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CRUSADER’S CROSS by James Lee Burke Kirkus Star

CRUSADER’S CROSS

By James Lee Burke

Pub Date: July 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7432-7719-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Hints about the fate of a warmhearted prostitute who vanished long ago plunge Dave Robicheaux into violence, revenge, betrayal and serial murder.

Back in 1958, Dave’s brother Jimmie, vacationing on Galveston Island, tried to get Ida Durbin to leave the life and run off with him. Instead, she disappeared as completely as a puff of smoke. Now dying bully Troy Bordelon links Ida’s fate to the wealthy, powerful Chalons family. Dave is content to let the past lie, but a couple of thuggish cops aren’t. When they push him, he pushes back as hard as ever (Last Car to Elysian Fields, 2003, etc.). Meanwhile, a serial killer responsible for the abduction, rape and murder of 30 victims extends his reach from New Orleans to Iberia Parish. Dave is obsessively determined to tie the killer to the Chalons family as well. Patriarch Raphael Chalons just wants Dave to go away; his daughter Honoria wants Dave’s body; his son Valentine, a celebrity journalist, wants to destroy his life. And although Dave can’t accommodate Honoria—he’s busy pursuing an even more unlikely romance—he seems only too eager to help Val, falling off the wagon with disastrously bad timing and getting baited into repeated public indiscretions and acts of violence.

The result—a mixture as explosive as any in Dave’s checkered history, yet clearer in its outlines and miraculously free of fustian—is Burke’s best book in years.