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."
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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.