Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press


A Dave Robicheaux Novel

by James Lee Burke

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

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 336
  • Publication Date June 11, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6307-3
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $28.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date June 11, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6308-0
  • US List Price $28.00

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.

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, #1 internationally bestselling author

“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

“Fans of the previous Robicheaux books will not be surprised by this mingling of the metaphysical and mundane in what is essentially a fast-paced action-oriented thriller. Burke’s writing has long redefined Southern Gothic, forging a sui generis style that mixes woo-woo paranormal with lush and loving descriptions of the vanishing Louisiana wilderness, which stands as a contrast to human depravity… Clete may be masquerading as a whodunit, an action thriller that pits flawed good against implacable evil for a soul-satisfying wallop. But it’s more than that: It’s Beat poetry, suffused with sadness and longing for all those sunsets now gone.”—Arts Fuse Magazine

Praise for James Lee Burke:

“James Lee Burke is the reigning champ of nostalgia noir.”—New York Times Book Review

“You can always count on Burke to deliver a white-hot page-turner.”—AARP Magazine

“Burke’s evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder.”—Entertainment Weekly

“One of the finest novelists in North America.”—Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

“James Lee Burke is one of a small handful of elite suspense writers whose work transcends the genre, making the leap into capital-L Literature.”—Bookpage

Author Tour Dates





In conversation with Michael Connelly

5:00 PM