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The Glass Rainbow (Dave Robicheaux #18)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,786 Ratings  ·  565 Reviews
Beloved Burke hero Detective Dave Robicheaux returns to New Iberia to solve a series of grisly murders.
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Audio
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
May 15, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The evening sky was streaked with purple, the color of torn plums, and a light rain had started to fall when I came to the end of the blacktop road that cut through twenty miles of thick, almost impenetrable scrub oak and pine and stopped at the front gate of Angola penitentiary.”


This is the opening line to what became a long relationship between myself and Dave Robicheaux. It all begins with The Neon Rain and though not his best book, (he peaks in the middle of the series somewhere around Bl
Jul 25, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
David Robicheaux needs to find who is behind the death of women in Jefferson Davis Parish.

David our main protagonist, a veteran detective who’s seen the evil that men do and has had his own demons to battle with in the past, he has more scars thorough life than any one man would want to accumulate. He’s still living and walking the earth, he’s strong will, good character and fight for survival is testament to this.

In the search for the guilty very bad men emerge from the shadows.
Fingers start po
James Thane
Nov 26, 2011 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is the eighteenth entry in James Lee Burke's series featuring Dave Robicheaux, a detective in the sheriff's department in New Iberia, Louisiana, and it's distinguished principally by the fact that both Robicheaux and his long-time running buddy, Clete Purcel, are feeling their age and sensing that the end is near.

As always in these books, the atmosphere looms large and, as has been the case in several of them, Dave's own family is at grave personal risk. In this case, it's his adopted daugh
Aug 16, 2010 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Burke, James Lee. THE GLASS RAINBOW. (2010). *****. I’m an unrepentant Burke fan. I enjoy his use of language and his descriptive powers, even though most of his talent is used to describe low-lifes. In this latest adventure, Robicheaux and his pal Clete Purcel set out to solve the murders of seven young girls in neighboring Jefferson Davis parish. One of the girls is Bernadette Latiolais, a high school honor student, doesn’t fit the profile of the other girls. The other girls were all hapless, ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sturdy entry in the Sheriff Dave Robicheaux series. Kept me interested even during the Super Bowl, so that's saying a lot. I'm going with 5 stars if just for the entertainment value TGR packed for me, and the vivid prose--sometimes I just shook my head in awe. Good stuff, plain and simple.
Mar 11, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
James Lee Burke has always been a go-to writer for me. His Dave Robichaux series, in particular, has given me many hours of entertainment and an appreciation of writing place that I did not have before. Set in southern Louisiana, these books tell the story of Dave Robichaux and his friend and former partner in the New Orleans Police Department, Clete Purcel. Both men are deeply flawed, alcoholics in and out of recovery, and men who stand by their own code of honor as they become involved in the ...more
Ellen Herbert
Aug 31, 2010 Ellen Herbert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a member of the camp that finds the work of James Lee Burke necessary. I have read that he is the modern day Faulkner. All I know is that he brings alive the Louisiana that I know and his characters remain with me in between the releases of the books.

In The Glass Rainbow, there is all that I have found familiar and seductive in the past plus a new twist - mortality. Dave has an angel or a demon on his back, as always and as the reader walks with him, he/she will find themselves looking for
John Hood
Aug 08, 2010 John Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bound: A Stained Glass Radiance - SunPost Weekly July 29, 2010
John Hood

Last week I had the great good pleasure of slipping into The Big Easy for a couple days courtesy of Cointreau, who'd flown me up to that storied city in order to interview Dita Von Teese. While I was there I made a point of strolling the French Quarter at daybreak so that I might get a whiff of some of those ghosts James Lee Burke is forever mentioning in his works. And the man is right: the spirits are pa
Aug 12, 2011 Don rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After 18 novels in the Dave Robicheaux series, I think I'm done with this. Burke has been running on fumes for the last couple of installments, and really seems to have run out of gas. Much as I hate to admit it, it's past time to retire this series.

Burke is one of the few really good stylists working in genre fiction, but genre fiction depends upon plot, and there is virtually none here. Burke barely makes any effort to explain what lies behind the deaths of the two young girls which seems to b
Jul 26, 2010 Gayle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

My all time favorite series.....Somehow Burke manages to combine Faulkner,( the South, Race , class and family secrets)..."The past is not-past it is-not even-over yet" Dostoevsky
( fallen humanity and redemption) and Steinbeck( the great mass of the downtrodden trampled by capitalism) all rolled into one.

The intensely flawed main character continues his one step forward two back path of redemption amid a cast of truly evil characters and a bunch as flawed as himself. The setting as well as the
Jan 25, 2012 Patrick rated it it was ok
Easily my least favorite of the Dave Robicheaux novels. The 2 dead girls seem mothing more that an excuse for Dave & Clete to knock some bad guys heads in. Of all the novels I had the least sympathy for Dave & Clete (& Alafair, for that matter); actively feeling disgust for their actions at times. When the "good guys" start to act as bad as the "bad guys" & use their good guy-ness as an excuse for it, when one "good guy" looks the other way as another "good guy" mistreats a "bad ...more
Marie Hviding
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I have been crazy in love with Dave Robicheaux for over 15 years now. The seriously flawed noble mon never disappointed. The same is true in "The Glass Rainbow". Dave and Clete tear through the landscape, avenging angels handing out rough justice and ham-fisted redemption. Burke's luminous blend of spirituality and violence are as seductive as ever...and so I was not ready. Burke warns the reader again and again, but I still was not ready. It's maybe not Burke's ...more
Mitch White
Apr 01, 2012 Mitch White rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I give up on James Lee Burke, and I hate to do that. But this book just rambles. The plot would be good if he would let it occur, but he seems determined to fit any progress toward the plot. He used to be compelling because of his style; and people used to compare him (and correctly so) to the great southern novelists who told involved and meandering stories. But they eventually go somewhere. Burke just doesn't do that at all anymore. He seems to have gotten so buried in the writing style that A ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started the Dave Robicheaux series by reading Pegasus Descending then Tin Roof Blowdown and Swan Peak. I grew to love all of the characters, the description of the beautiful Louisiana settings and of course Burke's writing. So I decided to go back to the first book and work my way through the entire series. I made it through from Neon Rain to the 9th book Cadillac Jukebox. I couldn't stand waiting so I jumped ahead and read The Glass Rainbow.

This book was the best of the entire series that I h
Irene Ziegler
The Dave Robicheaux books are starting to blend together for me, but that's all right. I don't read them for the plot; I read them for the swoon factor.

The swoon factor occurs after you have placed yourself in the hands of a confident, assured author whom you trust to gently carry you through his world, and at journey's end, safely return you to your own. You arrive at that last page, linger on the closing sentence, and sigh, contented.

Swoon factor.

Nonetheless, I think I'm done with Dave Robich
Bob Pearson
I'm a Dave Robicheaux fan actually, so I have to explain the lower rating. Here his characters use language that is just gratuitously obnoxious, and it goes on and on. The same impact is perfectly possible without this excess. More importantly however, the language seems designed to make the reader think that Robicheaux and his buddies are just dumb and can't for unexplained reasons see what Burke already has made clear to the reader. At crucial points, Robicheaux seems to waken to see precisely ...more
Tim Niland
Aug 16, 2010 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
James Lee Burke's great knight-errant of southern Louisiana, Detective Dave Robicheaux of the New Iberia Sheriff's Department is trying to figure out the murder of two young women found dead in the swampland. Compounding this are personal problems involving his friends and family, pulling him in different directions. By the time he realizes that all of these threads tie together, he is facing more danger than ever. This remains one of my favorite series in all of fiction, but there seemed to be ...more
Sep 23, 2010 J.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries

This 18th in the Dave Robicheaux series does not disappoint.
Robicheaux is still the same good man flawed with baggage from the past which often takes him near the edge. His saving graces are his sense of justice and love for family and friends.
Seven young women have been brutally murdered and it appears a serial killer is on the prowl. But the death of a high school honor student doesn’t fit the pattern. Robicheaux senses other alternatives, which brings him into contact with a bizarre cast of c
Bookmarks Magazine
Critical opinions of The Glass Rainbow seemed to depend on how many James Lee Burke novels the reviewer had read before. Newcomers were impressed by Burke's lavish descriptions of Louisiana and flawed but honorable characters. However, several reviewers who had read the earlier volumes in the series were less impressed, saying this installment was nothing they hadn't seen before. Yet critics willing to hint at the ending of the book also said it will have more of an enduring impact on the series ...more
Jul 19, 2010 Charlie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do-not-own
A deeply disappointing read for me. I've had varied reactions to the Robicheaux series but I've loved the last two, Swan Peak and The Tin Roof Blowdown. I've enjoyed the Billy Bob Holland books and thought Rain Gods was absolutely killer. But this one felt like someone writing a parody of Burke's good stuff, like writer's tricks instead of the truth.
Nov 18, 2015 R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The latter books in the Robicheaux series are undeniably formulaic, although I have been willing to ignore this over the last few installments. Even if repetitive, the writing has been sharp and engrossing. "The Glass Rainbow" comes awfully close to being the tipping point though, as it takes on the distinct feel of deja vu. As a reader, I know when Clete is going to fall for the wrong woman; when Alifair is going to try to strike out on her own against Dave's advice, question the goodness of th ...more
This will be my last Dave Robicheaux book, and if poor Dave had any free will in the matter, he'd run away from the tortures James Lee Burke is putting him through. Fortunately, I don't have to put myself through these grueling, grinding stories, so I'm out of here.
Nov 02, 2011 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about a terrible read. I slogged through the whole story hoping to at least have a decent ending. Boy, I was totally disappointed. Don't waste your time reading this book unless you really like endings with absolutely no resolution.
Apr 12, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: large-print-read
Once again, a fine read by James Lee Burke. His Robicheaux series is one of my favorites. Didn't realize when I started it, though, that I had gotten out of sequence in the series. I should correct that, certainly.

Robicheaux is one of my favorite characters. A flawed person with a past that is better kept hidden, but, he is plagued by it. As is his long time buddy and partner, Clete Purcel. Between them they are a great pair and contribute to a great series.

Mr. Burke's writing has long impressed
I haven't read a Dave Robicheaux book in several years and picked up The Glass Rainbow because I like the gritty stories and Robicheaux's character. I missed a lot in the books I didn't yet read. The Glass Rainbow is dark from start to finish. There is always pervasive evil and a hint of the supernatural in a Ribicheaux story; in this one an older Robicheaux now has a lot to lose: his wife, Molly, and daughter Alafair who has grown into a beautiful young woman. Alafair's new boyfriend is from a ...more
Paul Pessolano
Feb 19, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Lee Burke has done it again, as he has over and over again.

"The Glass Rainbow" is another outstanding mystery that features one of my favorite characters, Dave Robicheaux. One may also include his friend, Clete Purcel, his wife, former Catholic nun Molly, and his adopted daughter , Alafair.

Dave is a former New Orleans police officer with a past that includes alcoholism. He fights both his past and alcoholism in all his books. Clete was Dave's partner, and fights his own devils, and not onl
Dec 10, 2010 Ahmad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Mar 08, 2012 Kata rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I might have discovered a guilty pleasure in the James Lee Burke novels. In some strange sense they remind me of a mix of CSI/Criminal Minds/Simon & Simon.

In this particular chapter in the life of Detective Dave Robicheaux I was introduced to his brilliant and unobstructedly vocal daughter, Alafair. She hooks up with a bad boyfriend, Kermit and this of course leads to a lovely dramatic plot that seeps with the colorfulness of any Burke novel. We have rich and poor characters all cau
Jul 24, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction
In fiction and entertainment, there have been some great double acts: Laurel and Hardy, Holmes and Watson, Morecombe and Wise, Morse and Lewis, Keith Harris and Orville. Add to this list Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell. They have partnered each other across all of the James Lee Burke novels about crime in New Iberia, Louisianna, where the ghosts of the Confederate militia roam the swamp lands and Dave's booze-damaged brain, seeking redemption through a bit of the old ultra-violence. The partne ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Dave Robicheaux, deputy sheriff
SETTING: Louisiana
SERIES: #18 of 18

Dave Robicheaux, a deputy sheriff for Iberia Parish, Louisiana, has just returned from a trip to Montana, only to find a grievous crime spree in front of him, one involving the rape and mutilation of seven local women. Although many of the victims resided outside his area of responsibility, Dave finds himself pulled into the case because of the plight of two of the victims. Unlike the other five, thely wer
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ARE DAVE & CLETE DEAD? 2 41 Jan 15, 2012 12:27PM  
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James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Dave Robicheaux series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.

Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving
More about James Lee Burke...

Other Books in the Series

Dave Robicheaux (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1)
  • Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux, #2)
  • Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3)
  • A Morning for Flamingos (Dave Robicheaux, #4)
  • A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux, #5)
  • In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6)
  • Dixie City Jam (Dave Robicheaux, #7)
  • Burning Angel (Dave Robicheaux, #8)
  • Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux, #9)
  • Sunset Limited

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“It has been my experience that most human stories are circular rather than linear. Regardless of the path we choose, we somehow end up where we commenced - in part, I suspect, because the child who lives in us goes along for the ride.” 24 likes
“If there is any human tragedy, there is only one, and it occurs when we forget who we are and remain silent while a stranger takes up residence inside our skin.” 10 likes
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