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The Glass Rainbow (Dave Robicheaux #18)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  8,318 Ratings  ·  599 Reviews
James Lee Burke's eagerly awaited new novel finds Detective Dave Robicheaux back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career.

Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high school
Hardcover, 433 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Simon & Schuster
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 29, 2012 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
“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
Dec 07, 2010 Lou rated it it was amazing
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
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
Oct 21, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
This is the 18th book in the David Robicheaux series. In this story the detective with the New Iberia, Louisiana sheriff's department is investigating the deaths of seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish. They appear to be the work of a serial killer but one of the victims, Bernadette Latiolais, was a high school honor student and does not fit the profile of the other victims. Despite the number of victims there seems to be little interest or belief that a serial killer is in th ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Tony rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2011 Ed rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 19, 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
John Hood
Aug 08, 2010 John Hood rated it it was amazing
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
Ellen Herbert
Aug 31, 2010 Ellen Herbert rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 12, 2011 Don rated it it was ok
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
Marie Hviding
Jul 06, 2010 Marie Hviding rated it really liked it
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
Tim Niland
Aug 16, 2010 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
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
Jan 25, 2012 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mitch White
Mar 25, 2012 Mitch White rated it did not like it
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
Irene Ziegler
Feb 09, 2011 Irene Ziegler rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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
Nov 13, 2010 Johnsergeant rated it really liked it
Narrated by Will Patton

15 hrs and 7 mins

Publisher's Summary

James Lee Burke’s eagerly awaited new novel finds Detective Dave Robicheaux back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit: she is not the kind of hapless and ma
Aug 20, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing
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
Bob Pearson
May 20, 2013 Bob Pearson rated it liked it
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
Sep 18, 2010 J.R. rated it really liked it
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
Oct 11, 2010 Bookmarks Magazine rated it liked it
Shelves: nov-dec-2010
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
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.
Oct 26, 2011 Amy rated it did not like it
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.
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.
Aug 27, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it
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
Michelle Lancaster
Apr 02, 2013 Michelle Lancaster rated it it was amazing
by James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster July 2010
From my personal library
Rating: 5 of 5 - sheer perfection

Have you ever smelled the magnolias, tasted the gumbo, seen the Spanish moss strung like Christmas garlands in the live oaks, heard the rain play on a tin roof, felt the damp salt breeze off the Gulf of Mexico? And the fleeting visions in the corner of your eye are indeed ghosts of an antebellum past, in the land of Marie Laveau. James Lee Burke's gifts are such that you will
Apr 02, 2011 Cher rated it it was amazing
James Lee Burke brings his beloved Southern Louisiana with all its beauty and the lushness of the Bayou to vivid life yet again. Dect. Dave Robicheaux and his ever present side-kick Clete Purcel battle evil in New Iberia with their usual fervor in protecting the down-trodden and mete out justice for the victims who succumbed to the awful deeds of evil doers.

The story begins when Dave is in Mississippi interviewing an inmate Elmore Latiolais about the murder of his 17 year old sister. She is one
Dec 10, 2010 Ahmad rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josephine  the Rereader
"It has been my experience that most human stories are circular rather than linear."

Dave Robicheaux is made aware of the deaths of several girls in his and neighboring parishes of Louisiana, and much to his bosses chagrin, he begins to poke around outside his jurisdiction. His daughter’s new boyfriend is a famous author, hoping to help her with her novel, as one of his friends, a criminal turned famous author. When connections from a small-time pimp to the criminal author keeps surfacing Dave pr
4 1/2 stars.

What could possibly draw the attention of Dave Robicheaux and the New Iberia police department more than the death of seven young women?

Even more, Dave is concerned that one of the women killed doesn't fit the profile. Bernadette Latiolas was a high school honor student who had been offered a college scholarship.

When a body is dumped in the field of a cane farmer in New Iberia, Dave and his boss, Helen Soileau, find something that connects with Bernadette and begin their own investig
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ARE DAVE & CLETE DEAD? 2 42 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 (Dave Robicheaux, #10)

Share This Book

“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.” 9 likes
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