Andrew Vachss's implacable private eye has a new client, Strega. She wants Burke to ﬁnd an obscene photograph and that search will take him into the ocean that ﬂows just beneath the city, an ocean whose currents are ﬂesh and money, the anguish of children and the pleasure of twisted adults. It is a place that Burke can visit only at the risk of his sanity and his life. But between the power of Strega and his own sense of justice, there is no turning back. In Strega one of our most acclaimed crime writers gives us a thriller that might have been imagined by Dante. For this is a tour of hell with no stops left out, conducted by a novelist who writes with the authority of the damned. "It's wonderful. The words leap off the page. The plot is fresh. The principal character is original. The style is as clean as a haiku. " - The Washington Post Book World
"You know why we hate you? Not because you don't know what we know, but because, if you did, you wouldn't give a damn. So I'm sitting here, waiting to commit extortion, and planning a lot worse. I'm what you'd call a criminal. That's why I'll never be you. And I'm proud of it. " --from Terminal When the former shot-caller of the country's most feared white supremacist prison gang contacts Burke, he comes with references . . . and the promise of a huge score. Terminally ill, the ex-con needs major cash to gamble on the long-shot possibility of a cure that's available only in Switzerland. The only card he has to play is a small-time degenerate who paid for protection when they were in prison together. That professional bottom-feeder claims he personally buried the body of a thirteen-year-old girl who had been raped, tortured, and finally killed by three rich men more than thirty years ago--and that he's holding irrefutable proof. But such a complicated extortion scheme needs the hand of a specialist crew, so Burke is offered a piece of the action. He and his outlaw family put together a lethal plan. If they can pull it off, Burke gets the two things he lives for: Money and Revenge. If not, "terminal" could prove to be more than just one man's diagnosis. Terminal is a blistering thriller that forces Burke back in time--to keep a blood-commitment to a brother from his prison past, and to avenge the "cold-cased" rape-murder of a teenage girl. From the Hardcover edition.
Andrew Vachss, the master of hard-boiled fiction, returns with a deeply revealing new novel about an assassin whose love forced him to kill his own conscience.Esau Till's race is almost run. After pleading guilty to a series of homicides, he sits on death row, awaiting lethal injection. And writing his life story. But his memoir is no case study in tragedy--it's his one last chance to protect his brother, Tory, after he's gone. And, as too many have learned, when it comes to protecting his baby brother, Esau Till is a man without boundaries. Esau's father was a widely feared beast who, it was commonly believed, killed his wife and used his own daughter as a substitute. In Esau's own words, when your sister is your mother, too, you know you're not going to come out right. Not you, not your life, not nothing.When the genetic cards were dealt, Esau drew a genius IQ but a horribly crippled body. His brother Tory drew a "slow" mind but almost superhuman strength. Very early on, Esau learned that the only way to guarantee his baby brother's safety was to make himself indispensable to certain people. A self-taught explosives expert, he became the top assassin for two rival local mobs. When a third mob attempted to recruit his brother, Esau took them all out, unaware that one of them was an under-cover FBI agent. Execution looms, but no prison can hold Esau's mind. Or his love. As the State prepares to take his life, Esau plots going all-in on the last and most deadly hand he will ever play.
Andrew Vachss's Burke is one of the most cold-blooded yet strangely honorable protagonists in the history of crime fiction, an outlaw who makes his living by preying on the most vicious of New York City's bottom-feeders, those who thrive on the suffering of the defenseless. In these three thrillers, Vachss gives us a series of stories that might have been imagined by Dante. For this is a tour of hell with no stops left out, conducted by a novelist who writes with the authority of the damned. This bundle includes the following titles: FLOOD: The renegade "investigator" Burke teams up with a lethally gifted avenger to follow a baby's murderer through the foul catacombs of New York, where every alley is blind and the penthouses are as dangerous as the basements. Fearfully knowing, crackling with narrative tension, and written in prose as forceful as a hollow-point slug, Flood is Burke at his deadliest--and Vachss at the peak of his form. STREGA: The urban mercenary has a new client, a deadly and sultry woman who calls herself "Strega." She wants Burke to find a kiddie porn Polaroid, and she's prepared to pay whatever that might cost. The search will take Burke back into the fetid river that flows just beneath the city: its currents are flesh and money, the anguish of children, and the pleasure of twisted adults. It is a river Burke can navigate only at the risk of unleashing the rage that is never far beneath his icy surface. But considering who actually hired him, refusing the job isn't an option. BLUE BELLE: Burke is given a purse full of dirty money to find the infamous Ghost Van that is cutting a lethal swath among teenage prostitutes who work the night streets. During the track-down job, he finds a stripper named Belle, whose moves on the runway are outclassed only by her skills as a getaway driver. But not even Burke is prepared for the evil that powers the Ghost Van, or for the sheer menace of its guardian, a skeletal martial artist who wants to add Max the Silent to his long lost of underground fight kills.
In his most original and compelling book yet, Andrew Vachss presents an electrifying tale of corruption in a devastated mill town. It is 1959--a moment in history when the clandestine, powerful forces that will shape America to the present day are about to collide. Walker Dett is a hired gun, known for using the most extreme measures to accomplish his missions. Royal Beaumont is the "hillbilly boss" who turned Locke City from a dying town into a thriving vice capital. But organized crime outsiders are moving in on Beaumont's turf, so he reaches out for Dett in a high-risk move to maintain his power at all costs. Add a rival Irish political machine, a deeply entrenched neo-Nazi "party", the nascent black power movement, turf-disputing juvenile gangs, a muck-raking journalist who doubles as a blackmailer, the FBI--a covert observer and occasional participant which may itself be under surveillance-- and Locke City is about as stable as a nitroglycerin truck stalled on the railroad tracks.
Chicago--the reigning #1 city in homicides--has no shortage of deadly gangs. And all those gangs know well that the Cross crew occupies a cinderblock bunker called Red 71 . . . the last place you want to go, unless you're willing to risk it being the last place you go. The crew is notorious for its deadly efficiency and its disinterest in anything but money. So why has it turned from seller to buyer, grabbing up houses on a decaying block where only a few holdouts remain? Both the cops and the underworld are watching closely . . . but are they the only ones?
Vachss returns with a mesmerizing novel about a hard-core thief who's about to embark on a job that will alter his life forever.
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