For Dave Robicheaux, life in Louisiana is filled with haunting memories of the past. In Crusader's Cross, a deathbed confession from an old schoolmate resurrects a story of injustice, the murder of a young woman, and a time in Robicheaux's life he has tried to forget.
Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin. It was back in the innocent days of the 1950s when Robicheaux and his brother, Jimmie, met her on a Galveston beach. She was pretty, and Jimmie fell for her hard, not knowing she was a prostitute on infamous Post Office Street, with ties to the mob. Then Ida was abducted and never seen again.
Now, decades later, Robicheaux is asking questions about Ida Durbin, and a couple of redneck deputy sheriffs make it clear that asking questions is a dangerous game. With a series of horrifying murders and the sudden appearance of Valentine Chalons and his sister, Robicheaux is soon involved with the murderous energies of the New Orleans underworld.
©2005 James Lee Burke; (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division.
than James Lee Burke and Will Patton. THE perfect combination for a great listen. Burke's lush vocabulary and vivid descriptions have you seeing and feeling the surroundings. I've never been to Bayou country, but I feel like I know the place. Patton's reading of Robicheaux is spot on perfect and anyone else trying to do it would be a disappointment. Burke skillfully builds characters and plots and this was just one more that was worth every minute.
Burke and Patton do it again! I haven't listened to the Robicheaux novels in order, but it doesn't matter. This one gave me a little more history of Robicheaux's early years. Will Patton is an amazing narrator, not to disrespect the late Mark Hammer, but the narration is awesome!! If you are a fan of the Robicheaux novels this is a must listen!
Robicheaux novels seem to be two part: one detective, the other the soap opera of Dave's life. Both work in this one. The insights into Dave's anguished and driven life are at their best, while Dave in many ways is at his least sympathetic. At times he's far from likable, though always understandable, thanks to Burke's gifted writing and thorough insight.
The mystery of the book is a little more focused than the novels leading up to this one. While Burke still uses a lot of similar characters and social settings, and many scenes still seem to happen on the grounds of old Louisiana bayou homes, the story here has more cohesion than the ones just before it. The links between events and characters are more natural, less forced than in some before this one.
Overall, one of his better ones, I think. Other books I've described as not a good place to jump into the series. I think this one would be a good start for a newcomer. It stands by itself, and in some ways breaks with other stories.
This is the first one I heard Will Patton read, and despite being a big fan of Patton's, I couldn't get used to the change from the late Mark Hammer. I can see why people who started on Patton would have the same reaction to Hammer's reading. The two are so dissimilar that it changes the feel of the book. Hammer feels more languid and introspective, whereas Patton feels more hurried. His reading of Purcell is just odd, sounding about as New Orleanean as Robert DeNiro (And no, being from the Irish Channel would not make Clete sound THAT much like a junkie from Brooklyn). Either reader will take getting used to for those accustomed to the other.
Devoted audible mystery user. Been using since 2001 - that's a bunch of books. I've enjoyed every one I purchased through my membership.
I was only recently introduced to Dave Robecheaux in the Tin Roof Blowdown.
Burke's tortured detective struggles with his demons of the past while trying to find the decency in a world that seems to have gone mad with criminal activity of the worst kind. His writing style is so descriptive and graphic that you can smell the Lousiana swamp, hear the rain, and feel the humidity of the area near the City of New Orleans. The characters are rich, the mystery uncommon. Yet, Dave wades into the crimes to humanity with the tenacity of a bulldog, all the while questioning his motives, his anger and his own sense of what is the right thing to do - in spite of himself.
A great read, and it was good to go back some to learn of the Robecheaux character. I look forward to going through the series.
Not the best Burke novel I have listened to, but not bad either. I cannot rave enough about the reader. His voice, attitude and accent are perfect for these stories.
I read Tin Roof Blowdown first, so this was my second James Lee Burke / Dave Robichaux novel.
Even though I gave it 5 stars, it is not as good as Tin Roof Blowdown. This was more like a 4 to a 4.5, so I rounded up because the reader was terrific.
The only thing I didn't like was that too much of the story was wrapped up in the epilogue all too quickly and sumarily; it was more like a dinner murder mystery conclusion.
Other than that, it's a good listen.
Will Patton is a phenomenal reader!!
I am now going to go back and listen to the rest of the Robichaux stories in order :)
i rank will patton's reading ability right up with Scott Brick's. The story was very intriging, the writing ranks with up there with 13 Moon's or Cold Mountain. I loved it. You will not be dissapointed with this book.
Buying a book for my brother’s birthday several years ago, one of James Lee Burke’s books was recommended to me. Unfamiliar with Burke, I wanted to sample his writing and couldn’t put the book down. I became an immediate fan of Dave Robicheaux, Burke’s recurring character and one suspects his alter ego. The writing is tight, with serpentine but believable plots, and packed with action. Characters and scenes are beautifully painted with words. A Faulkneresque Monet. Burke is quite simply the best contemporary American mystery writer out there. The only thing separating him from being a great writer beyond his time is the inability to transcend his mystery genre, and he has tried. Outside of Robicheaux, the writing lacks the intensity and conviction. Inside is greatness. Burke should be required reading for advanced writing and literature courses except, I suspect, parents and school boards might have a problem with some of the language and sometimes lurid scenes.
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