in the foreground both contrasted against and supported by the intensely lyrical, heavily melancholic prose that swells and recedes underneath the action. Not to be missed by any follower of the landmark series." (Booklist)
I've read or Listened to all 18 of Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels. Most are 5 star novels, but GLASS WINDOW in my opinion was his BEST.
Mr. Burke waiting for # 19????
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
I can't think of a better combination of author/performer. I just love the ride!
Seems like people love the Dave Robicheaux mysteries but I don't see it.
This book had all the get-up-and-go of a Mississippi barge during a drought. Sure, there was action but it all seemed gratuitous. To me the mystery almost seemed secondary to this story. I didn't feel like there was a plot force driving all the characters towards a conclusion. It was just Dave and his pal Clete meandering around and beating up bad guys. Speaking of "bad", the class-hate (rich=bad) is so cliche these days that it often drives all mystery right out of mysteries.
I did like the descriptions of Louisiana and the people. I also loved the narration. Having said this, the novel was too long for me and not much fun. I only recommend it to Robicheaux fans. For me...it was my first and last of Monsieur Robicheaux. To you sir, I must say adieu.
I agree with the other reviewers who commented that the writing is rich and poetic, and when compared to other novels their writings are lacking. I can listen to Will Patton perform Burke's poetic stories all day long, but like another reviewer said the performance of the female parts is a bit dull and they all sounds the same. Yet, it does not take away from the overall goodness of the performance.
Also, I thought Alafair's trust of her homosexual ex-boyfriend was a little too much, especially after learning that he was homosexual. Why would she not only let him get into her car, but let him get in behind the wheel and take her keys!. Anyway, that part of the story seemed an afterthought that conveniently paved the way to the ending. And, yes, I thought the science fiction-type meanderings were just too much and well over the top. That stuff should have been written in a novel of the scientific genre.
On the whole, I enjoyed the novel although it did deviate from the plot too much. The deviations were mini stories in themselves. But the writing and performance was top notch that it held my interest throughout. I was in the story and wanted to know what happens next.
I am a Burke newbee. When compared to other novels of this thriller/mystery genre, this Writer is by far the best and easiest that I've found to listen to for 12 to 15 or more hours. If you like well written literature, then you will like Burke and Patton!
The description of this book has all the elements that I typically like in a novel- danger, murder, mystery... how unfortunate that the actual story line barely touches on the description that you're given when you hit the 'purchase' button! This book meanders on, coming back to the 'plot' every once in awhile, and feels more like reflections on Robicheaux's family, his friend Purcel's dramas... towards the end you find yourself in what feels like a completely different story line. I'm honestly surprised at all the positive reviews of this book...I assume many are from long-time fans of the Robicheaux series (this is the 18th book). A review that I read described this book as
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hunger Games.
The narrator was pretty good... my only complaint was that all the female characters sounded the same, and his voice conveyed no personality when narrating their parts, which made them all seem dull.
When the author did get back to the plot I was interested, but by the time he did I was so lost in all the 'excess' that it really didn't matter in the end.
If you're not already a Robicheaux fan... just keep it moving.
I like this series, and this one is good, but I did get a little impatient toward the middle when the story drags and some of the dialog is repetitive. And after having listened to several Burke novels, the portrayal of Molly is just a little too perfect. But he is a fine storyteller and some of his descriptions leave me smiling and replaying to hear them again.
Original Audible member since before the Amazon buyout, and that is ok with me. I enjoy all things Amazon. Audio books make the day fly by.
This was my first JLB novel if you can believe that. I was thirsting for a new author having had some recent disappointments. I struck pure, sparkling clear water with Rainbow, and have 2 more Dave Robicheaux episodes in the cart. I appreciate the reviews here, both good and bad, but I am now more than willing to explore for myself.
I am older and wiser at this time in my life. I have stories of my own to tell, and I love a good story. I am not a finicky reader, being pretty easy to entertain. That said, "Rainbow" did entertain better than Bourbon Street on a Saturday night! I love New Orleans! Our last trip there was 2003 and we had such a good time. JLB painted perfect word pictures bringing back some favorite memories of rub boards, Bayou Teche and crawfish etouffee. Some not so good memories were also brought back by JLB's short soirees into the Vietnam debacle. In 1966, I was an Army aviator in country for 13 months in III Corps. The author handled this sidebar in Robicheaux's life perfectly, neither preaching nor giving it too much ink. The effect of combat on ones physique was nevertheless illuminated in a clear manor.
I have a daughter who was a Navy Combat Field Medic during Desert Storm. Robicheaux's relationship with his daughter Alafair (what a great name) was so poignant yet painted beautifully as intellectual equals. Again, such good memories brought back of my little girl growing up too fast. Father and daughter as developed by JLB will take you on a thrilling swamp boat ride into a most unusual relationship.
The bad guys were very bad, and the good guys were human . . . imperfect but engaging. And Clete Purcel, everyone should have a comrade like Clete. Listeners will love getting to know Clete! I was a little worried about the inclusion of spectres as I am not a fan of the supernatural. Once again, JLB was perfect with this part of the story. The ending was phenomenal. It was so believable and moving! 7 stars! A winner!!
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