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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 by Andrew Vachss

"Burke fills a void . . .
With his soiled white hat, this Lone Ranger of the 1990s asks difficult questions while shining light into the darkest recesses."

Chicago Tribune 

Andrew Vachss NYC
Photo: Andrew Southam

Hard Candy by Andrew Vachss

Vintage Crime | Trade Paperback | January 2001 | $12.00 | Andrew Vachss | ISBN 0-679-76169-1

FLOOD. . .STREGA. . .BLUE BELLE. . .and now, HARD CANDY. In his fourth and hardest-hitting novel, Andrew Vachss once again plunges us into the seamy underworld of New York City—a labyrinthine world of malevolence and violence that the ex-con and unlicensed private investigator known as Burke calls home, a world where friendship forged in blood have a way of ending in blood.

A new rumor is making its way along the city's darkest back streets: Burke has become a gun for hire. True or not, Burke's got to deal with the fallout. And that includes a reappearance of two people out of is past. There's Wesley: the most vicious and efficient hit man in the business ("Wesley never threatened. He was terror. Cold as a heat-seeking missile"). And there's Candy: a big-time, whatever-you-want call girl whose " yellow cat's eyes" reveal nothing but there own chill color.

What sets these former gang-mates on a collision course is a man called Train, who claims to run a safe-house for kids. Candy is telling a story about her fifteen-year-old daughter's being held in Train's powerful sway; she wants Burke's help getting her back. Wesley is holding a contract that's got Train's name on it; he wants Burke to steer clear. And Burke has ideas of his own.

As a teenager, in the brutal process of proving himself, Burke had "worshipped the same god" as Wesley and Candy. But now, even as circumstance draws them together, their opposing intentions hurl them apart. And when Burke learns the truth about Train—and, in turn, about is old "friends"—he shapes a truth for himself out of rumor and becomes his own gun for hire. Now, with the help of his remarkable street family—friends who have stood much more than the mere test of crime—Burke sets out on a course of retribution, meeting out his own personal hard-core brand of justice. . .

Acclaim for Andrew Vachss

"Torrid, gritty, frightening, compelling. His [Vachss] writing has the power of a rogue elephant."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A confection from Hell—a poison pill laced with acid and wrapped in razor-edged concertina wire."

Courier-Post [Philadelphia]

"Each [Burke book] is as savage as Celine. And there it is, a three-sentence throwaway paragraph, as pure as Euclid. I'm a sucker for such elegance."


"It's wonderful. The words do leap off the page. The principal character is an original. They style is as clean as haiku."

Washington Post

"Andrew Vachss is unique among modern writers; no one else comes close to the raw power and intellectual ambiguity that he manifests so elegantly, so coldly."

Clarion-Ledger [Jackson, MS]

Hard Candy by Andrew Vachss
ISBN 0-394-57791-4 | June 1989
New York | Alfred Knopf
Hard Candy by Andrew Vachss
ISBN 0-679-75336-2 | Aug 1991
Ivy Books
Hard Candy by Andrew Vachss
ISBN 0-679-76169-1 | July 1995
Vintage Crime


by Andrew Vachss

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 missle. Written with Vachss' signature narrative overdrive—and his unnerving familiarity with the sub-basement of American crime—HARD CANDY is vintage Burke.

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

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