Books I’d Recommend: Light of the World

11 Sep

Light of the WorldTrouble, it seems, follows Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux and pal Clete Purcel no matter where they hang their hats.

In James Lee Burke’s newest novel, “Light of the World,” the trouble has followed the pair from their Southern home  to their northern vacation grounds in Montana.

If you’ve read the Robicheaux series — this is the 20th entry — the plot will seem familiar: Dave and Clete run into a truly evil man, another evil man who is exceedingly wealthy complicates things, Clete gets suckered in by a pretty woman, Alafair is put in danger, Dave and Clete bust some heads, good triumphs in the end.

Don’t take my glib recitation of the formula as a criticism. Burke can turn a phrase. I’ve quoted from his books extensively elsewhere in this blog, such as here, here and here. He’s my favorite author, both for his thought-provoking topics and for his settings.

While he is definitely relying on a formula for the latest entries into the Robicheaux series, I still highly recommend this book. Burke tells engrossing tales of good and evil, temptation and redemption, love and evil. And he does so in dramatic and entertaining fashion.

This particular series (Burke has written two other series and a number of other stand-alone novels) is generally set in one of my favorite spots — Louisiana — and occasionally veers to another of my favorite spots — Montana. (Burke actually owns homes in New Iberia, Louisiana, and Missoula, Montana.)

If you are reading the Robicheaux series, rush out and get the latest entry, “Light of the World.” If you’ve never picked up a Burke novel, start with the first in this series, “Neon Rain,” and enjoy the ride to entry No. 20.

♦ ♦ ♦

For some other reviews on the book, visit these links:

Wall Street Journal review

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review

Blog critics review, Pat Padua


One Response to “Books I’d Recommend: Light of the World”


  1. NOLA artists on public broadcasting | in the deed - October 10, 2013

    […] One of Burke’s most-beloved protagonists is Dave Robicheaux, who is a NOPD detective in the first installment of the 19-book series. That first book is “Neon Rain,” while the most recent in the series is “Light of the World.” My recap of that novel can be found here. […]


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