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Publisher's Summary

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.

More mayhem? Listen to more of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux thrillers.
©2010 James Lee Burke (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall

A great combination

A tropical setting, lush writing and expressive reading combine to the point that one could forget he was listening to a narration and actually "see" the story unfold in his mind's eye.

  • Overall

OK....go for the abridged

I believe most these reviews are planted by the publisher. 5 stars......really? The plot becomes so poor and flawed you feel dumb just for continuing to listen. The abridged version would be entertaining, yet not waste 4 hours of your life with unnecessary twists and implausible violence. I wish I had the credit back.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pat
  • Peterborough, ON, Canada
  • 08-09-10

Great read

I am always thrilled when this author writes a new book and eagerly await its arrival on Audible. This one was worth the wait. A compelling story line and for the first time a hint of the supernatural at least in Dave's mind. You won't be disappointed if you are a fan of James Lee Burke. Keep writing JLB!

  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • 08-05-10

Captivating listen

Rich character development, bringing out deep flaws as well as tremendous strength combined with building tension make this a captivating listen. It brings out the strengths as well as the tests of friendships. I highly recommend this book.

  • Overall
  • Carol
  • Cincinnati,OH
  • 08-04-10

Can't wait for the next Burke book!

Another great book - kept you wondering until the end. Will Patton Rocks!!!! Whether it is acting, narrating PBS documentaries or audiobooks - his skill is solid! Keep the Streak and Clete adventures coming! Unbelievably descriptive writing - you can feel the heat and fog and and even feel you need to swat the bugs.

  • Overall

Another Instant Classic!

It's a Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke. It's perfect. No one writes like him. Period...........Enough said....

  • Overall
  • chas
  • solvang, CA, United States
  • 08-03-10

Smell the river.

This was the best work to date from this pair! The coupling of JLB and Will Patton is superb to say the least. How could it get any better? Even when it got a little over the top w/ Alf, it pulled it out w/o going Jack Bauer. I particularly liked the image of the paddle wheeler coming up the river and how it tied into the tempest w/ in Dave. Great imagery and character portraits. I am only sorry that I don't think I will find another book this good. Six stars for sure (and I am critical). Thanks for the great read!!!!! Chuck

  • Overall
  • Kyle
  • Saint Peter, MN, United States
  • 08-03-10

Enjoyed the book

While I'm not a die-hard Burke fan I enjoyed this book. Can't beat Patton for the narration and what he brings to the experience in listening to it.

One thing that sort of bugs me is that if you do the math the ages of Robicheaux and Purcel have got to be close to 80. The actions and attributes of these guys are often those you'd associate with people half their age. I don't know any 80-yr old men that can carry 500-lbs above their head or disarm/beat up guys who are in their prime. I get the history here and it's not uncommon for authors to create main characters who are close to their own age but if you've followed Burke from his first Robicheaux novel it's really not realistic to keep this series going... unless a murder takes place in a retirement village.

  • Overall
  • Kim
  • Nixa, MO, United States
  • 08-01-10

The Glass Rainbow is a good ride

Has a few dead spots but a really good read........could actually visualize most of the book.........but how could you go wrong with Will Patton


  • Overall

Great Book!

This was my first Burke novel and I must say it kept me hooked all the way through to the end. I would say more about the end but I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I LOVED the narration, Will Patton did an excellent job. The way the author described the locals and the landscape had me right there in Louisiana with the characters seeing it all. Very good book and worth the $$.