James Lee Burke's legendary detective Dave Robicheaux returns to try to save his daughter from a sadistic killer.
When Detective Dave Robicheaux's daughter, Alafair, declares her intention to interview a convicted serial killer called Asa Surette, he does all he can to dissuade her. Dave has always encouraged her ambitions as a writer, but as a father he doesn't want her to be exposed to a man so nakedly evil. And his fears seem well founded when Alafair is visibly shocked by the encounter.
Two years later, the horror Surette evoked is all but forgotten, as Dave and his family are vacationing amidst the natural beauty of Montana. But evil, it seems, has followed them into this wild paradise. Someone is stalking Alafair, and Dave begins to suspect that it's Surette - even though he officially died when the prison truck he was being transported in collided with an oil tanker. Is Alafair now the target of one of the most depraved serial killers ever to have been caught, or has she unwittingly crossed paths with a murderous psychopath closer to home?
Praise for one of the great American crime writers, James Lee Burke:
'James Lee Burke is the heavyweight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed.' Michael Connelly
'A gorgeous prose stylist.' Stephen King
'Richly deserves to be described now as one of the finest crime writers America has ever produced.' Daily Mail
Fans of Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly and Don Winslow will love James Lee Burke:
Dave Robicheaux Series
1. The Neon Rain
2. Heaven's Prisoners
3. Black Cherry Blues
4. A Morning for Flamingos
5. A Stained White Radiance
6. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead
7. Dixie City Jam
8. Burning Angel
9. Cadillac Jukebox
10. Sunset Limited
11. Purple Cane Road
12. Jolie Blon's Bounce
13. Last Car to Elysian Fields
14. Crusader's Cross
15. Pegasus Descending
16. The Tin Roof Blowdown
17. Swan Peak
18. The Glass Rainbow
19. Creole Belle
20. Light of the World
Hackberry Holland Series
1. Lay Down My Sword and Shield
2. Rain Gods
3. Feast Day of Fools
4. House of the Rising Sun
Billy Bob Holland Series
1. Cimarron Rose
4. In The Moon of Red Ponies
* Each James Lee Burke novel can be read as a standalone or in series order *
Bestseller Burke's 20th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2012's Creole Belle), a powerful meditation on the nature and smell of evil, finds the Louisiana sheriff's detective on vacation in Montana with family and friends. There they are hounded and haunted by a psychopathic serial killer, Asa Surrette, believed to have been killed in a prison van accident. Surrette has a fate worse than death in mind for Robicheaux's journalist daughter, who interviewed him in prison. Meanwhile, his friend's daughter, one of the most damaged women in detective fiction, is working on a documentary on shale oil extraction, earning her some powerful enemies. This book could easily have been subtitled "Daddies, Don't Bring Your Daughters to Montana," as people don't just get killed: they're tortured, disfigured, and eviscerated. Robicheaux himself remains haunted by his experiences in Vietnam. But even as the stomach roils, the fingers keep turning the pages because the much-honored Burke (two Edgars, a Guggenheim Fellowship) is a master storyteller.
Light of The World
I'm a huge fan of JLB and have read just about all the Robicheaux books. The themes, plot lines, undercurrents and characters in this story are not only much as ever, but add Gretchen - Clete Purcel's daughter and a former mob hit woman - and bring Dave's edgy daughter Alafair and his wife Molly all to centre stage. As ever JLB's evocations of landscape, mood and place are superb.His descriptions of Missoula and the Bitterroot mountains of Montana had me rushing to Google Earth. As ever, the tension and the sense of menace build inexorably, although perhaps a little too lengthily on this occasion. Cletus Purcel is a monumental, almost elemental character. All the familiar JLB riffs and 'heart of darkness' themes are here.
However the denouement, involving the whole Robicheaux cast was a bit over the top: I could cope with the introduction of Gretchen, but a gun toting Alafair? Overall, another great read from an indisputable master of the genre, even if not quite his best. CM
Light of the World
Absolute vintage prose from this master story teller. You will never see JL-B in the best seller lists but his graphic descriptions of the underclasses who populate the area from his beloved New Iberia to Montana leave an indelible impression that his fans will long remember.
I enjoyed the company of Clete, Alafair and Molly whilst savouring Light of the World. They are like second cousins who only occasionally get in touch but are very welcome visitors.
I will wait patiently until Robicheau visits again-let it not be too long please.