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Clete by James Lee Burke





About Clete

In the latest installment in his famous Detective Dave Robicheaux series, New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke brings Dave’s partner and friend Clete Purcel to the forefront for the first time as Clete and Dave attempt to stop ruthless smugglers of a dangerous new drug

Clete Purcel – private investigator, ex-member of the New Orleans Police Department, and war veteran with a hard shell and just a few soft spots – is Dave Robicheaux’s longtime friend and partner in detective work. But he has a troubled past. When Clete finds his beloved Caddy ransacked by a group of thugs tied to the drug trade, it feels personal – his grandniece died of a fentanyl overdose, and his fists curl when he thinks of the dealers who sold it.

Just as Clete starts to trail the culprits, Clara Bow, a woman with a dark past hires Clete as a detective to investigate her scheming, slippery ex-husband, and a string of brutal deaths all link back to a heavily tattooed man who seems to lurk around every corner. Clete is experiencing shockingly lifelike hallucinations and questioning Clara’s ulterior motives when he and Dave start to hear rumors of a dangerous substance with potentially catastrophic effects. The thugs who destroyed his car might have been pawns in a scheme far darker than they could’ve imagined.



Praise For Clete


“Gripping, violent, yet interlaced with Clete’s humor and consistent drive to protect those he loves, Clete brings a fresh perspective to a truly iconic series. James Lee Burke proves yet again that he is the “heavyweight champ” and “great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed”
-Michael Connelly

Praise for Clete:
“Make no mistake, this is Clete’s story told in his inimitable voice . . . It’ll come as no surprise to Burke’s fans that this is a perfectly constructed story told extremely well, and the opportunity to see Dave through the eyes of his best friend, from a new and rather intimate angle, absolutely should not be missed.”
—Booklist, starred review

“Burke returns to Louisiana’s New Iberia Parish and the late 1990s for a tangled tale that confronts private eye Clete Purcel with monsters in the present and spirits from the past . . . Devils and saints wrestle in the mud of bayou country.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“This is James Lee Burke writing at the height of his powers. The long wait for a story told from Robicheaux’s pal’s point of view has been worth it.”
—Linwood Barclay

“Devotees of James Lee Burke have long yearned for a novel centered around Clete Purcel and finally have their wish. Clete is the human wrecking ball, ferocious force of nature and perfect complement to Dave Robicheaux, the more introverted protagonist of the decades long series. All of the staunch beliefs and inner demons that drive Clete are on display as he once again goes to war against established interests to defend the abused and oppressed. His own novel portrays him as a modern knight, albeit in some tarnished armor, but most of all it is a paean to the person who through all the years of the great novels has always been the true ‘big mon.’”
—Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS




(To be written)




About James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, as well as the Grand Master Award from Mystery Writers of America, winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger and Gold Dagger and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He has authored forty novels and two short story collections. He lives in Missoula, Montana.