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Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

by James Lee Burke

Book list *Starred Review* Hats off to the Library of Congress cataloger who applied the subject heading Good and Evil to Burke's latest Dave Robicheaux novel. In that simple tag lies the core of this acclaimed series. Robicheaux, the Cajun detective with a melancholy streak as wide as the Mississippi, grieves lost innocence in all its forms, but as much as he remembers goodness in the past, he crusades against evil in the present. The bad guys against whom Robicheaux along with his equally tormented comrade-in-arms, Clete Purcell campaigns sometimes take the form of bent rich guys driven by blind greed. But occasionally the evil comes in a more chilling, vaguely supernatural form depravity beyond sociology giving these novels a darker, more mythic tone, with Robicheaux cast as a contemporary Beowulf, asked to plunge deep into the heart of darkness to confront the Grendels lurking beneath the surface of daily life. So it is here, when serial killer Asa Surette, believed dead, resurfaces in Montana with scores to settle, including one with Robicheaux's daughter, Alafair. The plot plays out in a manner that will be familiar to Burke fans, including a firestorm of a climax near Flathead Lake, but there is one big difference: no longer is it just Dave and Clete sallying forth, armed to the teeth, to slay the monster. No, this time it's a family affair, with the next generation Alafair and Clete's daughter, Gretchen, who surfaced in Creole Belle (2012) also locked, loaded, and standing alongside their fathers in the final confrontation. It sounds over the top, but it works, enveloping the reader in the visceral terror of the moment and reminding us that Grendel may still swim in our midst. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Burke has won two Edgars and been named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America; his Dave Robicheaux novels routinely lodge themselves on the New York Times bestseller list. This one will, too.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcel are back in Burke's (Creole Belle) newest book, this time at a friend's ranch in Montana. Listeners may miss the environs of New Iberia, but the qualities that made Burke's other books a favorite are still here, especially the battle among good, evil, and more evil with the presence of Asa Surrette, a demonic and seemingly indestructible serial killer. Minimal help from local police puts both Dave's and Clete's daughters in danger, but the female characters are strong and resourceful. Will Patton does another excellent reading of Burke's suspenseful yet reflective thriller. His voice clearly differentiates among the characters with a tone that adds to the listener's perception of each personality. VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of Burke and of mystery/thrillers set in the American West.-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly 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. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Publishers Weekly Will Patton has read several Burke books before, and that experience shows. In this audio edition of the author's 20th crime novel featuring Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux, Patton boasts a confidence that can only come from experience. Robicheaux is a melancholy character, naturally enough given his life experiences, which included a stint in Vietnam and the death of his father in an oil rig explosion. Patton is completely convincing in the part, offering a perfect Cajun accent to accompany his sorrowful tone and pacing. This time around, Robicheaux and his family are trying to relax in Montana, but a murderer who escaped from prison targets his journalist daughter. Patton proves equally effective at portraying the book's other characters, regardless of gender. Given the book's conflict, providing the bad guy with a distinctive and menacing voice is crucial-and Patton succeeds there as well. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved