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The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

Written by James Lee Burke

Narrated by Will Patton


The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

Written by James Lee Burke

Narrated by Will Patton

ratings:
4.5/5 (35 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Jul 13, 2010
ISBN:
9781442304307
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Beloved hero Detective Dave Robicheaux returns to his roots, becoming entangled in a series of murders connected with an ex-convict turned bestselling author. Another bestselling triumph from James Lee Burke.

A brilliant prose stylist, a preternaturally sensitive student of human nature, and a storyteller of the highest rank, James Lee Burke has created one of the classic characters of American fiction. Driven by a keen sense of right and wrong, forever in conflict with his twin demons of alcoholism and rage, Detective Dave Robicheaux is a flawed yet singularly sympathetic hero.

Detective Dave Robicheaux is back home in New Iberia Parish and once again on the trail of a killer. But when his best friend is accused of murder and his daughter gets involved with some shady business, Robicheaux will need to muster every ounce of guts, wit, and investigative chops he has to solve the case.
Released:
Jul 13, 2010
ISBN:
9781442304307
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He’s authored thirty-nine novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

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What people think about The Glass Rainbow

4.4
35 ratings / 31 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    The Glass Rainbow represent further proof that James Lee Burke is one of the best writers working in the English language and that genre fiction can be the equal of anything the so-called literary establishment can produce. Whilst not quite the equal of "The Tin Roof Blowdown" or "In The Electric Mists...", this is a great read, thrilling and involving from beginning to end, but never once losing the connection to the serious issue Burke wants us to think about. Dave, Molly, Alafair, Clete and Helen feature throughout the book alongside some heavy duty villains and the usual crew of interesting minor characters. The plot is complex, but never too much so, and the pacing of the book is excellent. As always I end up being more than satisfied by a Burke book, with a lot of think about.
  • (5/5)
    Everything I want from James Lee Burke and this series and even more.
  • (5/5)
    not too bad!
  • (4/5)
    Detective Dave Robicheaux is embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career, seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. Clete Purcel, confront Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and meth dealer, when Stanga turns up dead shortly after a fierce beating by Purcel, in front of numerious witnesses. Dave's daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abeland, a celebrated novilist and his association with bestselling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex. Causes Dave to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves.
  • (4/5)
    Long but good read. Suspenseful to the end. Such a sense of place. However Clete and Dave are getting old and somehow still kicking the shit out of people. Can't be too many adventures left in these two. The last Dave Robicheaux story will be a sad one. Just like after my last Travis McGee novel.
  • (4/5)
    Makes Southern Louisiana come alive. Dave Robicheaux and his pal Clete Purcel do their usual damage to the bad guys. Great story.
  • (4/5)
    Fans of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels, or those new to the series will both be captivated by the storyline, elegant prose, and easy to imagine characters as locations. The Glass Rainbow will have the reader engrossed from beginning to end.
  • (5/5)
    The Glass Rainbow is a superb follow up to Swan Peak. I can't say enough about this. With each book, James Lee Burke manages to top himself. Amazing. I was glad to have Robicheaux and friends back home, as I so enjoy reading James Lee Burke's Louisiana. The scenes he paints with a few wonderful phrases conjure up a Louisiana I can see, hear, smell, and feel. Maybe even taste.The characters of JLB's world continue to grow in complexity, and I look forward to learning more and more about them. Burke's continued use of a mix of first and third person point of view contributes to the greater depth in his characters. I especially enjoy seeing into that dark cavern that is Clete's mind. Something is definitely coming for him. I was really worried, near the end, that we would lose Alafair. I saw the signs, and I was dreading it. But instead we get a cliffhanger like we've never had to endure. I'm just so glad Creole Belle is already out, or I would be convinced Burke just killed off his main character. I could not handle it if JLB killed off Robicheaux. Please! Don't even think about it, Mr. Burke!Running off to get Creole Belle!
  • (5/5)
    James Lee Burke writes like no one else. I can feel the heat and see the beauty of Louisiana in his stories. I love the way his characters talk. The Bobsy Twins of Homicide, Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcel, are aging and feeling it as they encounter slick and twisted bad guys who prey on young women including Dave's daughter Alafair. Alafair is young, hardheaded and naive, but she is also strong, smart and willing to learn. I like her even when she thinks she knows more than her detective dad when it comes to shady men. She is a natural detective in her own right, finding out things that Dave can use in his investigation. I love that Dave loves her enough not to dictate how she should live.This is the first time that I can think of that a Robicheaux novel has ended in a cliffhanger. I skipped back on the cd to make sure I heard right and hadn't missed something. I CANNOT WAIT for the next book to come out!
  • (5/5)
    James Lee Burke has always been a go-to writer for me. His Dave Robichaux series, in particular, has given me many hours of entertainment and an appreciation of writing place that I did not have before. Set in southern Louisiana, these books tell the story of Dave Robichaux and his friend and former partner in the New Orleans Police Department, Clete Purcel. Both men are deeply flawed, alcoholics in and out of recovery, and men who stand by their own code of honor as they become involved in the crimes they encounter.Burke understands southern Louisiana - the look, the feel, the smells, the sounds, and its people. His books always present nuanced characters and plots that are deeply embedded within decades of Louisiana history. He does not romanticize, but he does not denigrate, either. Rather he celebrates the good of a life that was, the bad of that life, and the present as we all watch places like New Iberia and New Orleans swept off the map by hurricanes and government neglect.Burke never ceases to make me want to read over and over again and he always makes me homesick for the South with all its flawed beauty. Glass Rainbow is one of the best in this series - if you're a fan, read it. If you're not a fan, I envy you. Start at the beginning of the series and work your way through - you won't be sorry.
  • (5/5)
    I'm still somewhat stunned by the end of the book which I finished just a few hours ago. I'm not sure what to make of it but it has to be one of the greatest endings of all time. I won't say more than that so as not to spoil the book for future readers.Dave Robicheaux is still plugging away as a detective in New Iberia, Lousiana, but in this book his detecting takes him into the neighbouring districts. Seven young women in Jefferson Davis Parish have been killed but no-one seems to be doing anything about it. One of them, Bernadette Latiolais, seemed different from the rest of the victims. She was smart and not into partying or prostitution. Her brother who is on a prison gang in Mississippi wants to talk to Dave. He fingers a notorious pimp, Herman Stanga. Dave talks to Stanga but makes no headway. Then Clete Purcell gets in on the act. Clete does not have the restraint that Dave does but neither does he have the limitations of being a policeman. He beats Stanga up in front of many witnesses.But maybe Stanga isn't the guilty party. Dave does not like his daughter, Alafair's new boyfriend, Kermit Abelard, and he especially doesn't like Kermit's buddy, ex-convict and new author Robert Weingart. As he pursues his investigation the Abelard/Weingart names keep coming up and Dave doesn't think he is jealous of Alafair's love interest. He's afraid Alafair may be coming into contact with genuine evil.We really get to see a lot of Clete Purcell in this book. Clete is everything Dave is not. He's a boozer, a womanizer and maybe crazy too boot. But he really does look out for Dave and he has his own ethics that he follows. I finally get why Dave puts up with Clete.Burke's writing about Louisiana is a paean to a land he obviously loves. It was pure pleasure to read his descriptions of sunrises, sunsets and drives through green countryside with herons standing by the side of bayeux. Some day I hope to get there but until then it was sure nice to get away from a cold January in Winnipeg to explore New Iberia and surroundings with Dave Robicheaux.
  • (5/5)
    Clete is going crazy here, Molly (the latest after Bootsie) is the epitome of female flesh and emotions (as well as an ex-nun, well, kinda sorta), Tripod is super-cute, as usual, but here you know he has to be put down soon. Way old. Alifah is visiting from college with her boy friend, who is 10 years older than her and tangled with several international nasties, causing :David great emotional distrees, . But the involvement of these other characters, which would be peripheral or limited in others' work, issue forth stridently within Robincheaux's life, as well as his life experiences (although we are wearing the Vietnam War war experiance out ( Iraq showed us we haven't learned a dmaned thing as a nation). The arch-nemises is here in the form of an old "Southern" family who made their killing (no pun intended) on the backs of butternut -brown-wearing soldiers by continuing and raising production that passed the Yankees picket lines and was sold to the North. Oh, yeah! That will put the mouth of the south to work. You bet. Rhe following is a post script after reading the rev iews. I think what bothered people mostly is the failure of resolution by the auhtor. Well, it is not his job to resolve the plot. It is the reader's and I have resolvedit sufficiently to suit me. What some call the supernatural is a movement in American literature that began (if you had to pick a date or book) with William Kennedy's IRONWEED. Magical rfeasism involves other dimensions (usually time eras, but not always) and is a favorite device of fantasy and sci-fi writers. Without this knowledge or other thaqn classical literature, one has only to turn to metaphor and, frnakly, magacal realism is waaay beyondd metaphor. Mataphor is a touch of black pepper. MR is hubunero sauce, pure and sometimes painful on the palate When I was graduated with my M.A. some 20 plus years ao, MRF and another movement called neo-minimalism as exhibited by Carolyn Chute 9BEANS OF EGYPT MAINE) and Raymond Carver were the two contingicies at that time for modern lit study.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this book and Dave Robicheaux's character. James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors and his writing style is not only brilliantly descriptive, but deep from the soul!
  • (4/5)
    #14-The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke- I listened to this on audiobook with my husband. Burke is one of our favorite authors and his Dave Robichaux stories are also our favorites. Clete Purcell, Dave's sidekick is so amusing! You never know what is going to come out of his mouth. Some of Burke's story-lines are not as intriguing as others but this is one of the more entertaining ones. I always enjoy his bad guys because they seem to be the kind of people you could meet any time, but definitely hope you don't. Dave's daughter is a constant presence; he saved her from a submerged helicopter in which her parents died and he became her foster father. His new wife, Molly, is a reformed nun. Much of the action takes place all over New Orleans, making for a fabulous setting. It contributes to the eerie often mysterious and frightening mood which Dave finds himself in while pursuing his adversaries. In "Rainbow" his daughter becomes involved with some shady characters who may be responsible for the deaths of some young women. As always, Clete finds himself involved with one of the female players,who may or may not be involved also. I highly recommend this on audiobook as read by Will Patton , who I see as the Dave Robichaux character. His voice is perfect. Other readers do not entice me nearly as much and I have passed some of those over after listening to the first cd and realizing the gentleman could not pull it off like Mr. Patton. If you enjoy reading a good mystery, pick this one up
  • (4/5)
    How do you review a James Lee Burke book? The man is one of the greatest writers of all time. It doesn't matter that he writes in the crime category. These books are works of literature and The Glass Rainbow is no different. As always, set in Louisiana and illuminating the intersection between the past and the present, this book has Dave contemplating his mortality. Clute, his long time partner, has no interest in such introspection. All kinds of turmoil erupts. Strongly recommend this book
  • (4/5)
    A Dave Robicheaux novel is always a good read
  • (3/5)
    Pretty good storyline...clete purcell is a helluva character....burke gets a little too philosophical for me sometimes...contrived ending stretched reality.
  • (5/5)
    The best yet from James Lee Burke. A brooding, introspective, spiritually sensitive protagonist. Luminous descriptions of Louisiana. This novel begs to be made into a dynamite movie,
  • (2/5)
    I loved this book until I got to the extremely unsatisfying ending. I don't mind cliffhangers, so the disposition of Cleve and Dave are bearable. But the details of plot has so many loose ends that I feel betrayed as if the reader is just supposed to trust that the endless plot strings do tie together--HOW???????????? Why was the Canadian girl tortured and murdered and are the murders of 5 other girls related? Why was ritzy Catherine in cahoots with sociopaths Robert and Kermit? Was the grandfather in on whatever criminal scheme they all had going? Just what did they all have going? WAY TOO MANY unanswered plot elements. I listened to this book on tape because the reader does such a great job with the accents and various voices (especially Clete's), so maybe if I'd had the print version to refer back to events I could figure some of this out. BUT I DOUBT IT. Beautiful writing but disappointing plot development.
  • (5/5)
    What could possibly draw the attention of Dave Robicheaux and the New Iberia police department more than the death of seven young women?Even more, Dave becomes interested in the death of one woman who doesn't fit the profile. Bernadette Latiolais was a high school honor student who had been offered a college scholarship.When a body is dumped in the field of a cane farmer in New Iberia Parish, Dave and his boss, Helen Soileau find something that connects this body with Berndadette and they begin their official investigation.Dave hooks up with his old and loyal friend, Clete Purcel and they turn their attention to a former pimp named Herman Stanga. When Stanga and Clete get into a confrontation, Stanga is beaten so severely that he is hospitalized and begins the process of suing Clete. Later, when Stanga is murdered, Clete becomes the main suspect.As an interesting part of the story, Dave Robicheaux's daughter, Alafair, is attempting to get her first novel published. This reality mixed in with the mystery was intriguing. I believe that it demonstrates how proud the author is of his real life daughter, Alafair and her literary accomplishments.The setting, as always, with James Lee Burke is described as if we are seeing a painting unfold before us. "...a town square that opened onto lovely vistas of oak trees and flowers...planted along the bayou's edge." It is very visual and entertaining.The novel will keep the reader's attention as the story unfolds and once again, Dave Robicheaux shows that he is one of the finest characters in fiction.
  • (5/5)
    Violent as always, but Burke's prose and story telling skills are worth it
  • (5/5)
    Still lovin' James Lee. Will they live or die? Have to see the next book
  • (5/5)
    Another fabulously written mystery by Burke! What an ending! Robicheaux and Purcell are at their best, saving families and ending the lives of the evil.
  • (4/5)
    I love this author; his characters and dialog are just wonderful. And I have read his earlier works about this Dave Robicheaux character and thoroughly enjoyed them. I enjoyed this one too, although I found it to be too long. Much toooooooo long! It was almost as if Burke had a pocketful of ideas written on scrap paper that he had thought of and kept pulling them out and writing about them. It should have been 50-75 pages shorter - but I still liked it. Another annoyance was his increasing use of the supernatural; visions of ghost ships, fading body parts, etc. I found them distracting. Was our hero and his sidekick, Clete, killed in the end? I suppose not. I hope not.
  • (2/5)
    Disappointing. This author can deliver better plot lines than this one.
  • (5/5)
    JLB is, as always, at his best. I still haven't finished this one but am close. I'm afraid to see if he does away with Dave or Clete, or whomever, or if the "seeer" was looking at the wrong screen. I can't imagine losing Dave or Clete but then again, what's to happen to Jesse Stone and Spencer now that Robert B. Parker is gone? I'm just hoping that JLB will continue writing until he (and I) are "long in the tooth." His writing is beautiful and picturesque and with this one I'm learning a lot of new words. With every book, I read a sentence or a paragraph and it strikes me how beautifully he writes. With this one, too, I keep thinking - let's get to the end - because I can't take the suspense about what's going to happen or to whom it's going to happen. Then when it ends, I think - how long before the next one. As always, 5 stars! As of now, I've finished. Contrary to discussions on Amazon about the survival of the "Bobsey Twins," I choose to believe they go on because I don't want to think of the alternative. Long live JLB and Dave and Clete!
  • (4/5)
    If Clete Purcel is involved, the story has to be a good one. The last thirty or forty pages, for me, were a non-stop climax read in a single-sitting that ended in a cliff-hanger that I don't remember occuring in another Robicheaux book.
  • (5/5)
    Have you ever smelled the magnolias, tasted the gumbo, seen the Spanish moss strung like Christmas garlands in the live oaks, heard the rain play on a tin roof, felt the damp salt breeze off the Gulf of Mexico? And the fleeting visions in the corner of your eye are indeed ghosts of an antebellum past, in the land of Marie Laveau. James Lee Burke's gifts are such that you will experience all of these things right there in your own home or in the coffee shop or on the evening train, even if you have never made it to New Orleans (NuOrlans) or south to New Iberia Parish.Mr. Burke is the recipient of two Edgars (Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel of the year), awarded by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA), the only author to win more than one. In 2009 he was named a "Grand Master" by the MWA. He also received the Louisiana Writer Award presented by the now Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco. Mr. Burke is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Bread Loaf Fellow and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow (NEA). The Lost Get Back Boogie, his fourth novel, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He also taught creative writing at Wichita State University.The Glass Rainbow is the best James Lee Burke novel, the best Dave Robicheaux tale. The novel begins with the investigation of the deaths of seven girls and young women. There is a list of suspects: an heir to a plantation fortune turned author of historical novels; an ex-con turned author of a novel about his prison time (one of those people made famous by an affluent "sophisticated" readership living vicariously on illicit thrills); a swamp-wise dealer/pimp/entrepreneur who preys expertly on desperate people with dreams of a significant life; a nouveaux-riche millionaire and his wife with old money pretensions, under investigation by the IRS and the SEC. Dave Robicheaux, New Iberia Parish Sheriff Detective, Vietnam vet and recovering alcoholic who harbors no illusions about his fellow man, is conducting the investigation into the young women's deaths. As always, best friend and private investigator Clete Purcel, Vietnam Vet, disgraced former cop and alcoholic with a death wish (who is somehow adorable despite these things), has his back (sometimes in the form of ag assault and maybe justifiable homicide.) The extra ingredient in this mix is the presence of Dave's daughter Alafair, home for the summer between college and law school. She is also writing a novel (there's a lot of writing going on here) and becomes involved with Kermit Abelard, aforementioned plantation heir from our suspect list.This brew comes to a boil with results that I did not see coming. I kept counting the pages because I did not want it to end. This novel changes everything. Nothing in Dave and Clete's world will ever be the same. By the climax of The Glass Rainbow I was holding my breath with tears in my eyes.
  • (4/5)
    "It has been my experience that most human stories are circular rather than linear."Dave Robicheaux is made aware of the deaths of several girls in his and neighboring parishes of Louisiana, and much to his bosses chagrin, he begins to poke around outside his jurisdiction. His daughter?s new boyfriend is a famous author, hoping to help her with her novel, as one of his friends, a criminal turned famous author. When connections from a small-time pimp to the criminal author keeps surfacing Dave provokes his daughter's ire as well as his own curiosity. Things begin to get a little too contrived for his liking, as his life and his daughter?s lives wind closer and closer to the deaths of those girls. In the end, only being prepared for anything is what can save them.Filled with fantastic descriptions of character and landscape, Burke fills his book with exposition about history and personal lives as well as anecdotes about dialect and politics. Far from tiresome, and apparently as good a place as any for the newcomer to jump in, I listened to this book while commuting, while cleaning, while lounging - never tiring of Will Patton?s accents and voices for the myriad of unfortunates who caught the eye of Burke?s sober detective. It was easy to separate the goons from one another, and the poor souls ensnared in the beckoning lie of a better life. The disillusion that our narrator sees is paralleled in the fallen plantation empires and the failure of dreams and unsavory endings that befall so many in his scope. Keeping his own family from being pulled under is all there seems left for Dave to do, even as he runs around, solving other crimes.It is well known amongst fans of James Lee Burke that his characters are flawed souls, complete with demons and friends who dog them, and his descriptions of the Louisiana Bayou are replete with unforgiving details of history. Despite the headaches that Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell get themselves into, they come back for more, like the main character of a Tom Cruise movie. That the ending is often an unbelievable twist of evil plots and blazing gunfire that they somehow survive completely caught me by surprise that has become familiar to old fans. But, as they?re back in Creole Belle, the next book, this isn?t one to be puzzled over too long. Enjoy it for what it is, or give it a miss.Dave Robicheaux #18.(Read/Skim/Miss) (Buy/Borrow)15:07. Simon & Shuster. 13 July 2010.
  • (5/5)
    By my count, The Glass Rainbow is number 18 in James Lee Burke?s wonderful Dave Robicheaux series ? and I have read and enjoyed them all. In the Robicheaux series, Burke has created two of my all-time favorite fictional characters: Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcel. Amidst all the violence and mayhem found in a typical Dave Robicheaux novel, these two men manage to nurture one of the most touching male friendships ever created by a novelist. It is a friendship that literally keeps both men alive, and it is hard even to imagine what either of their lives would have been like if the two had never met.The Glass Rainbow is about the search for a serial killer who has killed seven young women in Jefferson Davis Parish, just minutes from Dave?s home in New Iberia, Louisiana. Suspecting that Herman Stanga, a lowlife New Iberia pimp, might know something about several of the victims, Clete and Dave confront him at his home. Their visit to Stanga?s home gets the attention of someone who does not appreciate their efforts, and the race is on. Will they survive the investigation? Will Dave?s wife and daughter survive it? Seldom has Dave Robicheaux been confronted by evil of this magnitude. It is said that psychopaths recognize, and have a way of finding, each other. Dave and Clete are dealing with a snakes? nest of psychopaths this time ? and not all the snakes in it appear to be poisonous before they bite, leading to what is perhaps the most nerve-wracking finale of any book in the series (I could barely turn the pages fast enough to get through it).Without a doubt, The Glass Rainbow is one of the best books in the series. It is filled with action and the long-running characters face more personal danger in it than they have in a while. But what makes it even more special is the way that Burke share?s Dave?s innermost thoughts and philosophies with the reader. Dave Robicheaux is a thinker:?Someone once said that had Sir Walter Scott not written his romantic accounts of medieval chivalry, there would have been no War Between the States. I doubted if that was true, either. I believed the legend of the Lost Cause was created after the fact, when the graves of Shiloh and Antietam became vast stone gardens reminding us forever that we imposed this suffering on ourselves.? (Page 121)?How about oil? Its extraction and production in Louisiana had set us free from economic bondage to the agricultural oligarchy that had ruled the state from antebellum days well into the mid-twentieth century. But we discovered that our new corporate liege lord had a few warts on his face, too. Like the Great Whore of Babylon, Louisiana was always desirable for her beauty and not her virtue, and when her new corporate suitor plunged into things, he left his mark.? (Page 242)?In the alluvial sweep of the land, I thought I could see the past and the present and the future all at once, as though time were not sequential in nature but took place without a beginning or an end, like a flash of green light rippling outward from the center of creation, not unlike a dream inside the mind of God.? (Page 243)?George Orwell once wrote that people are always better than we think they are. They are more kind, more loving, more brave and decent?But too often there are times when our fellow human beings let us down, and when they do, all of us are the less for it.? (Page 293)?Don?t let anyone tell you that age purchases you freedom from fear of death. As Clete Purcel once said in describing his experience in a battalion aid station in the Central Highlands, it?s a sonofabitch. Men cry out for their mothers; they grip your hands with an intensity that can break bones; their breath covers your face like damp cobwebs and tries to draw you inside them. As George Orwell suggested long ago, if you can choose the manner of your death, let it be in hot blood and not in bed.? (Pages 351-352)And my favorite:?Because that?s the way I?ll always see her. A father never sees the woman. He always sees the little girl.? (Page 390)Despite all he has experienced or witnessed in his life, Dave Robicheaux is still a white knight; he plays by the rules even when confronting the most repulsive of the bad guys. Protecting those who cannot protect themselves is his mission in life, and he does it well. One day there will be no Dave Robicheaux in New Iberia and it will be a poorer place. So will the inner-world of readers everywhere. James Lee Burke proves here that he is still very much on top of his game.Rated at: 5.0