Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Light of the World

Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell – and those closest to them – have certainly earned a little downtime.  Barely having survived the gunfight that ended The Glass Rainbow, Dave and Clete were soon battling pure evilness again in the nineteenth book in the Dave Robicheaux series, Creole Belle.  Now, as Light of the World opens Dave and Clete, along with Dave’s wife Molly and daughter Alafair, are recovering on a friend’s ranch in a remote part of Montana. 

Life is good  – at least until Alafair is almost killed by an arrow while running on one of the ranches wooded trails.  Dave, not a man who believes in coincidences, immediately starts nosing around (much to the chagrin of the local sheriff) and is soon reminded that the forces of evil never take a day off.  The fight is on.  And then Clete’s daughter (introduced in Creole Belle) shows up and throws a little gasoline on the already simmering fire.

Dave and Clete, personally flawed as they are, pride themselves on representing good in the perpetual battle between good and evil.  They defend those who are incapable of defending themselves – and, because they are willing to get their own hands dirty to get the job done, they do it very well.  And when it comes to protecting their daughters, all bets are off, especially when facing someone like Asa Surette, a ghostlike psychopath who has been nursing a grudge against Alafair for years and finally is in the position to make her pay.

Alafair, however, is more than ready to defend herself, and takes a surprisingly active hand in confronting the man whose attention she feels so guilty about bringing into their lives.  Readers will decide for themselves (I found her new warrior-like persona to be a little jarring) whether the new Alafair is, perhaps, a bit of a misstep on the author’s part. 

James Lee Burke
Now twenty books long and twenty-six years old, the Dave Robicheaux series is as strong as ever.  Dave Robicheaux and Cletus Purcell have become as familiar to avid fans as members of their own families.  The men, especially Clete, may not be perfect but it is their flaws that make them so effective in fighting the human predators so common in their world.  They are willing to give as good as they get, and we love them for it.

Bottom Line:  Light of the World is a great addition to the Dave Robicheaux series and fans will want to grab it.  James Lee Burke is as good as ever – maybe even better.  Gretchen Horowitz, Clete’s recently discovered adult daughter, is great fun and one hopes that she will be around for a long time.

(Review Copy provided by Publisher)

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