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Download Heartwood Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Heartwood, 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 (1,032 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Will Patton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Billy Bob Holland Series Release Date:
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Few writers in America today combine James Lee Burke's lush prose, cracking story lines, and tremendous sense of history and landscape. In Cimarron Rose, longtime fans of the Dave Robicheaux series found that the struggles of Texas defense attorney Billy Bob Holland show Burke at his best in exploring classic American themes -- the sometimes subtle, often violent strains between the haves and the have-nots; the collision of past and present; the inequities in the criminal justice system.

Heartwood is a kind of tree that grows in layers. And as Billy Bob's grandfather once told him, you do well in life by keeping the roots in a clear stream and not letting anyone taint the water for you. But in Holland's dusty little hometown of Deaf Smith, in the hill country north of Austin, local kingpin Earl Deitrich has made a fortune running roughshod and tainting anyone who stands in his way. Billy Bob has problems with Deitrich and his shamelessly callous demeanor, but can't shake the legacy of his passion for Deitrich's "heartbreak-beautiful" wife, Peggy Jean.

When Holland takes on the defense of Wilbur Pickett -- a man accused of stealing an heirloom and three hundred thousand dollars in bonds from Deitrich's office -- he finds himself up against not Earl's power and influence, but also a past Billy Bob can't will away. A wonderfully realized novel, rich in Texas atmosphere and lore, and a dazzling portrait of the deadly consequences of self-delusion, Heartwood could only have been written by James Lee Burke, a writer in expert command of his craft. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Burke is a master at setting mood, laying in atmosphere, all with quirky, raunchy dialogue that's a delight.”

    Elmore Leonard

  • “[A] rewarding novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Burke [is] one of the best writers of our time. His plots build tension to such a pitch that it tempts one to rush through his books. But his writing demands that his works be savored.”

    Denver Post

  • “The Faulkner of the American crime novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mike | 2/16/2014

    " The story generates a sense of irrelevance. The characters are not that strong or connected. The central character always seems to be reacting instead of being proactive and there is plenty of empty space in his life. A feeling of ineptitude seems to pervade the story and there is no purpose to anyone's life. Reading this story was more work than joyful diversion. There were a couple of interesting moments toward the end involving San Antonio's Riverwalk and The Alamo. The characters were simply not given enough to do. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Charlie | 2/9/2014

    " Couldn't finish this. Too damn boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Debra Burgess | 2/8/2014

    " Found it hard to stay "involved" while reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Denise Carson | 2/8/2014

    " Not a very good book "

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