Light of the World

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I've finally "caught up" with James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels. (It's taken decades, but I did it!) Light of the World came out back in 2013; Mr. Burke's latest is in his other series concentrating on the Holland family. Which is also good, but I don't want to get involved.

(Not that there aren't connections: one of the primary characters here, Wyatt Dixon, is a crossover from Bitterroot, a Billy Bob Holland book. The connection isn't mentioned or even alluded to here.)

Anyway: the book finds Dave, wife Molly, and daughter Alafair up in Montana, taking a break from Louisiana seediness and violence. Also in tow is Dave's lifelong buddy Clete Purcel; soon to appear is Gretchen Horowitz, Clete's rediscovered daughter. (After a horrific childhood, and a brief career as a Mafia hitter, Gretchen has found a new career in making movies.) Danger soon infests this idyllic scene, as Alafair is nicked by an arrow while out for a jog. Whodunnit? But that's not all: a young Native American woman has gone missing, and she just happens to be the adopted daughter of an oil company scion.

And, in addition, the gruesome serial killer, Asa Surette is missing and presumed burnt up, as a result of a collision between a prison transport bus and an oil truck. But is he really dead? Signs point to no, and if he's alive, he has a serious animosity for Alafair, who interviewed him in prison.

As always, Mr. Burke's spectacular prose punches the reader in the face with descriptions of natural beauty, harrowing terror, and ongoing violence. And dialog: I sometimes wish I could talk like his characters. But I'm sure people up here in New Hampshire wouldn't take to it.