By James Lee Burke
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9780743277198, 336pp.)
Publication Date: July 12, 2005
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For Dave Robicheaux, life in Louisiana is filled with haunting memories of the past -- images from Vietnam, the violent streets of New Orleans, and his own troubled youth. In "Crusader's Cross," a deathbed confession from an old schoolmate resurrects a story of injustice, the murder of a young woman, and a time in Robicheaux's life he has tried to forget.
Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin. It was back in the innocent days of the 1950s when Robicheaux and his brother, Jimmie, met her on a Galveston beach. She was pretty and Jimmie fell for her hard -- not knowing she was a prostitute on infamous Post Office Street, with ties to the mob. Then Ida was abducted and never seen again.
Now, decades later, Robicheaux is asking questions about Ida Durbin, and a couple of redneck deputy sheriffs make it clear that asking questions is a dangerous game. With a series of horrifying murders and the sudden appearance of Valentine Chalons and his sister, Honoria, a disturbed and deeply alluring woman, Robicheaux is soon involved not only with the Chalons family but with the murderous energies of the New Orleans underworld. Also, he meets and finds himself drawn into a scandalous relationship with a remarkable Catholic nun.
Brilliant, brooding, and filled with the author's signature lyricism, Jim Burke's latest novel is a darkly suspenseful work of literature.