We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Heartwood: A Billy Bob Holland Novel, Book 2 | [James Lee Burke]

Heartwood: A Billy Bob Holland Novel, Book 2

Heartwood is a kind of tree that grows in layers. And as Billy Bob's grandfather once told him, you do well in life by keeping the roots in a clear stream and not letting anyone taint the water for you. But in Holland's dusty little hometown of Deaf Smith, in the hill country north of Austin, local kingpin Earl Deitrich has made a fortune running roughshod and tainting anyone who stands in his way. Billy Bob has problems with Deitrich and his shamelessly callous demeanor, but can't shake the legacy of his passion for Deitrich's "heartbreak-beautiful" wife, Peggy Jean.
Regular Price:$22.63
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Few writers in America today combine James Lee Burke's lush prose, cracking story lines, and tremendous sense of history and landscape. In Cimarron Rose, longtime fans of the Dave Robicheaux series found that the struggles of Texas defense attorney Billy Bob Holland show Burke at his best in exploring classic American themes - the sometimes subtle, often violent strains between the haves and the have-nots; the collision of past and present; the inequities in the criminal justice system.

Heartwood is a kind of tree that grows in layers. And as Billy Bob's grandfather once told him, you do well in life by keeping the roots in a clear stream and not letting anyone taint the water for you. But in Holland's dusty little hometown of Deaf Smith, in the hill country north of Austin, local kingpin Earl Deitrich has made a fortune running roughshod and tainting anyone who stands in his way. Billy Bob has problems with Deitrich and his shamelessly callous demeanor, but can't shake the legacy of his passion for Deitrich's "heartbreak-beautiful" wife, Peggy Jean.

When Holland takes on the defense of Wilbur Pickett - a man accused of stealing an heirloom and three hundred thousand dollars in bonds from Deitrich's office - he finds himself up against not Earl's power and influence, but also a past Billy Bob can't will away.

A wonderfully realized novel, rich in Texas atmosphere and lore, and a dazzling portrait of the deadly consequences of self-delusion, Heartwood could only have been written by James Lee Burke, a writer in expert command of his craft.

©2011 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (56 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.2 (47 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.6 (48 )
5 star
 (18)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ed 06-25-13
    Ed 06-25-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not JLB's best, narrator needs coaching"
    What would have made Heartwood better?

    Definitely a better narrator. It's hard to tell how much the narration is affecting my enjoyment of the book, but it doesn't seem to be one of his best.

    The other Holland books had a flair for creating really heinous "baddies" similar to his Robichaux series. This one seems bland in comparison. The other characters also seem to be uninteresting and predictable. Maybe not having Will Patton narrate is taking out some of the color. Come back Will!!

    Being from Texas myself, I'm seeing details that don't reflect regional accuracy. There are no pine trees in this part of Texas, no "levee" on the river. Several other things that I can't remember right now.


    If you’ve listened to books by James Lee Burke before, how does this one compare?

    This story is lacking some of the character development and color that makes Burke one of my favorite writers.


    What didn’t you like about Alan Sklar’s performance?

    Sklar definitely needs some coaching on his regional characterizations. His southern accents all sound identical and aren't true Texas accents; he's giving us more of a generic Deep South flavor. His Hispanic accents sound more Puerto Rican or East LA than South Texas.

    The most aggregious effect is when Sklar drops the final "g" off of EVERY word ending in "ing" in his approximation of southern dialect. Mixing in a few dropped "g's" gives us the idea. A constant use of this device is ridiculous and annoying. He does this even in the narration, which should be toned down somewhat to distinguish it from dialogue. Even in first person narration, voice characterization should be played more neutral than when characters speak.

    Sklar had difficulty in pacing the text to portray the movement and mood of the scenes. His only method seemed to be in stretching out and elongating words for emphasis. When all words are treated the same way it creates a monotonous, hypnotic effect that distracts from Burke's writing. I found myself having to rewind requently to pick up details in detecting change in scenery or which characters are speaking. Listening to an audio book shouldn't take that much work.

    Sklar has a deep, excellent voice. He needs some range and variability. Take notes from Patton.


    What character would you cut from Heartwood?

    Not really a question of which character is expendible - let's make them ALL more interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    We're missing out on the outrageous characters, cajun flavor and great narration in this recording.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 07-30-12
    Susan 07-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Always Great"

    I love James Lee Burke's books, the narrator of this one was not as good as his other narrators. I am from Louisiana and listening to someone try to speak with a southern accent is aggravating. Will Paton does it the best. This book like the rest start off with a bang and keeps you entertained from start to finish. Love James Lee Burke

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Barboursville, WV, United States 07-08-12
    William Barboursville, WV, United States 07-08-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "nauseating narration"
    Would you try another book from James Lee Burke and/or Alan Sklar?

    i have listened to virtually all of james lee burke's books and find them most enjoyable will patton is great tom stechschulte is great alan sklar is so bad i couldnt listen to the book


    What didn’t you like about Alan Sklar’s performance?

    his voice intonation is absolutely nauseating


    Any additional comments?

    i couldnt comment on the book because i couldnt get past the first fifteen minutes the narration is so bad i am going to ask for my money back

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Douglas, MA, United States 05-30-14
    Glenn Douglas, MA, United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tough Listen"

    As noted by others, it's tough to tell if I didn't like the book or if the narrator ruined it. Before writing this review I noticed that there was another version narrated by Will Patton. If you're thinking about downloading this book I would highly recommend the Patton version.

    Sklar's voice is baritone which from my listening experience makes it harder to pay attention. Narrators with deep voices seem to have trouble with voice characterizations. This makes it more difficult to follow the book, especially in a situation where you're driving. Instead of drawing you into the story, Sklar's voice tends to drone and next thing you know, you just missed several minutes of the book.

    I love Burke's books when narrated both by Patton and Harmon, but this one just didn't hold my interest. Getting through it felt like a chore. Unlike Burke's other books there were very few exciting moments. There were many points in the story where action seemed to build only to fizzle out.

    All in all a very unsatisfactory and disappointing listen from one of my favorite authors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Tulsa, OK, United States 01-17-13
    Sarah Tulsa, OK, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narration slowed down story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't rec the audio version because the narration felt a bit sluggish to me. Seemed to bog the storyline down, if that makes sense, but I would rec the book to read! It wasn't Sklar's voice per se--actually his voice is quite lovely--but the pace seemed off. Too slow and flat.Didn't ramp up w/ the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Love the JLB's compositions. He can paint a scene so that you are THERE. One of my faves in this story was a description of Beau running.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gloria 10-10-12
    gloria 10-10-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story was great! narration, not so much......"
    What made the experience of listening to Heartwood the most enjoyable?

    The reader was difficult to listen to, this was an instance of listening anyway because it was book 2 of a series I enjoy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story itself was great, with plot twists I didn't see coming.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Sklar’s performances?

    I don't think so.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.