Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

James Lee Burke, Author
James Lee Burke. Simon & Schuster, $27.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4767-1076-1
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013
Release date: 07/23/2013
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Bestseller Burke’s 20th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2012’s Creole Belle), a powerful meditation on the nature—and smell—of evil, finds the Louisiana sheriff’s detective on vacation in Montana with family and friends. There they are hounded and haunted by a psychopathic serial killer, Asa Surrette, believed to have been killed in a prison van accident. Surrette has a fate worse than death in mind for Robicheaux’s journalist daughter, who interviewed him in prison. Meanwhile, his friend’s daughter, one of the most damaged women in detective fiction, is working on a documentary on shale oil extraction, earning her some powerful enemies. This book could easily have been subtitled “Daddies, Don’t Bring Your Daughters to Montana,” as people don’t just get killed: they’re tortured, disfigured, and eviscerated. Robicheaux himself remains haunted by his experiences in Vietnam. But even as the stomach roils, the fingers keep turning the pages because the much-honored Burke (two Edgars, a Guggenheim Fellowship) is a master storyteller. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (July)