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Crusader's Cross (Dave Robicheaux, #14)
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Crusader's Cross (Dave Robicheaux #14)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  4,056 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Critically acclaimed and bestselling 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,...more
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Published July 12th 2005 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2005)
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K.D. Absolutely
My first book by James Lee Burke and I am delightfully surprised. I did not expect that I would like this book. I used to shun formulaic suspense-thrillers that flood the bookstores next to romance novels. Just the sight of them made me cringe before. But early this year, I said to myself: why not try some of these? and put 4 or 5 of the books by different authors in my shopping cart. Yes, they are both formulaic, but if they entertain and somewhat also educate, then why should I care?

According...more
James
James Lee Burke's character Dave Robicheaux is one of the darker creations of the mystery/detective canon, and that's saying something. This time out, all manner of misfortune, both circumstantial and self-created, befalls Robicheaux. As in any book in this genre, you have some willing-suspension-of-disbelief-challenging plot twists, but this book proves to be as much a meditation on the evil humans are capable of as a police procedural. Burke's almost too-poetic language, particularly on the to...more
Laurel
I am always sad when I finish a James Lee Burke."Dave Robicheaux" novel, because it usually means I will have to wait a while for the next one. This is number 14 in the series, and addresses a benchmark moment in Dave's life. For some reason, I have fallen behind in the series, so I have a very pleasurable experience ahead of me-catching up on the books I have missed.

This book has all of the beautifully rendered language we look forward to in J.L.B.'s prose. I found that I frequently stopped to...more
aimee
I enjoy this series and the characters that inhabit it. Such powerful evocations of the deep and dirty south of the United States are also pretty exciting to read about, I am looking forward to reading his post-Katrina novel, I'm sure it will make me sob.

In this particular story ...........................

Our hero/anti-hero protagonist again chooses to delve into a dark aspect of his past, this time his brother's prostitute girlfriend who went missing many many years ago. It was presumed that sh...more
Patrick O'Neil
To be perfectly honest, or I'll just say "to be honest" - because I don't know how perfect I am at anything, let alone honesty - but anyway - to be fair the truth is I was in bed sick as hell when I read James Lee Burke's Crusader's Cross. And unable to sleep, eat, or breath I read almost the entire book in one night. So it's safe to say my disposition wasn't the greatest. I was a little grumpy to be sure, but I wasn't delusional. Burke can write. He can put some fine words onto the page, althou...more
Trilby
I picked up this book to take on a trip because I liked Burke's "Tin Roof Blowdown" so much. This novel has the same main character, a retired detective living in New Iberia, La.(a real place). The descriptions of the land, the bayous, the bays, and the small towns are so vivid and sensual they could be used as a travel ad for Louisiana.

I like the protagonist, Dave Robicheaux, but I am growing increasingly irritated by characters who act out their creator's male midlife fantasies of virility an...more
Brendan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan
This is my first time reading this series and I think I should have picked an earlier one in the series. I did enjoy the writing and the descriptions of the area but I felt a bit lost with some of the characters and the plot did seem to meander a lot and then all tidied up a bit too quickly at the end. I will go back and find the start of the series and give it another go because i think I would enjoy it a lot more.
Rick
Reading Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels is like eating a plate of beignets with a healthy dusting of powdered sugar and a side of chicory coffee ... that is, they taste great going down but don't exactly stay with you very long and, moreover, have dubious nutritional value. This installment is classic Burke/Robicheaux - thick, sometimes beautiful description that evokes a world foreign to all but those who are intimately familiar with SW LA. He is a master at evoking smells, atmosphere, and the h...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
Dave Robicheaux is an unhappy troubled man plaque with alcoholism, haunted over the time he served in Vietnam, the number of people he has killed as a police officer, his first wife leaving him, the murder of his second wife and the wife who still owns his heart, and he lives in fear that those who want to get even with him is out to kill his current wife.

In Crusader’s Cross, Dave is reminded of a time when he and his brother Jimmy were working the summer to earn extra money to help them through...more
Phil
For detective Dave Robicheaux, memories -- including those of a strange and violent summer from his youth -- are best left alone. But a dying man's confession forces Robicheaux to resurrect a decades-old mystery with a missing woman at its heart. Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin, and Robicheaux's half brother, Jimmie, paid a brutal price for entering her world. Now the truth will plunge Robicheaux into the manipulations of New Orleans' wealthiest family, into a complex love affair of...more
Michael
In 1958, Jimmy and Dave Robicheaux were college students, one summer they were swimming in the Galveston Bay when sharks appeared nearby. A young woman, Ida Durbin, rescued them and forever left her imprint on their lives.

Jimmy, in particular, becomes infatuated with Ida and finds that she has been working as a prostitute to pay off a family debt. Just when Jimmy and Ida were going to run away to Mexico, Ida disappears.

Years later, Dave learns from a dieing friend that Ida was snatched by two po...more
Jen
In the fourteenth Dave Robicheaux novel, a face from the past that has haunted Dave since he was 20 re-emerges. Dave and his brother Jimmie had long since thought Ida Durbin was dead. But when some odd events start occurring, Ida's death becomes more and more suspect, and all signs lead back to the wealthy Chalons family.

Meanwhile, someone is on the loose killing women in Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge serial killer hits close to home when he kills a young woman Dave interviewed and then dumps one...more
Cindi
I've been reading James Lee Burke and the Dave Robicheaux series for years and I have to have my Dave "fix" every so often.

I read the earlier books in the series out of order; about two years ago, I went back and started re-reading them in sequence. Whenever I'd go through a period of reading other works that had been disappointing, I'd pull out the next Dave Robicheaux book and know I would enjoy it as much as the first time I'd read it. I caught up earlier this year and started fresh reading...more
Rosina Lippi
Burke writes beautifully, that is without doubt. He is a great observer of human behavior, of his setting on the Bayou Teche, and of the interaction between social and economic classes.

But crickey, isn't Dave Robicheaux getting a little long in the tooth for these rough and tumble adventures? He's got to be sixty; he's buried two wives and lost other women he loved, his family home was burned to the ground, he's been injured in a hundred different ways.

But hey. This time he reups with the sherif...more
Johnsergeant
Listened to audiobook from Recorded Books.

Narrated By: Will Patton
Book 14 of The Dave Robicheaux series

With two Edgar Awards and more than a dozen New York Times best-sellers to his credit, James Lee Burke is among the most celebrated mystery writers in the world. Crusader’s Cross earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Dave Robicheaux has his hands full. But in between searching for a prostitute his brother loved nearly 50 years ago and tracking down a serial killer, he just...more
Bookmarks Magazine

The aging Robicheaux has led a full life__full of loss, violence, and evil. Critics agree that Crusader's Cross is a worthy addition to the series. It's all here__the violence, the power plays, the class and racial tensions, Robicheaux's stubbornness, the Louisiana landscape, and, of course, the references to crosses. As usual, Burke takes readers deep inside his protagonist's heart to show how one man deals with the world's evils, and it's the lyrical writing and palpable scenes that make that

...more
Clint Heitz
Though I am relatively new to Burke's work, I expected more out of this novel. Unless there was an issue with the copy of the audio version I checked out from my library, the ending of this book was extremely disappointing. The main character is left with a serious charge over his head, no one has solved the murders that were being investigated, and the character that came into good fortune seemed to be left without knowing it! I can appreciate a cliffhanger, but this was just like someone got b...more
Carol
I love reading James Lee Burke he touches me in ways few writers have since I first read Hemingway when I was 12. The story continues with detective Dave Robicheaux an alcoholic cop from New Iberia,La.
and his friend Clete Purcel. Two very troubled men are Dave and Cletus. They handle things the way it is done in Louisiana.... The story was good. The ending and the identity of the killer not so good. Didn't find it believable....
Craig Pittman
I have mixed feelings about this book. I'd never read any of James Lee Burke's mysteries before, but I know people who rave about his work and I know critics love him. I picked this one kind of at random as a sampler, although I later learned that Kirkus called it " Burke’s best book in years."

What I found out was that Burke writes beautiful descriptions and creates vivid characters -- but his plot is a mess, so convoluted that it ditches believability in favor of continued conflict and twists t...more
Jennifer H
I really liked this story! My friend Rob gave it to me and told me how much I was going to enjoy it. I was skeptical of yet another sordid crime novel, but okay, he was right! I liked the seedy characters, our protagonists. I like the bad guys, also super seedy. I enjoy novels that take place in the Louisiana swamps, and with a tiny bit of knowledge of the area it makes it fun to read. I think the most disappointing part of the book (after which I didn’t like it as much at all) was when he got m...more
Rebecca
Isn't this the book where Clete is described as a "unicorn in a clock shop?" That's in the first few paragraphs and I knew I was going to like this book! I love the fact that Molly is who she is! But then, anyone who knows me will understand that. There's such a reality about the characters, even though I suppose the situations are, or had better be, embellished! The lyricism of James Lee Burke's writing keeps me rereading these books. Amid the ugliness of some of the things that happen, there i...more
Mary Dean
I am a James Lee Burke "groupie." I read mysteries like some watch "soap operas." I do not pursue "great literature" when in this mood, but pure, unadulterated entertainment. Burke writes well and tells a good story. His character development and sense of place are seductive and he creates an "aura of evil with the very best of um." I especially enjoyed the development of his relationship with Molly in this book. I admit to having skipped around in the Robicheaux series so have some blank spots...more
Marilyn
This book was entertaining enough even though the ending didn't really come together for me. I thought there were too many unanswered questions about whodunnit and why. Otherwise I love the tough guy law enforcement of Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcel, men who have no qualms skirting the edges of what is legal and/or ethical to find out the truth. The character of Molly, a nun who never took her vows, was the highlight of this book for me, a no-nonsense do-gooder who stands up to her critics wit...more
Zach
Once again Burke’s writing borders on overwritten before sliding over to brilliant! In the first paragraph, in a few sentences he conveys an image of early 60’s youth that will soon be overshadowed by the war and upheaval to come. It is not a new idea, but he puts his own spin on it and you can almost feel the warm southern, summer night. The scene easily transitions to Robicheaux’s flashback to summer working in Galvaston.

The book has the elements of Burke's Robicheaux series: events from the...more
Barbra
14th in the Robicheaux series. As ever with Burke this novel is beautifully written and has many wonderful characters.

Back Cover Blurb:
In the summer of 1958, Dave Robicheaux and his half-brother Jimmie are just out of high school. Jimmie and Dave get work with an oil company, laying out rubber cables in the bays and mosquito-infested swamps all along the Louisiana-Texas coastline. But on the Fourth of July, change approaches in the form of Ida Durbin, a sweet-faced young woman with a lovely voic...more
Rob
Another great Det. Dave Robicheaux (roe/ bih show) novel by James Lee Burke. I swear these stories are autobiographical. Spoiler alert: Dave meets Molly, a quasi-nun, and marries her in this suspenseful novel. Published in 2005, it lays the groundwork for future tales. And yes, all of your favorite characters are here: P.I. (“Okay, mon”) Clete, Sheriff Helen, Coroner Koko, and even brother Jimmie. It’s another good tale, worth your time.
Renee
I always feel like I need a bath and a drink after spending time with Dave Robicheaux in his corner of Louisiana. This book is no different as Dave gets involved with various seedy lowlifes, angers his boss Helen, seeks the assistance of able Clete Purcel, and oh yeah, gets married again (fourth time...I think). This series is like no other in that the cases are always as interesting and varied as the progression of the continuing characters. In Robicheaux's world, the past is always seething ju...more
Dave Riley
Another James Lee Burke novel that enthralls me. Although he can do it with his other series, when Burke is story telling us about the investigations and tribulations of Dave Robicheaux, the land of swamps and meandering watercourses encloses each story in a startling lyricism. I love it. Every now and then I stop and reread a description or a POV and marvel at the ways and means Burke uses to spin a story.

And it's not so much about plot either. These are all southern tragedies worthy of Faulkn...more
David
This was a pretty decent Dave Robicheaux novel. Missing in this particular novel was the typical "threat and bluster" that seems so prevalent in this series. Also, Dave's brother, Jimmie, plays a part in this story, giving some depth to who Dave is, something that I thought expanded this series. On the other hand, as is often typical in this series, an old mystery somehow ties in to a modern day mystery. And, as usual, Dave spends about one-fourth of the novel on suspension from his job in the I...more
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James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Dave Robicheaux series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.

Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving a...more
More about James Lee Burke...
The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1) The Tin Roof Blowdown (Dave Robicheaux, #16) Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3) The Glass Rainbow (Dave Robicheaux, #18) In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6)

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“The wind smelled of humus, lichen, the musky odor of pecan husks broken under the shoe, a sunshower on the fields across the bayou. But any poetry that might have been contained in that moment was lost when I stared into Honoria's face, convinced that human insanity was as close to our fingertips as the act of rubbing fog off a window pane.” 5 likes
“I believe the causes that create them [serial killers] are theological in nature, rather than societal. I believe they make a conscious choice to erase God's thumbprint from their souls.” 4 likes
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