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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
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 08-17-10

Another delicious book from JLB

While listening to this book, I wanted to go to Cafe Du Monde and eat too many beignet. I heard jazz in the quarter and inhaled the scent and felt the sounds of the Atchafallya Basin. And along with me are Dave and Clete, my favorite imperfect good guys. I thought the inclusion of Alafair and her relationship to the antagonists made this story particularly interesting and suspense filled. And with each new book, I have come to love Clete more and more, with his warts and maybe because of. I didn't want this story to end.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

No spoiler?

It is hard to review this book without spoiling it for a non-reader. Dave has some old problems recur and fights his way thru them. Clete is pretty subdued, ie, no trailer destruction in this one. Just a couple of good 'ole boys tweaking the rich folks, and Dave gets a new romantic interest. Crusader's Cross is thoroughly enjoyable and had me hollering out loud at him at one point.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • Henrico, VA, United States
  • 07-29-05


This is almost enchanting. No one can turn a phrase or describe a scene better than James Lee Burke. And Will Patton nails it! New to the audio format of Burke's novels. I was skeptical because I don't particularly like Patton as an actor. But, boy oh boy, he sure does a good Dave Robicheaux. To those familiar with the series: this is one of Burke's best Robicheaux stories. To new listeners: give it a shot, you won't be disappointed. Burke writes a compelling story and Patton pulls you right into it.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Another Prosaic Mystery Masterpiece

I can't help but love Burke's characters and especially his literary prose. Will Patton's reading captivates my imagination. He is the best reader I have encountered, and I have listened to over 300 titles! This is a great story and a great mystery.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Another Robicheaux Brooder

While the story is a good one, it is the people in the story that hold you. Dave and Clete are good guys, but hardly in white hats. They have their own darkness that makes them just the right guys to go after the bad guys, who don't wear such black hats themselves. Then there is the atmosphere. The darkness and immediacy of the Lousiana bayou seems to be another character that develops from book to book, just like the dark side of both the good guys and bad guys. Will Patton is just the best at Burke's books. He seems to really get the voices and accents.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gene
  • Raleigh, Nc, United States
  • 08-06-05


Dave seems to become more self destructive as he ages, but no less interesting. James Lee Burke has once again re-created our fallen hero and woven a masterful yarn. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't have the same reader as the previous book, but Will Patton does a good job at bringing Louisiana home in the story. Would highly recommend this read

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Almost a waste of time

I was sorry I read this book. I like the main characters, I pretty much like Dave's philosophizing. But the amount of grisly violence (mostly to women) I had to put up with to endure a ridiculous plot that ends up nowhere made it it not worth it. Way too violent for little reason.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • port saint lucie, FL, USA
  • 04-13-09

always a pleasure

Can't beat a Burke/Patton combo.? Burke always delivers and Patton is so smooth you are transferred right through the narrating like you can touch the leaves and feel like you are walking the streets of NO.?

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Candace
  • Tracy, CA, United States
  • 12-08-08

Big Fan!

Being from California, I love hearing the tales of Dave Robicheaux and New Orleans. What an interesting and historical place. James Lee Burke always tells an interesting story and I wish I had begun them in chronilogical order so I could keep up with all of his wives and Clete's activity. But, I have nearly listened to them all and am greatful he has kept the same narrator, who does a fantastic job. Love em!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Burke At His Best

Dave falls off the wagon and manages to impale himself on a cross of his own making. At one point, it looks very bleak for Dave indeed. Of course, we know that Dave will overcome, but how he does makes for excellent listening.

I've read that Dave can be ethically challenged. This is the first book I've listend to where I finally understand that comment.

Will Patton's narration is as usual, excellent, although he does have a tendency to be "breathy."
His characterization defines Clete Purcell.

This one will keep you sitting in the car or have your headphones glued to your ears.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful