cover image Robicheaux


James Lee Burke. Simon & Schuster, $27.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7684-5

Burke (Light of the World) once again features Dave Robicheaux—detective, veteran, widower, father, alcoholic—in this enthralling yet grim novel of crime, hate, and tragedy. Robicheaux may be at home in New Iberia, La., but he’s not safe from suspicion and self-doubt when the man who killed his wife is murdered. Together with his best friend, PI Clete Purcell, Robicheaux seeks truth, no matter how incriminating, even as more bodies fall and mysteries twine together. The cast is Shakespearean in its variety: a demagogue, a novelist, the mob, good cops and bad, victims of hubris and hate, and ghosts aplenty. No one here is blameless amid white supremacy, bigotry, misogyny, child abuse, flourishing sex and drug trades, and deep socioeconomic inequity, and Robicheaux and Clete never shy away from confronting what they see as the world’s evils. But as the stakes get higher, the friends—who are more than happy to risk themselves—must decide what it will take to protect those they love and respect. Along the way, Burke investigates accusations of rape, corporate colonialism, and Southern nostalgia, not always without his own bias. The novel’s murders and lies—both committed with unsettling smiles—will captivate, start to finish. (Jan.)