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Extended Audio Sample Bitterroot, by James Lee Burke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,349 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Billy Bob Holland Series Release Date:
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When Billy Bob Holland gets a call from an old friend in need, he closes down his Texas-based law practice for an extended trip to the Bitterroot Valley section of Montana. Once there, he finds that his friend, fellow Vietnam vet Doc Voss, has tangled with a local mining development company which is threatening to severely damage the area’s ecology. It quickly becomes apparent that on the side of the mining interests are some fairly ruthless anti-government types who will resort to virtually any means—including the rape of Doc Voss’ young daughter—to see that Voss backs off.

What Billy Bob does not realize at first is that one of the right-wing zealots/thugs is actually a recent prison parolee, Wyatt Dixon, who is intent on exacting revenge for his imprisonment and his sister’s death, both events he believes to have been caused by Billy Bob. Thus, under the guise of supporting the mining company, he is actively looking for the best—and most diabolical—way to kill Holland.

The novel contains a marvellously colorful and memorable cast of characters—including in addition to the coldly maniacal Dixon, a fading movie star (Holly Girard), her bestselling author husband (Xavier), a paranoid seductress with Mafia ties (Cleo Lonnigan), a righwing zealot (Carl Hinkel), a sadistic hiker (Lamar Ellison), and Wyatt Dixon’s “butt boy” (Terry Witherspoon)—but at the center of it, of course, stands Billy Bob Holland, an incredibly complex hero, a man tortured by the mistakes of his past and driven to make things, all things, right. What makes him especially fascinating is that beneath the guise of justice for the weak and downtrodden lies a tendency toward violence that at times becomes almost more terrifying than the danger he is trying to eradicate.

In Bitterroot, with its rugged and vivid setting, a plot with twists and turns and many unforgettable scenes, and crafted with the lyrical prose and the elegaic tone that has caused many critics to compare him to William Faulkner, James Lee Burke has written a thriller that is sure to surpass the success of his previous Billy Bob Holland novels.
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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hot-button issues sure to thrill his fans…Those who relish Burke’s patented mix of supercharged violence and overheated passions are in for a treat.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There is some marvelous writing here. Burke’s patented lyricism has never been more beautiful—or seemed more fresh—than in his descriptions of the Montana landscape, and he does a wonderful job of contrasting that harmonious and peaceful setting with the jarring dissonance of failed human relations.”


  • “Burke is continuing to enlarge his pool of intense, lyrical crime novels.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Violence touches all of the characters in Burke’s third novel…Burke has a wonderful sense of place; his settings always seep into and flavor the story.”

     Library Journal

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Madrona310 | 2/20/2014

    " didn't finish this. I waded through the stereotypical old tough military/lawman characterization getting into bar room confrontations with bikers. But there is nothing I hate more than the women getting victimized just because they know these guys. HATE that plot line! The only thing worse is when the tough guy's girlfriend is too stupid to stay out of the middle of it and gets captured and then he has to go after her, blah blah blah. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Suzanne Keehne | 2/12/2014

    " I really liked it!! It is not the typical Western that I avoid. It centers on family and it's struggles, yet centered in the wonderful west and it's homey culture. I really enjoyed it's content and emotional message. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jaime | 2/8/2014

    " There's so much going on in this book I'm still processing. But he's a good story-spinner, that James Lee Burke. Plus, I'm pretty sure he's a friend of my uncle's, and I found this book in a laundry room. Free books: I'm happy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Karen | 2/1/2014

    " I've read six of Burke's books now, and they are great fun to read, always with a happy and satisfying ending where the bad guys get what they deserve. He is a darn good writer, but the more of him I read, the more I noticed his little idiosyncracies and problems. As in--nearly all the characters sound the same, even the males and females. He also tends to repeat his descriptions. A better editor would help with this, I expect. Still, if you want an absorbing and fast read which is better written than most of the mystery/crime/thriller stuff out there, particularly with more interesting characters, it is hard to beat James Lee Burke. "

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