In this blistering conclusion to the nationally bestselling series, Burke is forced into a journey that will change the lives of the urban survivalist and his outlaw family forever.The only person Burke has ever called father, known throughout the underground as “The Prof,” is in a coma, barely clinging to life in an off the-books hospital. So when Pryce, a slippery man with government connections, offers the best medical services for the Prof and a clean slate for all concerned, Burke takes the contract without reading it. The two-year-old son of a Saudi prince has been kidnapped. A highly professional snatch; no mistakes, no clues, and no ransom note. Burke’s job: get the kid back, whatever it takes. To do so, the ultimate man-for-hire must return to the day “Baby Boy Burke” was written on his birth certificate, and write, in the blood of his enemies, the final act of this story.
After years of carefully working the edges, a blood-commitment forces Burke’s return to his former career: "violence-for-money." Claw, once the shot-caller of a white supremacist prison gang is free . . . and terminally ill–he desperately needs a pile of cash to bet on a long-shot cure. He tells Burke about a punk who once purchased protection from him, a man who claims to know the truth behind a "cold case, " the unsolved rape-murder of a thirteen-year-old girl. The killers are all weathly men today, ideal blackmail marks. But wealth is power, and the informant needs Claw’s protection again. Burke decides to roll the dice. A win would give Burke the two things he lives for: Money and Revenge. A loss would turn "terminal" from a diagnosis into a certainly, and not just for Claw.
They meet in a no–name diner. A shadowy man hands Burke a CD dossier of someone he wants found. Minutes later, as Burke watches from an alley, his client is gunned down by a professional hunter–killer team. Burke slips away, unsure if he’s been spotted. Later, when he examines the dossier, he discovers that the missing woman is Beryl Preston, a girl he’d rescued from a brutal pimp twenty years earlier—when she was only thirteen—and returned to her father. Now he has to find her again—not only because she might be in danger, but also because he has to prove to himself that his rescue mission hadn’t been financed by a predator who wanted his “property” returned. His search will force him to confront a new kind of human ugliness and, finally, to practice the survivalist triage that has marked—and cursed—his life since childhood. In Mask Market, Burke the outlaw investigator finds himself searching for the truth: not only about a girl named Beryl, but also about himself.
This is classic Burke: dark, dangerous, and galvanizing, from the opening scene to the explosive climax.
For years Burke has harbored an outlaw’s hard love for Wolfe, the beautiful, driven former sex-crimes prosecutor who was fired for refusing to "go along to get along." So when Wolfe is arrested for the attempted murder of John Anson Wychek, a vicious rapist she once prosecuted, Burke deals himself in. That means putting together a distrustful alliance between his underground "family of choice," Wolfe’s private network, and a rogue NYPD detective who has his own stake in the outcome.
Burke knows that Wolfe’s alleged "victim," although convicted only once, is actually a serial rapist. The deeper he presses, the more gaping holes he finds in the prosecution’s case, but shadowy law enforcement agencies seem determined to protect Wychek at all costs, no matter who it sacrifices. Burke ups the ante by re-opening all the old "cold case” rape investigations, calls in a lot of markers from both sides of the law, and finally shows all the players why "down here" is no place for tourists.
It’s been years since Burke has been home, years since he’s seen his “family” and worked in the underbelly of New York City. Although his appearance has changed, his reputation grown dusty and his wallet thin, his skills and his crew remain razor sharp. So when he is contacted by a mob boss to investigate the murder of his illegitimate daughter, Vonni, Burke takes the job and begins searching for an unspeakably brutal killer.
Posing as a casting director looking for tomorrow’s stars, Burke reaches out to the high school students who knew Vonni, and may know the identity of the killer. Before long he unearths a perverse enterprise—a young director pursuing a brutal new type of cinema verité.
Burke is back, but still lurking in the shadows, unable to return home. He is prowling the unfamiliar streets of Portland, Oregon, in search of a runaway teen. By all accounts, Rosebud Carlin is a happy, well-adjusted girl. She doesn’t fit the profile of the runaway kids Burke knows so wellÉand once was. But there’s something about her fatherÉ
Burke knows the street script, but the actors are all strangers. Cut off from his family and his network of criminal contacts, Burke is forced into a dangerous alliance with a renegade group dedicated to providing relief to those in intractable pain by any means necessary. A bargain is struck, and the fuse is lit. Heart-stopping and hard-hitting, Pain Management is the latest bout in Andrew Vachss’s thrilling reign as undisputed champ of brass knuckles noir.
From the modern master of noir, Andrew Vachss, comes this heart-topping and bestselling new thriller that completely reinvents the Burke series.
Urban Outlaw Burke barely survives an attack by a professional hit squad that kills his partner. With a new face, Burke goes into hiding. And on the hunt. Dead and Gone takes him from the streets of New York City through a cross-country underground, and deep into his own tortured past. The violent journey ends in a place that exists only in the dreams of the darkest degenerates on earth.
When his girlfriend, Crystal Beth, is gunned down at a gay rights rally in Central Park, Burke, the underground man-for-hire and expert hunter of predators, vows vengeance. But someone beats him to the task: a shadowy killer who calls himself Homo Erectus and who seems determined to wipe gay bashers from the face of the earth. As the killer’s body count rises, most citizens are horrified, but a few see him as a hero, and they hire Burke to track him down…and help him escape.
In Choice of Evil, Burke is forced to confront his most harrowing mystery: the mind of an obsessive serial killer. And soon the emotionally void method behind the killer’s madness becomes terrifyingly familiar, reminding Burke of his childhood partner, Wesley, the ice-man assassin who never missed, even when the target was himself. Has Wesley come back from the dead? The whisper-stream says so. And the truth may just challenge Burke’s very sense of reality. Expertly plotted, addictive, enthralling, Choice of Evil is Andrew Vachss’ most haunting tale to date.
In Burke, Vachss gave readers of crime fiction a hero they could believe in, an avenger whose sense of justice was forged behind bars and tempered on New York’s meanest streets. In this blistering new thriller, Burke is drawn into his ugliest case yet, one that involves an underground network of abused women and the sleekly ingenious stalkers who’ve marked them as their personal victims.
Burke’s client is Crystal Beth, a beautiful outlaw with a tattoo on her face and a mission burned into her heart. She is trying to shield one of her charges from a vengeful ex with fetishes for Nazism and torture. But the stalker has a protector, someone so informed, so ruthless, and so connected that he need only make a few phone calls to shut down Crystal Beth’s operation for good—and Burke along with it. Sinuous in its complexities, brutal in its momentum, Safe House is Burke at the edge of his nerve and cunning. And it’s Vachss at the peak of his form.
Burke–ex-con, mercenary, sometime killer–makes his living preying on New York’s most vicious predators and avenging their innocent victims. But in Andrew Vachss’s mercilessly suspenseful new novel, Burke finds himself working the other side of the street, where guilt and innocence are as disposable as the sheets in a Times Square hotel–and as dirty.
Burke’s new employer is Kite, a fanatical crusader who specializes in debunking “false allegations of child sexual abuse. Kite has a case that may be the real thing, but needs Burke to tell him if it is. And if mere money can’t persuade Burke to cooperate, Kite has plenty of other incentives at his disposal–including a fanatical bodyguard with a taste for corsets and brass knuckles. A tour guide to hell written in icy prose, False Allegations is Vachss at his most unnerving.
In Footsteps of the Hawk Burke himself is in danger of becoming a victim. Two rogue cops are stalking him. The coolly seductive Belinda Roberts wants him to free a man charged with a grisly string of rape-murders. The brutal and half-crazy Detective Jorge Morales may be trying to frame Burke for the same crimes. What ensues is a novel of high-wire suspense and nightmarish authenticity informed by an insider’s knowledge of the city where everything—from flesh to other people’s cellular phone numbers—is up for sale.
Andrew Vachss has reinvented detective fiction for an age in which guilty secrets are obsolete and murder isn’t even worth a news headline. And in the person of his haunted, hell-ridden private eye Burke, Vachss has given us a new kind of hero: a man inured to every evil except the kind that preys on children. Now Burke is back, investigating an epidemic of apparent suicides among teenagers of a wealthy Connecticut suburb. There he discovers a sinister connection between the anguish of the young and the activities of an elite sadomasochistic underground, for whom pan and its accompanying rituals are a source of pleasure—and power
What—or who—could turn a gifted little boy into a murderous thing that calls itself “Satan’s Child”? In search of an answer, a man named Burke travels from a festering welfare hotel to a neat frame house where a voodoo priestess presides over a congregation of assassins. For this vigilante and unlicensed private eye has made it his business to defend the small victims whom the law has failed—even a child who has been made into a killer.
Gripping and chillingly knowledgeable about the mechanisms of evil, Sacrifice is a thriller of savage authority from one of the best crime writers of our generation.
In the figure of Burke, Andrew Vachss has given contemporary crime fiction one of its most mesmerizing characters. An abused child raised in orphanages, foster homes, and prisons, Burke is a career criminal and outlaw who steals and scams for a living. In Blossom, an old cellmate has summoned Burke to a fading Indiana mill town, where a young boy is charged with a crime he didn’t commit and a twisted serial sniper has turned a local lovers’ lane into a killing field. And it’s here that Burke meets Blossom, the brilliant, beautiful young woman who has her own reasons for finding the murderer—and her own idea of vengeance. Dense with atmosphere, savagely convincing, this is Vachss at his uncompromising best.
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 narrative overdrive—and his unnerving familiarity with the sub-basement of American crime—Hard Candy is vintage Burke.