The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) Hardcover – July 13, 2010

318 customer reviews

See all 29 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.68 $0.01
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. MWA Grand Master Burke offers everything his readers expect--brilliant prose, prosaic situations that suddenly become mystic experiences, and a complex plot that repeatedly plumbs the depths of human depravity and the heights of nobility--in his superlative 18th novel featuring Iberia, La., deputy sheriff Dave Robicheaux (after Swan Peak). Robicheaux finds himself dealing with adopted daughter Alafair's attraction to novelist Kermit Abelard of the degenerate Abelard clan (who echo Faulkner's Snopses), as well as trying to avenge the sadistic murders of two young women, aided by best friend Clete Purcel. Evil comes in many forms, from the psychotic interloper Vidor Perkins to Robert Weingart, a convict turned author, whom Kermit has championed. The sights, smells, and sounds of the Louisiana bayous become sensory experiences in Burke's novels, and death is a constant presence that threatens to overwhelm his angels with "tarnished wings."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From 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' main characters than previous installments, implying that this is one that fans of the Dave Robicheaux series should not skip.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Dave Robicheaux Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439128294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439128299
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

More About the Author

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, is the author of twenty-three previous novels, including such New York Times bestsellers as Bitterroot, Purple Cane Road, Cimarron Rose, Jolie Blon's Bounce, and Dixie City Jam. He lives in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 197 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Ettner on July 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Glass Rainbow" -- the latest installment in James Lee Burke's series of crime novels featuring the New Iberia, Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux -- finds the author fully in command of his well-practiced skills in crafting plot, characters and setting. Fans of Dave need to know only this: Your expectations will be well met.

The theme for this go-round is the perennial one of good and evil. Dave's world-view remains tragic, his compassion undiminished for the innocent victims of violence. Once again Tripod, the family's three-legged pet raccoon, climbs trees and enjoys an occasional treat of ice cream. Dave -- also known as big mon, noble mon, bwana, troop, Pops, and Streak -- acquires yet another nickname: RoboCop. One of the book's colorful supporting characters, a wise-cracking 12-year-old named Buford, exchanges snappy insults with Clete Purcel, Dave's longtime friend. There are aberrant people on the loose ("an evil presence has come into our midst, a phenomenon not without precedent"). As always, the Louisiana Gulf Coast, lyrically serenaded, is an ever-present protagonist. Nature is more than eager to convert to antagonist during the stormy, climactic shoot-out. In the end we are a witness as evil consumes itself.

Happily for the reader, the irreducible core of "The Glass Rainbow" -- its true and joyful and sentimental propellant -- is the Dave and Clete Show. Over the years the repertoire of this pair of lawmen has grown broad and deep. Here, from the first chapter to the finale, the two of them are a team. Dave and Clete call to mind Mutt and Jeff, Felix and Oscar, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Their bag of repartee now includes bittersweet reflections on growing old. In Clete's case, the problem remains his adamant refusal at times to grow up.
Read more ›
13 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Julia A. Andrews on July 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The latest in the series of Burke's novels which features the fascinating Dave Robicheaux is a compelling read. All of of the Dave Robichiaux books feature the relationship of the central character with his loyal, though self destructive friend, Clete Purcel. This part of the narrative thread is more pronounced even than usual in this book. Clete's unstable temper results in trouble after he beats a drug dealer and pimp who subsequently is discovered dead. As always Burke handles multiples threads without a bit of difficulty. Serial killings and danger threaten Robicheax's daughter, the exotically named Alafair, whose literary ambitions lead her into dangerous relationships.

Burke's themes always embrace the vulnerabilty of his characters. Even the ultra tough and dangerous Clete Purcel is described as having "his most dangerous adversary living in his own breast". Ranged against innocence and vulnerability are the denizens of Louisiana' underworld whose evil sharply contrasts with the other characters who Burke depicts so well.

In my opinion, James Lee Burke is one of the best current writers, and not just in the thriller genre. The Louisiana backgound is always beautifully articulated. In no way is this unnecessary padding, a charge that can be levelled at some other successful, prolific writers. If your reading interests embrace top quality writing, even if you are not an aficionado of thrillers, I recommend that you try this novel. If you like thrillers, this is one you should not miss.

Enjoy the read!
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Marion VINE VOICE on July 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read and enjoyed every one of Mr. Burke's books and I have to say this is his best Dave Robicheux tale yet. He writes of my beautiful, unique state like no one I've ever read, with the prose and heart of a poet. I couldn't help but cry a few times as he and Clete were fishing on Bayou Teche near the Gulf of Mexico and think, "Is this way of life now gone forever due to the horrific oil spill/destruction in the Gulf?" It made me treasure even more his magnificent, moving descriptions of my luscious, fecund state with a bittersweet poignancy. I can't praise his writing enough. He's one of my top five favorite writers on earth, no matter what the genre. The man is a master of his craft! The plot was tight and had me riveted right to the wild, heart-pounding ending. If you're a Dave Robicheaux fan, then you won't be disappointed. Mr. Burke only gets better with each new book.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon Leemon on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Burke writes beautifully, but at this point he seems to be more or less phoning it in. All of the standard elements of a Dave Robicheaux novel are here. Protracted philosophizing about alcoholics and alcoholism? Check. Clete getting played by a bad woman, and going totally out of control? Check. Civil War phantoms? Check. Long descriptions of the beauty of the Louisiana countryside, contrasted with the corruption of its inhabitants? Check. A rich evil family flaunting the law and oppressing the poor? Check. I mean really, how many rich, evil families can there be in his little corner of Louisiana? So far we've met twenty or more in Burke's book, and the supply doesn't seem to be dwindling. Do your suppose they all belong to a big country club where only the criminally rich can become members?


You know that a mystery writer has run out of ideas when he has the bad guys go after the detective and his family. I don't just mean taking a pot shot when the detective comes too close. I mean focusing all of their efforts on killing the hero, his relatives and friends to the exclusion of everything else. In this book, the rich bastards are supposed to be involved in an evil plot that will make them BILLIONS of dollars, but we learn almost nothing about this plot. Instead, they become so focused on their (unsuccessful) efforts to do in Dave and everybody he loves by hiring a team of crack mercenaries that they seem to forget about the BILLIONS of dollars completely. I mean, puh-lease!


So why three stars? It may be formula and it may be absurd, but Burke does it so well that it's possible to overlook its many laughably bad aspects and enjoy the heck out of it anyway.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: order glasses