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Crusader's Cross: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2006

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Crusader's Cross: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) + Last Car to Elysian Fields: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) + Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: Dave Robicheaux Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743277201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743277204
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Superb writing and a throbbing pace lift two-time Edgar-winner Burke's powerful, many-layered 14th Dave Robicheaux novel (after 2003's Last Car to Elysian Fields), which involves venal and arrogant members of a wealthy family that can trace its lineage to fifth-century France as well as the machinations of the New Orleans mafia. A conversation between Robicheaux and a dying childhood friend about Ida Durbin, a young prostitute that Robicheaux's half-brother, Jimmie, loved and lost in the late 1950s, sets the ex-homicide detective on a path that eventually leads to several gruesome killings and his near downfall. Unemployed, his wife dead, his daughter in college, Robicheaux rejoins the New Iberia, La., sheriff's department at the urging of Sheriff Helen Soileau, who needs an extra hand as the murders mount. While the tendrils of the sometimes rambling plot unfold, Robicheaux and his impulsive former police partner, PI Clete Purcell, seek retribution for injustices caused by a wide range of corrupt villains. Burke masterfully combines landscape and memory in a violent, complex story peopled by sharply defined characters who inhabit a lush, sensual, almost mythological world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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 possible. Some tangled subplots and a weak rendering of women (including Robicheaux’s daughter) barely detract. If you believe "that beauty and horror go hand in hand," notes the Washington Post, Burke "can touch you in ways few writers can."

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, is the author of twenty-three previous novels, including such New York Times bestsellers as Bitterroot, Purple Cane Road, Cimarron Rose, Jolie Blon's Bounce, and Dixie City Jam. He lives in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Colin P. Lindsey VINE VOICE on July 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Steady, consistent, lyrical, reliable, soothing, wonderful, a distinct voice.......all ways to describe James Lee Burke's writing. For myself, while it may be an odd thought, I have always had moments when reading his prose when I felt like I was actually reading poetry, his writing is that beautiful. You just can't go wrong with James Lee Burke and his protagonist Dave Robicheaux. I highly recommend this book, and anything else he has ever written, he is simply that good. Crusader's Cross, set in the bayou country of Louisiana and the surrounding environs, relates a tale of the long-lost puppy love of Dave's brother and their search for what happened to her, weaves in a new story line revolving about a tough, remarkable nun, and features both an odd family who claim descent from Roman heroes who defeated Attila the Hun at Chalons and a depraved, sadistic serial killer who seems to be taunting Robicheaux. These separate threads are intricately woven together against the historical and ongoing backdrop of the prostitution trade in the South.

In his richly drawn and finely realized protagonist, Burke has created a true hero: a complex man, with deep roots and deeper loves, heartsick for the lost way of life of his idealized youth in the Acadian bayou country. Dave Robicheaux, son of an Cajun oil rig worker, child of the golden fifties, Vietnam veteran, police detective, alcoholic, husband, father, friend, a man of violence and conscience, wondering where the beauty in his world has gone. This novel may be one of his best yet, and I was glad to see his half-brother show up again. Run, don't walk, to go get your copy of this book and prepare for wonderful experience - this is a rare one. Shut out your friends and family, grab some goodies to eat, lock the door, throw the bolt and settle in for one heck of a good read. Crusader's Cross is another wonderful installment in the Robicheaux series.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke is yet another view into the seedy world of New Orleans and its environs. Burke is a master at writing gritty tales that capture the flavor and spirit of the world he depicts. I know of no other author today that is as good a descriptive writer than Burke. When Burke describes a summer thunderstorm you can smell the dampness rising off the pavement. Pure magic. Burke has included Dave's good friend and PI buddy Clete Purcell (Semper Fi), so the gangs all here.

In Crusader's Cross Dave Robicheaux is alone, and unemployed. His wife is dead, his adopted daughter away at college. Robicheaux is about as low as you can get. A death bed confession takes Robicheaux back to the late 50's when he and his brother were very innocent. As Robicheaux presses into the disappearance of a young prostitute nearly 50 years ago he is "encouraged" to let it go. Factor into this story the Chalon family (brother and sister) and you have the makings of a real south Louisianna clam bake.

Crusader's Cross is rich with atmosphere. The story is full bodied and the characters memorable. This is a terrific summer read.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first thirteen Dave Robicheaux mysteries by James Lee Burke at Breakneck speed, I finally came to the end of this series with Crusader's Cross. Actually, since Crusader's Cross was recently published, I'm hoping that Burke still has a number of Robicheaux novels left to write.

Crusader's Cross opens up with Dave Robicheaux no longer working for the Iberia Sheriff's Department. But his sabbatical doesn't last very long. First, a former schoolmate makes a deathbed confession to Robicheaux. He's afraid that he may have contributed to the death of a prostitute, Ida Durkin. Ida saved Jimmie Robicheaux's (Dave's half-brother) life back in 1958 and Jimmie had a crush on her when she mysteriously vanished. Also, a serial killer is brutally murdering women in the New Orleans/Iberia Parish area. Dave's former partner, Helen Soileau is now sheriff and she reluctantly allows Dave back on the force.

As with all Robicheaux novels, events are set in motion when Dave starts poking around. The usual things start happening: his life is threatened, friend Clete Purcel gets involved doing wild things, hit men start appearing, etc. Robicheaux always seems at war with the upper class, and in Crusader's Cross, he feels that secrets being hidden by the Chalon family hold the key to the disappearance of Ida Durbin. And if there aren't enough plot complications, Dave falls in love with a nun.

Many aspects of the plot have similarities to previous books, but we excuse Burke because his writing is so terrific. He is especially astute when it comes to describing Louisiana. "The state's culture, mind-set, religious attitudes, and economics are no different from those of a Caribbean nation.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. Blanc on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When Hurricane Katrina ripped Louisiana apart, many of us here in bookland were worried for Dave Robicheaux, the enigmatic private eye who makes the area his home. Not that he'd be wiped out, but more than his already fragile lifestyle would collapse. Robicheaux is the standard set of artistic contradictions, a strong man with a deep inner need to be loved, and an extremely literal person who also has a strongly mystical-religious streak. It is reverence for the dead, and fear of what they tell, that propels the atmosphere of this often violent story which can leave an atmosphere of desolation clinging like illicit cigarette smoke in teenage automobiles. Is there greater meaning to it? Not really, except that when you get past all the clever subterfuge and false leads and wrecking ball emotional detours, you can see that underneath all the violence and abandon Dave Robicheaux and by extension, his creator-author, are broadcasting a strong belief in life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes surly private eye mysteries in the Chandler style.
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