Review: The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke

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The Glass Rainbow is the eighteenth novel published by the author James Lee Burke and is the newest in his Detective Dave Robicheaux series. If you have read Burke’s earlier work, you’ll notice that like earlier books in the series, this is police procedural story with noir character as its hero.

Deputy sheriff Robicheaux has to deal with his daughter Alafair’s attraction to local novelist Kermit Abelard and at the same time follow the leads in a serial killer case. He finds out that seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered; now the bodies of two more young women turn up on Robicheaux’s turf.

In earlier Robicheaux novels, we have seen that the detective is often aided by his best friend Clete Purcel. This novel is no exception and we also see other familiar characters in the story including  Dave’s pet and his daughter’s three-legged raccoon.

The Glass Rainbow is a 448 page book which is a bit longer than typical crime fictions. If it’s not your first time to read a Dave Robicheaux mystery, you need to go through 200+ pages of familiar settings and characters to get to the beginning of the mystery/twist part. This is not particularly the author’s fault but it’s a challenge that the writers of long series always have in front of them: How to avoid repeating stories/settings as much as possible so that the loyal readers can still enjoy the newest releases in the series.

This is a good read: James Lee Burke has played with Dave character in 18 novels and he is certainly very experienced in telling his Louisiana-based  stories. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The Amazon link to the book is here: The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

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