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The Glass Rainbow
James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster 2010

The first six Dave Robicheaux mystery novels, from The Neon Rain to In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead, are excellent. James Lee Burke then became extremely formulaic: Robicheaux looks into some lost cause or long forgotten injustice, he confronts some big shot three or four times at the big shot's palatial home, his partner Clete Purcell busts a few heads and pisses people off, and Robicheaux solves the mystery because the bad guy gets real annoyed and goes after him and Purcell.

This was reason enough to give up on the Dave Robicheaux series starting with Burning Angel or Cadillac Jukebox.

Still, mystery loves die hard. The Glass Rainbow, the latest (2010) offering by James Lee Burke was approached with an open mind but trepidation.

Within the first six chapters Dave Robicheaux is asked to look into an old unsolved murder, he visits two different palatial homes, Purcell busts a head and pisses someone off, and the prisoner who asked for Robicheaux's help and pointed the finger at some rich white guy gets killed.

The only person who ages in James Lee Burke's mysteries is Robicheaux's daughter Alafair. In The Glass Rainbow she is going out with one of the local rich guys with a big house and the rich guy is buddies with an ex-con turned writer. Dave has his suspicions about the ex-con.

The plot is complicated and really gets going halfway through. There again, Burke does plod along some.

The last three or so chapters are a must for any Dave Robicheaux fan.