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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 (2,499 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Nick Sullivan Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Dave Robicheaux Series Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781442355910
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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 deep down, 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “James Lee Burke’s most suspenseful novel yet.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Burke winds up an often convoluted and gratuitously violent plot with a dynamite ending that will leave readers feeling truly satisfied.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Mr. Burke scores on all cylinders with this taut thriller.”

    Internet Book Watch

  • “What a James Lee Burke book has in spades is the atmosphere of bayous, barbeque, and bluegrass. Nick Sullivan steeps his reading in quirky accents and whiskeyed drawls. Each character is easily discernible and fresh…he offers a thoughtful and entertaining interpretation.” 

    AudioFile

  • “Perhaps more so than any of his peers, Burke has kept his series alive by skillfully tweaking his formula just enough to add interest but never so much as to lose its essence. Robicheaux battling the past instead of the present is only the latest example of Burke’s continuing ability to mix the fresh with the familiar in just the right way.” 

    Booklist

  • “Burke’s powerfully evoked world shows why the past, as Faulkner said, not only isn’t dead; it isn’t even past.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Burke weaves a poetic impression of the bayou scenery of south Louisiana and peoples this paradise with as villainous a cast as one could find in any true-crime thriller... Read by Nick Sullivan, this is an action-packed book; its violence is often graphic, but the story is compelling. Sure to be a hit with Burke’s many fans.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Mystery/Thriller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clark G. | 2/16/2014

    " What impresses me about Burke that keeps me coming back are his powerful but subtle descriptions. That adds a flavor to the writing that permeates the plot and characters. It is insightful not overdone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Petersen | 2/9/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Otis | 2/3/2014

    " One of my favorites from the series. Dave works out some of his "mommy" issues. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Empress5150 | 1/28/2014

    " Burke has written several novels featuring an on-going character by the name of Dave Robicheaux, an alcoholic cop in the (sort of) backwoods of Louisiana. Like many books of this ilk, each one contains a cast of return characters such as the wife, the daughter, the side-kick, the best friend, etc. and they don't necessarily have to be read in the order in which they were written (although sometimes bits and pieces can get confusing if one of the characters refers to something that happened in a book that you haven't yet read). This particular story centers around Dave delving into the specifics of his estranged mother's murder 35 years prior and his obsession with bringing the killer to justice. I don't usually go in for these types of tales, but, there is something about Burke's style that sits well with me and I truly enjoy listening to them as I drive about town. And, honestly, I also get a kick out of learning more about the Cajun South. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Sarrica | 1/17/2014

    " This is the best of the Robicheaux novels so far. It is also, possibly, the one where credulity is the most stretched. Dave personally knows the governor and the attorney general from his past? Something is easily covered up towards the end that is just a little too neat. A bad guy that is part ghost and who seems to be able to move around at will even when the whole world is looking out for him. Once again, you won't mind because the storytelling is so masterful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lou | 1/8/2014

    " A great Robicheaux book. A big plus to Burke's usual great cast of characters is the character Johnny Rametta - a hit man with a "conscience". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/29/2013

    " New Orleans, New Iberia, Avery IsLands, Clete, Vietnam, corruption, mayhem, violence of all kinds, and so forth continue to have a role. I sometimes wonder how many times the author can place Dave Robicheaux's daughter and wife at risk. I guess as many times as it sells. I am currently taking a medication for hives which cautions against use if you suffer from depression. Sometimes I think these stories should carry the same warning, but I like them still. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Bratell | 12/28/2013

    " I'm still not fully convinced I like Burke's books but this was ok. I started weak (from my point of view) but ended better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mommalibrarian | 12/27/2013

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dottie | 12/23/2013

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay Greiner | 12/16/2013

    " this has been the one and only burke book i've read. i really enjoyed the way it was written. the voice? the tone? sentence structures? one of those things describes what i liked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 11/26/2013

    " My introduction to Burke. Loved the lyrical prose and tough dialogue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob Eilenfeldt | 10/11/2013

    " James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels are among my favorite. Dave R. is a very likable character as are all continuing characters that surround him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mailmanr5 | 9/15/2013

    " The best of the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 9/8/2013

    " Purple Cane Road by James Lee Burke (2001) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray Gehrig | 8/11/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 7/9/2013

    " I thoroughly enjoyed my first Dave Robicheaux novel. Lots of interesting characters, a thriller plot and wonderful verbal paintings of bayou Louisiana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Webb | 6/21/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hapzydeco | 4/14/2013

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

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maureen | 4/12/2013

    " 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 Julie | 1/30/2013

    " 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 Brian Rueger | 12/7/2012

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marguerite | 10/25/2012

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 10/13/2012

    " This is my first James Lee Burke. I thought it was good and I will read more of Burke's books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 10/6/2012

    " 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 Lysergius | 10/1/2012

    " Again this links into earlier novels and answers those questions that have been at the back of your mind all the time. Like what happened to Dave's mother? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Margaret | 9/13/2012

    " I sort of enjoy this book. I mean, I sort of finished it too....It was about NOLA so I was interested in that but I kept getting lost, but not in a good way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 8/9/2012

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

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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

Nick Sullivan has worked extensively on Broadway and at many theaters throughout the United States. His television credits include The Good Wife, Madame Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, Alpha House, Royal Pains, All My Children, Reading Rainbow, and all three Law & Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother, Prison Song, and Puccini for Beginners. He has recorded hundreds of audiobooks, is an Audie Award winner, and has received eight AudioFile Earphones Awards.