The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster, 2010
448 pp., $25.99

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J. Mark Bertrand

The Glass Rainbow

Dave Robicheaux dispenses rough justice.

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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.

Louisiana native J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Back on Murder, featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. The second book in the series, Pattern of Wounds, will be published in July 2011.

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