In this mercilessly compelling thriller, Burke—the private eye, sting artist, and occasional hit man who metes out a cruelly ingenious vengeance on those who victimize children—is up against a soft-spoken messiah, who may be rescuing runaways or recruiting them for his own hideous purposes. But in doing so Burke becomes a target for an entire Mafia family, a whore with a heart of cyanide, and a contract killer as implacable as a heat-seeking missile. Written with Vachss's signature... read more
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful: Realism with a Message, August 8, 2003 Reviewer: Tim Smith from Fresno, CA If you want to spend an evening in the sleaze of New York City, pick up an Andrew Vachss and he'll give you quite a ride. Give yourself the opportunity to be mesmerized with street tough dialogue and staccato-like description by sticking with the story until you get used to his writing style. You will also need to know the cast of characters, especially the women in protagonist Burke's past, in order to get the most out of each story. However, even if you haven't read the books in order, you can still piece together the relationships and the storyline. All your senses will be put to use. Sights, sounds, and smells of the city will envelop you from the slobbering Pansy under a musty blanket in the back of the tank-like Plymouth transporting a rat to his death, to the consultation with Lily, the social worker who examines the physical damage done to abused Elvira. Hopefully you get the idea. Vachss isn't for everyone but for those who like realism with a message, there are none better!