Light of the World

Burke, James Lee

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Light of the World
Louisiana Sherriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux and his longtime friend and partner Clete Purcel are vacationing in Montana's spectacular Big Sky country when a series of suspicious events leads them to believe their lives-and the lives of their families-are in danger. In contrast to the tranquil beauty of Flathead Lake and the colorful summertime larch and fir unspooling across unblemished ranchland, a venomous presence lurks in the caves and hills, intent on destroying innocent lives. First, Alafair Robicheaux is nearly killed by an arrow while hiking alone on a trail. Then Clete's daughter, Gretchen Horowitz, whom readers met in Burke's previous bestseller Creole Belle, runs afoul of a local cop, with dire consequences. Next, Alafair thinks she sees a familiar face following her around town-but how could convicted sadist and serial killer Asa Surette be loose on the streets of Montana? Surrette committed a string of heinous murders while capital punishment was outlawed in his home state of Kansas. Years ago, Alafair, a lawyer and novelist, interviewed Surette in prison, aiming to prove him guilty of other crimes and eligible for the death penalty. Recently, a prison transport van carrying Surette crashed and he is believed dead, but Alafair isn't so sure. 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." 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.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2013.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476710761
Characteristics: 548 pages ;,25 cm


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Will not read another book that involves Dave and Clete. These guys have serious mental issues. I was hoping they had mellowed out some what with getting older, but now they have daughters involved taking lessons from them. Enough, already!

Feb 15, 2014
  • ndexter rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A an avid and long time reader of James Lee Burke;

I accept that many of his writings can be similar in antagonist profile and a psuedo format/shell that each tale is woven around.

That he and his crime solving characters, Dave Robicheaux, Clete Purcel, and Billy Bob Holland have matured(gotten Old) as shown in such areas of their philosophy, rhet- orical question/expressions of life choiches and their effect upon our station in life.

Also, the extensive use of quotes of noted authors, cliches, biblical verses, past serial killers ideology and profiles, etc., to given reason, and/or express events in the tale and actions of the characters.

Appreciate the smothh effective writing style which gives the impression of his love for writing.

However, the storyline that is scattered throughout this book, appears weak, vague, lacking in beliviabe reasoning, and doesn't fit and/or transition into an one tale.

Finally, the ending was poor, improbable and appears written for a juvenile, about a favorite action hero's encounters with the bad guys.

No stars. Don't bother wasting your time reading this exercise in excess. Way too long, too much pseudo-philosophy, characterization that are too predictable (I don't know who I liked least), etc. This book is just junk.

Nov 05, 2013
  • dubonnet rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I love James Lee Burke and his characters. He is a master at description, both of characters and places but is tending to get a bit wordy. I always feel I know the locales he describes or that I've been there.
I have followed his series faithfully and I like that he's aging his characters, but I find the stories are getting increasingly violent....but the good guys always win...seemingly without consequence in regards to the law. I felt kind of sad that the the next generation (daughters) are being drawn into the violence that follows Dave and Clete wherever they go . Makes me glad we don't live in a county with that kind of gun culture! I'll keep reading though as long as he keeps writing.

James Lee Burke is a master writer and Light of the World reminded me once again how gifted he is. When he stops writing the Dave Robicheaux series, I will want to read them all again. His command of the language is exquisite and his characters seem like old friends who, just like the rest of us, change with age.

Sep 09, 2013
  • jazpur rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Clearly it doesn't pay to take a holiday in Montana if you're Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. The Evil is of endemic proportions and close to home. James Lee Burke at his best.Loved it.

Sep 09, 2013
  • nannerl rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I didn't enjoy this book at all, reading it felt more like work than pleasure. And truly, I didn't finish it, a rare thing for me to do. But so many more books await, I didn't want to waste anymore time. I enjoy his daughter's novels much more.

Sep 03, 2013
  • shannon40 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sometimes I like Burke, sometimes not so much -- too wordy. I liked this one very much, even though it was a bit wordy. Readers who had read several of his previous novels could skip quickly over the repetitious detail. Those readers who had little experience with Burke's series could get a full understanding of Dave's and Clete's backgrounds.

Sep 03, 2013
  • debwalker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wherever they go, Dave and Clete always run into the bad guys. In this case, a seriously evil and twisted serial killer and a ruthless oil billionaire...lots of violence amidst the witty dialogue.

Aug 28, 2013
  • Bokan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Not the typical JLB effort. I found the novel way too laborious, at least 200 pages of moralizing and proselytizing. Clete's “bull in a china shop" routines are still engaging and Dave can still be counted on to do the right thing...up to a point.

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