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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

'The Glass Rainbow' Robicheaux #18 by James Lee BURKE

Received from the Publisher

From the BLURB:

When Dave Robicheaux gets the call saying his ex-partner Clete Purcel is in jail for felony assault and resisting arrest, bailing him out is instinctive. After all, Clete is the man who saved Dave's life by carrying him down a fire escape with two bullets in his back. But Clete's latest escapade isn't just worrying because it shows his demons are gaining the upper hand; it also brings some of those demons into Dave's life, in the most personal way possible. The man Clete assaulted, a big-time pimp and meth dealer called Herman Stanga, is a suspect in the murder of a series of young women - but his criminal activities are hidden behind his involvement in the St Jude Project, a charity aimed at getting young women off the streets. As Dave probes the charity further, he finds that its main sponsor is a man called Calice Abelard, the smooth-talking scion of a wealthy family and a man whose motives Dave instinctively mistrusts. He also happens to be Dave's daughter, Alafair's, boyfriend.

This is the 18th novel in Jame Lee Burke’s crime series about Louisiana detective, Dave Robicheaux.

It was hard being a novice reader of this 18-deep series. There was a lot of subtext about Robicheaux’s family that went over my head. But aside from that, the crux of the mystery was enough to propel me forward in this book.
His handwriting was indecipherable. “What’s the cause of death?”
“What do you want?”
“What do I want?”
“Because it’s take your choice. It wasn’t blunt trauma. She wasn’t shot or stabbed. Was she asphyxiated? Could be. But I doubt that’s what did her in. It could have been an aneurysm or heart failure, maybe brought on by prolonged fear, asphyxiation, and general abuse. The big word in there is ‘fear’, as in scared shitless.”
Ultimately ‘The Glass Rainbow’ is about good VS. evil - the very basis of mystery-thrillers. Robicheaux is one of the best detectives I have ever read, purely because he still holds dear that sentiment that there is good in people and he has infinite compassion for the victims of the crimes he investigates. How wonderful that Robicheaux isn’t just another jaded cop scraping by, barely clinging to his sanity in the job.

A lot of Robicheaux’s maintained sanity seems to be thanks to his partner, Clete Purcel. I got the impression that these two are a Riggs/Murtaugh lawmen couple, and utterly fantastic. Their teamwork was probably the best thing in ‘The Glass Rainbow’, and even though they clearly have a history I never felt daunted by their repartee. I also instantly ‘got’ their dynamic – Clete the ‘boy-man’ who is still proud to be a cad about town, versus Dave’s more prim and proper policeman/family-man. ‘The Glass Rainbow’ is like reading a buddy-cop movie. Fantastic!


1 comment:

  1. wow 18 books? I had never heard of this series before... cool =D


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