Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Review: "The Glass Rainbow" by James Lee Burke

If I were to make a list of my all-time favorite authors, there's little doubt that James Lee Burke would find a place on that list. I've been reading his books since 1990 (he's one of those prolific authors who have the ability to write a book a year) and I can honestly say that there hasn't been one I didn't enjoy. It's a combination of his narrative skills, his creation of memorable characters that I see in my head after reading so many books they've been in, and the way he can evoke amazing imagery. (Plus, I met him at a book signing once and he was such a friendly and gracious person.)

The Glass Rainbow, another installment of Burke's series featuring Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux, certainly didn't disappoint. Robicheaux is one of those people that trouble seems to follow wherever he goes, plus the doggedness that makes him a good detective often puts him in perilous situations. In this book, Dave is investigating the deaths of seven young women in a neighboring parish, although one, Bernadette Latiolais, doesn't seem to fit with the others. His investigation brings him—and his compadre, trouble magnet Clete Purcel—into the circle of violent pimp and drug dealer Herman Stanga. Stanga's murder doesn't make the situation any easier; in fact, every random situation Dave seems to come into contact with tends to uncover another double-cross, another dangerous person with their eyes set on destroying Dave and his family. The twists come fast and furious in this book, although Burke's narrative style doesn't give you too much too soon. I'll admit the ending confused me a little (if someone else reads this book, please let me know) but I found that the book really packed a punch.

For a fantastic series of books—and one you can start anywhere in the series if you don't want to go back to the beginning—pick up one of the Dave Robicheaux books by James Lee Burke. Truth be told, you can pick up any of Burke's books and you won't be disappointed. And now I have to wait another year for him to write another...

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