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Crusader's Cross

(Dave Robicheaux #14)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  6,649 ratings  ·  296 reviews
Critically acclaimed and bestselling crime writer James Lee Burke delivers his most exciting thriller ever featuring beloved hero Dave Robicheaux, and this time he's sleuthing his way through Louisiana's hotbed of sin and uncertainty.

In Crusader's Cross, a deathbed confession from an old schoolmate reminds Dave Robicheaux of a girl he once knew, sending him on a hunt for
Paperback, 325 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Pocket Books (first published June 12th 2005)
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Katherine She died in an earlier book--of lupus, with which she had battled for awhile.

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 ·  6,649 ratings  ·  296 reviews

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Pairing Will Patton and James Lee Burke's Cajun protagonist, Dave Robicheaux, was genius. Patton grew up on South Carolina and went to a school for the arts in North Carolina, so he comes by his accents both through upbringing and avocation. The Dave Robicheaux series calls New Iberia, Louisiana, home base, with excursions to other parishes as well as New Orleans. Burke has a touch of Hemingway about him, and his books frequently detour to provide intimate descriptions of the local people and ...more
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 constantly amazed at James Lee Burke's story telling ability. I have found that there appears to be a formula in all these stories. At least in the Dave Robicheaux series. An event in the past, usually some crime, resurfaces and it impacts current events. And Robicheaux finds himself caught up in these events. It is like the tides. For those who are not familiar with him a few brief words of introduction. Dave Robicheaux is a recovering alcoholic, a Vietnam veteran, he has been married ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another day and another Robicheaux novel. These are always fairly easy to write even if the content is rather Dark. The Robicheaux tales are not easy to digest stories, they are not mysteries or thrillers. They make you follow the main character Dave Robicheaux (brilliant name for a leading character)on his journey through life and see life in New Iberia / Louisiana / New Orleans through his eyes. He is not a knight in shining armor but he tries to be good.
In this novel Dave returns to the
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jim B
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, alcoholism
I'd classify this as a "gritty" detective mystery, not sure if there is such a category. Gritty suggests a "noir" type of mystery. My classification is based on the messy life of the Louisiana (recovering) alcoholic police detective, Dave Robicheaux. Although this is the first I've ever read of the Robicheaux mystery series, it's #14 in the series.

The story line is complicated by the fact that Dave is usually involved in violent conflict with several of the suspects.

For me, an interesting part
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crusader's Cross

With every book that I read in the Dave Robicheaux series it just keep getting better and better! This is the best series that I have ever read and I do not say this lightly especially because John Sandford and John Grisham are among some of my very favorite authors. James Lee Burke started at the top of his game and so far is still way ahead of the game. He writes poetically and magically. No one writes about Louisiana and the bayou the way he does. I have lived along the bayou
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
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plots by now have settled into a fixed formula - Robicheaux gets wind of an ancient crime against a defenseless, forgotten member of the society. It is connected to a wealthy white family heir/ patriarch whose sister/ daughter/ wife is an addict/ nymphomaniac/ abuse victim and obsessed with romancing Robicheaux. There is always a couple of subplots thrown in the mix to keep it interesting. The repetitions has reached a point where if Burke was copying from someone else it would be called ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Jun 06, 2010 rated it liked it
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, ...more
Aug 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am constantly amazed that Dave and his sidekick, Clete Purcel are still alive after tangling with mobsters, crooked politicians, and corrupt cops in one novel after another. You would think that their luck would run out, but I’m grateful that James Lee Burke manages to pull them out of danger to write another novel for them. Crusader’s Cross has even more than the usual excitement with a serial killer, a rescue from sharks, Dave’s wife #4 (his wives and girlfriends don’t last long – evidently ...more
Cathy DuPont
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio, 2009, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
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
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: burke
finished this one yesterday the 25th of july 2019 three stars i liked it kindle interesting reading robicheaux after reacher robicheaux has a bunch of warts and reacher sits at the right hand of walla walla bing bang regrets little so forth so on robicheaux carries the sins of the fathers and makes them his own and fights to keep them.
Faith Justice
Nov 17, 2017 added it
Shelves: ebook
I'm not rating this book, because I got it by mistake. I'm sure I intended to get a medieval historical fiction, but pressed the wrong button. This book is a modern crime noire and, for its genre, seems well-written. I do read the occasional mystery (usually historical) and frequently guess the murderer quickly, but this one surprised me.
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: burke-james-lee
Best Dave R. To date. Almost a five,but ending left me wanting more to the reasons of the serial killer. Usual excellent writing one expects from Burke.
Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Vannessa Anderson
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
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
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: james-lee-burke
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
Aug 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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
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

Margaret Schwind
The story begins with Dave Robicheaux recalling the events of the summer of 1958, when and his half-brother, Jimmy, while on their time off from their summer job laying cable in the Gulf of Mexico, made the acquaintance of Ida Durbin, a young woman for whom Jimmy fell hard, and whom they soon discover is working as a prostitute. Jimmy, who was the illegitimate son of Aldous Robicheaux and a prostitute, vows to free her from “the life” and help her become a singer like her idol, Kitty Wells, but ...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 ...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

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“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.” 9 likes
“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.” 6 likes
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