The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster, 2010
448 pp., $25.99
J. Mark Bertrand
The Glass Rainbow
The hard-boiled detective as envisioned by Raymond Chandler is a modern-day knight errant, a straight man in a bent world. Robicheaux fits the mold, though he's been bent a few times and straightened back out a little worse for wear. The creases still show. And in The Glass Rainbow he's not a loner. Brotherhood is the key. Robicheaux and Purcell together become an unstoppable force for good. But their antagonists share a brotherly bond as well, "each finding in the other what he lacked, the two of them probably creating a third personality that was sub-human and monstrous."
The Glass Rainbow ends, as so many Robicheaux novels do, in a rollicking delirium. The scales are balanced in a breathless fit of bloodshed that culminates in an Arthurian exit vision. Despite Robicheaux's liberal-mindedness, he's not a big believer in rehabilitation. In this case, better just to take the bad guys off the board.
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