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Book Review: The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke

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Two time Edgar winning and New York Times best selling author James Lee Burke (MWA Grand Master) continues the Dave Robicheaux Novels with what promises to be the most eerie and gruesome addition to the series so far. The Glass Rainbow, due for release on July 13th, is a must read for fans of the series. This book is going to make changes in Robicheaux's life that are going to impact every book that follows. Dave Robicheaux, and those closest to him, will never be the same.

The bodies of seven women who have been raped and mutilated have been found in the town of Iberia Parish, La, where Dave Robicheaux is the deputy sheriff. As Robicheaux works his way through a list of the usual suspects the case takes a few surprising turns.

The Glass Rainbow builds an intricate web of suspense, with several obstacles to be overcome as Robicheaux's personal life and professional life collide head on. He finds that in the end his gut-feeling, his intuition, learned from years in the field and rarely wrong, are really the only tools he can trust in this tale of betrayal, conspiracy and violence.

Robicheaux watches as the case takes some bizarre twists, setting up those around him to become accused and plunging the reader into the darkest fathoms of Louisiana's brutal, sadistic underbelly. His best friend and fellow investigator, Clete, is accused in the murder of one of the men on their suspect list, leaving Robicheaux alone in his search for a serial killer… or killers. It isn't long before Robicheaux finds himself the target of a criminal mastermind's wicked schemes.

The plot continues to thicken as more bodies turn up, and not just murdered women; suspects and friends have become just as much a target of the violent, masochistic killer, making it obvious that this case is personal. Just as Robicheaux becomes convinced that he's onto the scheme, the tide turns on him and bodies disappear just as quickly as they pop up, leaving his constituents wondering if the respected lawman has perhaps lost his mind.

It turns out that Robicheaux is not only looking for a serial murderer and rapist, but for someone who is one step ahead of him in the game, someone who has the power to call in professionals — and they have no problem going after a small town deputy and everyone close to him. Someone who seems to know exactly how Dave Robicheaux works and thinks and who is bent on ensnaring him in a brilliant, well-laid trap.

Bringing the case a little too close to home Robicheaux also realizes that his own adopted daughter, Alafair, might be directly in the path of the crazed and perverted serial killer. Robicheaux finds that he must get his own hands dirty in order to save those he knows are innocent, and to protect those he loves.

He must take everything he knows, everything that training and instinct tells him to do — his very own nature, and reverse it in order to throw the murderer off balance and ensnare him, or them, in a trap of his own brilliant design. But it might just be too late, The Glass Rainbow wraps up with events that will forever change, not only the deputy sheriff himself, but everyone he holds dear. A lasting impact on all of their lives and on future novels.

With The Glass Rainbow James Lee Burke has once again proven his talent for creating masterful, intricate mysteries that draw the reader in. The 18th book in the Dave Robicheaux series is a twisting, turning, suspense-filled thriller. A terrifying roller coaster ride that takes the reader on a nightmarish trip into the darkest depths of human depravity.

This a book that I would highly recommend — but not for reading at night, and particularly not when alone.

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  • the real bob

    Wow! For years, I’ve been told I should read this author. You make the book sound irresistable! That and the Louisiana setting…Can I pick up at #18, or should I start at the beginning of the series? (Somewhere in our “museum” we have an autographed copy of one of Burke’s books)

  • the fake bob

    You should definitely read this book real bob. And no, you don’t have to read the others before it. Burke does a great job of introducing the characters and their relationships quickly–
    But I do want to read the others now. All 17 of them. This was a great thriller!
    Keep ‘the real chip’ near though, gets a little scary.

    Boo!