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Another Chance To Get It Right by Andrew Vachss

Andrew Vachss
"Lord of the asphalt jungle." —Washington Post
A Burke Novel

"Brilliant...Burke is a creature you can't spend enough time with [and] Vachss, sculpting pieces of art out of the scummiest wastes of humanity, must be read."


Andrew Vachss
Photo: Joyce Ravid

BLOSSOM a Burke novel by Andrew Vachss

Mystery | Vintage Crime | Trade Paperback | Jan 2001 | $12.00 | Andrew Vachss

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. But he draws the line at the psychopaths and predators who stalk children. Sometimes he draws that line in blood.

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 lover's 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.

His four previous novels—FLOOD, STREGA, BLUE BELLE, and HARD CANDY—have established Andrew Vachss as today's unchallenged master of hard-boiled crime fiction. His brilliant anti-hero Burke—the brooding, merciless adversary of criminals who fatten on the lives of children—has been hailed as "lord of the asphalt jungle" (Washington Post). Now, in his strongest novel yet, Vachss unleashes Burke into new territory...and Indiana may never be the same.

"New York was always hard," Burke tells us, "but now it was ugly...A good time to go." And what hooks him into going is a desperate plea for help from his old cellmate, Virgil. In the Indiana mill town where Virgil lives, the local lovers' lane has become a sniper's shotting gallery. The leads are flimsy, but the copys need soemthing to show and they've fingered Virgil's teenage nephew as the prime suspect. Virgil—street-naive but "schooled" well by Burke—has taken the boy into hiding. Now he's counting on Burke to do what the cops can't or won't do: find the real killer.

Making his way to Indiana, Burke feels liek "a city snake shedding its skin, coming into a new season." But he needs more than the disguise of a new name to insinuate himself into this world where the hard midwestern sun barely breaks through the steel-mill smog or the suspicions of the people who live under its shroud. In New York, Burke knows the streets, the systems, the scams. But in Merrillville, "I was working in the dark. I needed a match."

Which comes in the slim, watchful, deceptively prim form of Blossom: a young woman who's connected by spilled blood to the murderer at the end of Burke's chase, and who's determined to help him bring the criminal to justice—Burke's kind of justice—no matter what it takes...

Acclaim for Andrew Vachss

"Gritty, frightening, compelling and ultimately satisfying."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Vachss is a contemporary master...Decidedly hard-boiled, his prose is as lean, tough-edged and brittle as the man who is the protagonist."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Taking Burke off his home turf to deal with a Midwestern kind of seediness was a brilliant move. Vachss' characters are carefully sketched, the dialogue is sharp, and the driven Burke is a creature you can't spend enough time with. Many writers try to cover the same ground as Vachss. A handfull are as good. None are better."


"Compelling....powerful....Vachss is America's dark scribe of the 1990's....His protagonist Burke is our new dark knight, a cold-eyed crusader."

—James Grady, author of

"The best detective fiction being written....Add a stinging social commentary...a Celinesque journey into darkness, and we have an Andrew Vachss, one of our most important writers."

Martha Grimes

BLOSSOM A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss
0-394-58523-2 | June 1990
Knopf hard cover edition

BLOSSOM A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss
0-8041-0751-3 | July 1991
Ivy Books edition

BLOSSOM A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss
ISBN 0-679-77261-8 | November 1996
Vintage Crime edition

"Burke is an unlikely combination of Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood and Rambo, operating outside the law as he rights wrongs...Vachss has obviously seen just how unable the law is to protect children. And so, while Burke may be a vigilante, Vachss' stories don't feature pointless bloodshed. Instead, they burn with righteous rage and transfer a degree of that rage to the reader."

—Washington Post Book World

Read Laurence Shames interview with Andrew Vachss
for the February 1986 edition of Playboy.

Hard Looks Mirror Cover
mirror collection.
Containing 20 of the illustrated
comics stories
from the series
written by Andrew Vachss.
240 pgs - $17.95 U.S.

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