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Extended Audio Sample Purple Cane Road Audiobook, by James Lee Burke Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,502 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 Dave Robicheaux Series Release Date: August 2000 ISBN: 9780743548281
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Dave Robicheaux has spent his life confronting the age-old adage that the sins of the father pass on to the son. But what was his mother’s legacy? Dead to him since his youth, Mae Guillory has been shuttered away in the deep recesses of Robicheaux’s mind. He’s lived with the fact that he would never really know what happened to the woman who left him to the devices of a whiskey-driven father. But Dave still feels the loss of his mother—and knows that the infinite series of disappointments in her life could not have come to a good end.

While helping out an old friend, Dave is stunned when a pimp looks at him sideways and asks if he is the son of Mae Guillory, the whore a bunch of cops murdered thirty years ago. Her body was dumped in the bayou bordering Purple Cane Road, and the cops who left her there are still on the job.

Dave’s search for his mother’s killers leads him to the darker places in his past, and solving this case teaches him what it means to be his mother’s son. Purple Cane Road has the dimensions of a classic—passion, murder, and nearly heartbreaking poignancy—wrapped in a wonderfully executed plot that surprises from start to finish.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Purple Cane Road is a beautifully written psychologically complex, stunningly atmospheric page-turner. James Lee Burke is the Faulkner of crime fiction.” 

    Jonathan Kellerman, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “No other living writer has been more influential on the contemporary crime novel than James Lee Burke. Using a painter’s careful brush strokes of character and place, he has turned the form into a literary exploration of the moral ambiguities that lie in the darkness of our souls. His work has set the watermark so high that I don’t think anyone else will ever reach it. With Purple Cane Road, he has gone and moved it up yet one more notch. This one is his best.” 

    Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “A story peopled by a vivid cast of characters…As always, Burke’s prose is muscular and his depiction of the bayou a joy.” 

    Seattle Times

  • “With a gift for evoking all the beauty of the Edenic natural world of the Cajun country and his wary, savvy eye for the unnatural characters that populate it, Burke creates, once more, a satisfying tension and a rich and complex story.” 

    Austin American-Statesman

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Mystery/Thriller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mailmanr5 | 2/19/2014

    " The best of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marguerite | 2/18/2014

    " The book group at work chose this one month, and I picked it up as a result. I've since read five or so of the Dave Robicheaux series, and enjoyed them all. If you like Elizabeth George or John Sandford, you'll probably like these, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray Gehrig | 2/15/2014

    " I really enjoy this author's ability to draw word pictures that enhance the stories, which are good in all of his books that I've read to date. I recommend his books to anyone looking for a good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Rueger | 2/9/2014

    " One needs a flow-chart or diagram to follow Grant's plots! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 2/9/2014

    " More of his past is filled in and the character continues to develop "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celia Barry | 2/2/2014

    " Burke is one of my favorite authors. He never disappoints with a great story, great characters and fun settings. His rich descriptions of both Montana and Louisiana are beautiful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 1/30/2014

    " New Orleans corruption - Dave Robicheau mystery "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 1/17/2014

    " Right up there with Tin Roof Blow Down, both 5s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 1/15/2014

    " Robecheaux goes after his mother's killers. The pacing and characters were, as usual,outstanding. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikel | 12/31/2013

    " Prototypical Burke, and that's high praise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Milne | 12/26/2013

    " James Lee Burke is living proof that the genre of crime/thriller can be done with style and impecable craftsmanship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherri | 12/10/2013

    " HEARTBREAKING. HOPELESS AND DIRTY AND TERRIFIC. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ray Bearfield | 12/7/2013

    " Atmospheric, but I find it difficult to engage emotionally with fictional murder stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 10/30/2013

    " This was a great Dave Robicheaux book. It provides a lot of background information as to Dave's mom and what became of her. Lots of interesting plot twists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 10/25/2013

    " The ending's a bit of an anticlimax, but it's still a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aud | 10/4/2013

    " Note to self: Dave Robicheaux (New Orleans police) is WAY too violent for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maureen | 9/21/2013

    " I hated it from page 1. I only finished it because I wanted to know who the killer was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 8/7/2013

    " Brilliant addition to the Robiceaux series, this is one of the best stories. Brilliant stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hapzydeco | 5/31/2013

    " Burke takes homicide detective, Dave Robicheaux, forward to purge his past. Burke provides several finely developed characters to aid Robicheaux on his journey. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mommalibrarian | 3/26/2013

    " New Iberia, Louisianna, New Orleans, prostitutes, killers, corrupt politics. Solid "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C | 3/8/2013

    " Tough-as-nails Dave throws you for a loop when you get to the last page. Somber and haunting... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 12/2/2012

    " a great read from James Lee Burke, particularly liked Clete Purcell in this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie Hviding | 8/3/2012

    " There is no denying my eternal love of Dave Robicheaux. It's always a good trip into the dark corners of the Louisiana bayous with Dave, Clete and company. Dark and violent, beautifully written, never a disappointment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terri Seeley | 5/30/2012

    " I love James Lee Burke! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Webb | 4/8/2012

    " This man made ma want to go to Louisiana - the sure sign of a good writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 2/4/2012

    " his books are the best.i have no negativity towards Mr. Burke. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Petersen | 10/12/2011

    " I liked the characters & the writing style a lot, but the story was just a little too dark for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dottie | 7/29/2011

    " Good but not up to some others of his that I've read. Won't stop me from continuing to read the series, certainly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 5/20/2011

    " Another solid book that has the usual plot developments but adds literary character in all the right corners. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 4/11/2011

    " Good story. Seems like ot should have been set in the 50's instead of basically up to date. Interesting look at Louisiana. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 4/3/2011

    " When Dave Robichaux begins to investigate his mother's death 30 years earlier it unleashes a new series of deaths. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 3/27/2011

    " Robecheaux goes after his mother's killers. The pacing and characters were, as usual,outstanding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celia | 1/19/2011

    " Burke is one of my favorite authors. He never disappoints with a great story, great characters and fun settings. His rich descriptions of both Montana and Louisiana are beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 12/20/2010

    " Unexpected ending and enjoyed the whole tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 8/31/2010

    " I quite enjoyed this book I like Burke's writing style. It is easy reading. And there were enough twists in the plot to make it interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/27/2010

    " Two things James Lee Burke does especially well-- establishes characterization through dialogue, and weaves setting into the action so that it never seems static. Fledgling writers: Read. This. Guy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hapzydeco | 4/13/2010

    " Burke takes homicide detective, Dave Robicheaux, forward to purge his past. Burke provides several finely developed characters to aid Robicheaux on his journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 2/19/2010

    " a great read from James Lee Burke, particularly liked Clete Purcell in this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grey853 | 9/11/2009

    " This Dave Robicheaux book deals with Dave trying to find the killer of his mother. It's very intense and violent, but well done as always. "

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About the Author
Author James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of more than thirty novels and two collections of short stories, including the New York Times bestsellers Creole Belle, Dixie City Jam, The Glass Rainbow, Rain Gods, Pegasus Descending, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Feast Day of Fools, and more.. His novel The Lost-Get Back Boogie was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and two of his books, Heaven’s Prisoners and Two for Texas, have been made into motion pictures.

About the Narrator

Will Patton is an award–winning actor who has narrated audiobooks by such authors as Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, Don DeLillo, and Ernest Hemingway. He has won thirty-two AudioFile Earphones Award for his narrations. His numerous film credits include Remember the Titans, The Punisher, The Mothman Prophesies, Armageddon, and The Spitfire Grill. He starred in the TNT miniseries Into the West and on the CBS series The Agency and won Obie Awards in the theater for his performances in Fool for Love and What Did He See.