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Publisher's Summary

James Lee Burke's new novel, Swan Peak, finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy, Clete Purcell, have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

But the serenity is soon shattered when two college students are found brutally murdered in the hills behind where the Robicheauxs and Purcell are staying. They quickly find themselves involved in a twisted and dangerous mystery involving a wealthy, vicious oil tycoon, his deformed brother and beautiful wife, a sexually deviant minister, an escaped con and former country-music star, and a vigilante Texas gunbull out for blood.

At the center of the storm is Clete, who cannot shake the feeling that he is being haunted by the ghosts from his past - namely Sally Dio, the mob boss he'd sabotaged and killed years before.

In this expertly drawn, gripping story, Burke deftly weaves intricate, engaging plotlines and original, compelling characters with his uniquely graceful prose. He transcends genre yet again in the latest thrilling addition to his New York Times best-selling series.

More mayhem? Listen to more of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux thrillers.
©2008 James Lee Burke; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Lonnie
  • Lehi, UT, USA
  • 08-10-08

Rough language

Great plot, kept me very interested. Loved the authors ability to paint a visual picture. The only negative for me was the language. I don't enjoy reading/hearing the "f" word used as much as it was.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brian
  • Lake Havasu, AZ, USA
  • 08-03-08

Swan Peak

May be the best Burke book yet !
It grabs you up front and never let's go. One high tension wave after another. Burkes great vocabulary challenges, stimulates and separates Burke's books from the paper mill detective stories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Swan Peak (Unabridged)

Outstanding descriptive narrative. The reader is perfect for all the characters. I highly recommend this book and any others written by Burke.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Eric
  • MALIBU, CA, United States
  • 05-19-12

The reviews are correct; truly outstanding

This was my first Robicheaux and second JLB. The Burke-Patton pairing is a true art form. I don't like to read series, but have gone pretty far with Jack Reacher. This is better than Reacher. The story begins with an outlandish storyline - Dave and Clete caught fishing and accidentally trespassing on the property of the family around which the story revolves, a family that just happens to connect to Clete's sordid past, but most of it is credible after that. More, it is intelligent, literate, heart-racing, twisting and turning, and multi-dimensional. At least multi-dimensional for those that aren't utterly evil.

Here is my question for those listening to this great story. Don't you agree that one of the very best parts, a part that captures some of the best of the JLB style, is at the end of the book, the little paragraph or two when three people go into the woods and only two come out? Don't worry - that's not a spoiler, and you can't really guess what that is about till you get there. But, as Clete or Dave would put it, that little event "puts a net around the whole thing" if talking about the JLB style.

Enjoy. A great book and a fabulous listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Karen
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 03-18-10

One of my best ever audiobook experiences.

James Lee Burke plus Will Patton plus an unabridged book equals a perfect audio experience for me. I was a bit reluctant to order this book, because it is set outside Dave Robicheaux's usual Louisiana haunts. Dave and ex-partner Clete find themselves in Montana, taking a vacation that does not stay tranquil for long. Burke's rich character development and Patton's careful narration combine to make this a suspenseful and meaningful listen. This is not an ordinary detective novel: it is dark, it is lyrical, it is ambiguous and it is didactic. Burke is no ordinary writer, but transcends the mystery genre to pure literature. I only wish more unabridged James Lee Burke books were available from Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 11-22-09

Outstanding Audiobook

An audiobook is a combination of literature and performance. As we all know, even an excellent book can be ruined by a poor narration. But in the best audiobooks, the underlying source material is excellent and the narrator takes that material and wrings every ounce from it. These James Lee Burke novels read by Will Patton are simply outstanding. Patton does different voices for the different characters and the voices capture the tone of the characters perfectly. The rich, descriptive & lyrical prose of Burke just blends perfectly with Patton's subtle and excellent narration. These are entertaining books written by a thoughtful, sophisticated guy - they take the genre crime novel up a notch. These are violent books for a mature audience - Burke doesn't shy away from the dark realities of his subject matter - but if you want a good, entertaining download, I'd start with Neon Rain and then work through this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Helen
  • Virginia
  • 08-20-09

annoying at first...

I'm new to the character Robicheaux, and initially I just didn't get Patton's voice and cadence. But it grew on me very quickly, sold me on the nuances of the characters, and captured more of their personalities than I would have gleaned from reading it myself.
Next on the list is more from the author, as long as it is read by Patton.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The perfect marriage of author and narrator

Will Patton and Burke make the best combination of all the 100+ audiobooks I have experienced. Although not in the same class as Tin Roof Blowdown, it still kept me awake through a cross country drive

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Burke does it again. I enjoy how the reader, Patton, builds the characters and helps the listener get into the story and each character. I truely was entertained. Burke seems to paint a visual picture in is writing that makes me feel like I'm visiting the place as the story is being told. Great book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not great

Got the book based on recommendation of friend who reads the series and the many favorable reviews posted for this title.
Very graphic and violent material. If that offends you stay away from this title.
I was able to finish the book, just barely. I would not get another in the series. The plot was simply not believable. The author spends a lot of time on descriptions and material with no relevance to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful