Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Crusader's Cross (Dave Robicheaux, #14)” as Want to Read:
Crusader's Cross (Dave Robicheaux, #14)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Crusader's Cross (Dave Robicheaux #14)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  4,735 ratings  ·  201 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
Audio, 0 pages
Published July 12th 2005 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Crusader's Cross, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Crusader's Cross

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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?

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
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
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
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
Cathy DuPont
Another knock it out of the park for Dave Robicheaux (aka James Lee Burke).
(When I think of Burke I don't think of Tommy Lee Jones, I think of James Lee Burke.)

Dave never goes looking for trouble, nah, trouble seems to find him and finds him in triplicates plus.

This tale is #14 in the series which I'm reading in order and yes, it's a great one, of course. Been about a year since my last in the series, so I was way overdue for me Dave fix!
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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
This novel opens with the scariest, most well-written shark story I have ever read (and I read JAWS recently). Maybe it's because I have been to Galveston hundreds of times and have swam out to that third sandbar so often. What a place to find yourself stalked by a pair of sharks!

The Robicheaux novel includes all the great characters, and a few new criminals just for this one--and, as always, Burke's extraordinary, evocative writing. So many details about plants, smells, sounds, the way the lig
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
Mike Hovis
Of the Robicheaux series I've read so far, Dave is at his darkest in this one. The story is fast paced and I found the book hard to put down. I liked the interaction between Dave and his brother Jimmie. I was glad to see Dave find another wide who he loves and who loves him. And it was good to see our old friend Clete in action again. This book is a great read.
Started out like gangbusters, meandered a bit in the middle, and then came back strong at the finish. Burke is so great. I don't know if there is a crime writer that I enjoy 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
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
Sometimes it is better to just let the past stay in the past. But when old memories of a long-disappeared friend are stirred up, Jimmie Robicheaux tries to locate this friend decades after last seeing her. Dave puts himself square in the middle of all Jimmie’s troubles and more. Dave and his friend Clete soon find themselves on the wrong end of hired hit. And it just gets worse from there. There is plenty going on in this twisted plot, and if some story threads aren’t quite tied up neatly at the ...more
Steven Allen
This was a good page turner that was hard to put down. It has been a long time since I read a good cop story that I had a hard time putting down because I needed to go to bed or to work. My guesses were so wrong about this book. I was way off target on who the serial killer was. The book kept me guessing until the last few pages. This is a series of a books based on the central character, a tragically-flawed, alcoholic sheriff's detective who is now married to an outlaw rebel nun. If I see anymo ...more
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1)
  • The Last Detective (Elvis Cole, #9)
  • Trigger City (Ray Dudgeon, #2)
  • Everybody Dies (Matthew Scudder, #14)
  • Ten Thousand Islands
  • Oblivion
  • Dark Hollow (Charlie Parker, #2)
  • Mexican Hat (Kevin Kerney, #2)
  • City Of Fire (Lena Gamble, #1)
  • Rizzo's War (Joe Rizzo, #1)
  • Wolves Eat Dogs (Arkady Renko, #5)
  • False Allegations (Burke, #9)
  • Free Fall in Crimson (Travis McGee #19)
  • Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Mystery
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
More about James Lee Burke...

Other Books in the Series

Dave Robicheaux (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1)
  • Heaven's Prisoners (Dave Robicheaux, #2)
  • Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux, #3)
  • A Morning for Flamingos (Dave Robicheaux, #4)
  • A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux, #5)
  • In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6)
  • Dixie City Jam (Dave Robicheaux, #7)
  • Burning Angel (Dave Robicheaux, #8)
  • Cadillac Jukebox (Dave Robicheaux, #9)
  • Sunset Limited (Dave Robicheaux, #10)
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)

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…