New York Times bestselling author and “America’s best novelist” (The Denver Post) James Lee Burke is back with the twentieth mystery in the masterful Dave Robicheaux series.
Sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders he committed while capital punishment was outlawed in Kansas. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair, Surrette escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana, where an unsuspecting Dave—along with Alafair; Dave’s wife, Molly; Dave’s faithful partner Clete; and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz—have come to take in the sweet summer air.
Surrette may be even worse than Dave’s old enemy Legion Guidry, a man Dave suspected might very well be the devil incarnate. But before Dave can stop Surrette from harming those he loves most, he’ll have to do battle with Love Younger, an enigmatic petrochemical magnate seeking to build an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas, and Wyatt Dixon, a rodeo clown with a dark past whom Burke fans will recall from his Billy Bob Holland novels.
Says The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), “Already designated a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, Burke should get another title, say, for sustained literary brilliance in his Dave Robicheaux series.” Drawing on real events that took place in Wichita, Kansas, over a twenty-year span, Light of the World is a harrowing novel that examines the nature of evil and pits Dave Robicheaux against the most diabolical villain he has ever faced.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great writing. Formulaic plot, rich family, obviously evil, vs good cops. Demoniac villain vs moral folks.
Well Done Mr. Burke
I hope we get more Dave & Clete. Have read all 20 in the series.Enjoyed his including Molly and the girls.
Not his Usual
I am a great fan of Burke's books, but, this simply doesn't live up to his normal high level. His flowery prose goes to the extreme, and, his characters become so bogged down it leads to a boring read. It has taken hours to work through the book. I lay it down in frustration and go back to it thinking it will get better. Unfortunately, that never happens. Hopefully, this was an aberration.