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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed and best-selling crime writer James Lee Burke returns to Louisiana where his ever-popular hero, Dave Robicheaux, sleuths his way through a hotbed of sin and uncertainty.

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Thoroughly enjoyable

Captivating and engrossing. Interesting characters, interesting setting and interest plot.

  • Overall

Another Monet with words.

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What listening is all about

Will Patton's narration of this book was wonderful. I listened to it during a long trip and found myself sorry when the book ended before the drive.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Maybe too much Dave

I like the Dave Robicheaux series and have always read, not listened to them. I don't know if it was the fact that I was listening or that it is one book too many in the series but I find the descriptions of weather, smells, memories repetitive and not always relevant - almost as if the author is getting too caught up in the sound of his own voice. While a good mystery, it was almost as if he said "OK, long enough, I have to end it now", without tying up the threads.

  • Overall
  • Susan
  • Denton, TX, USA
  • 09-22-05


Another outstanding story from Mr. Burke. Will Patton is a wonderful reader of James Lee Burke novels because he understands the prose. This is really great listening. Beautiful descriptions and character development. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • West Lebanon, NH, USA
  • 08-20-05

Great book, poorly read

As usual, JLB had brought us a wonderful book. Dave Robicheaux, who must be pushing or past 60, is still in prime form. But the reader, Will Patton, sounds too young, and his indefinite "Southern" accent detracts from Dave's Cajun roots. If Mark Hammer had read, I would have given five stars.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Another Good One!

I had to stop a few times just to savor James Lee Burke's descriptive language. He is still a powerful writer. I was initially disappointed to find that Mark Hammer was not the narrator, but Will Patton proved himself a worthy reader. It was great to revisit some of favorite flawed characters.

  • Overall

wrong narrator!

I love hearing the Burke books and want more and more unabridged. I've listened to them exclusively for the past couple of months, including on a trip to New Orleans. So imagine my dismay when the voices I was so used to, of which I craved more, disappeared and were replaced by this limp, beat poet reading. No fair! I wish I'd checked the narrator before I bought it, I just assumed it would be Mark Hammer. What a disappointment!

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alan
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 12-07-07

First Time Burke Reader

This is the first Burke novel I read. I liked the main character, Robichaux, and I liked the description of people and places. This is a drama, detective, mystery story. Not my favorite genre. Lacks the thrill and adventure that I enjoy, never the less, giving it three stars and will probably get The Tin Roof Blowdown sometime in the future. Even though it was a little slow for me it was every well written.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Mystifying Mystery

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I like this author a lot, but I just could not get into this book. I don't know why. I repeatedly lost my place. There was something about the plodding development of the storyline that put me off.

Would you be willing to try another book from James Lee Burke? Why or why not?

Oh, yes! He is a terrific author. His descriptions are sometimes a bit verbose and overdone, but even then he has provocative things to say.

What aspect of Will Patton’s performance would you have changed?

I would have made his rendition of some of the characters even a little bit more gritty. He is an excellent narrator--don't get me wrong on that score. There was just something slightly too gentle in his affectations.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. In the hands of a very skilled director, this would make for a great movie. Alas, I do not know who that director would be. He would have to be of Hitchcock caliber.

Any additional comments?

I do not recommend this particular listen. I am keeping it only because I want to figure out why I am not being caught up in the plot. I want to make sense of my not quite grasping its development.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful