Light of the World

Burke, James Lee

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Light of the World
New York Times bestselling author and "America's best novelist" ( The Denver Post ) James Lee Burke is back with the twentieth mystery in the masterful Dave Robicheaux series. Sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders he committed while capital punishment was outlawed in Kansas. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux's daughter Alafair, Surrette escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana, where an unsuspecting Dave-along with Alafair; Dave's wife, Molly; Dave's faithful partner Clete; and Clete's newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz-have come to take in the sweet summer air. Surrette may be even worse than Dave's old enemy Legion Guidry, a man Dave suspected might very well be the devil incarnate. But before Dave can stop Surrette from harming those he loves most, he'll have to do battle with Love Younger, an enigmatic petrochemical magnate seeking to build an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas, and Wyatt Dixon, a rodeo clown with a dark past whom Burke fans will recall from his Billy Bob Holland novels. 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." Drawing on real events that took place in Wichita, Kansas, over a twenty-year span, 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: 9781476710778
Characteristics: 548 pages ;,25 cm


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Apr 08, 2014

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.

Jan 03, 2014

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.

Sep 17, 2013

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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