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Hurricane Katrina served as a sociopolitical backdrop to “The Glass Rainbow” and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill serves that purpose in this novel. I don’t subscribe to all of Robicheaux’s stated liberal sensibilities (which echo author Burke), but my differing views did not put me off this complex and well-written crime thriller. Dave Robicheaux is a fine man and character and James Lee Burke is a fine writer.

• Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime, espionage and terrorism. He can be reached at