Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Glass Rainbow

published by:  Simon and Schuster

From JLB website:  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 bestselling 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.

For those keeping up, this is Dave Robicheaux #18.  I'll admit I haven't read every single one of them, but I've read a good majority of them and really like them all.  This one was really good as well.  I listened to the audiobook for this one.  The actor Will Patton read it.  I'm sure from the name you probably wouldn't know who that is, but I'm sure you recognize his face.

Think Armageddon and 24.  He did a really good job.  One of the best audiobook readers I've heard.  I actually wasn't cringing too much at his southern accent either.  He managed not to mangle too many Louisiana words.  In fact, I was really impressed with many of his pronunciations.  I was starting to wonder if he was indeed a Louisiana boy until he said beignet and then I knew he wasn't.

As for the story itself, it was very suspenseful and interesting.  I liked the aspect of Alafair growing up and Dave not dealing with it too well.  It keeps their realistic and lively.  Plus, I like how it keeps the Alafair character engaged in the stories and she hasn't fallen by the wayside.

If you've never read James Lee Burke, I highly recommend him for those who like mystery/detective type books.  You won't find another writer in that genre with his way with words.  He is uniquely descriptive.  I would suggest reading the series in order so that you learn the story of Dave and his family, but it isn't really necessary, each book can stand alone.

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