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

"Powerful...mesmerizing in its intensity."

—Los Angeles Times

Andrew Vachss
Photo: Joyce Ravid

SACRIFICE a Burke novel by Andrew Vachss

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

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 asassins. 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.

They don't come any tougher than Burke, or an more hard-boiled than Andrew Vachss. Beginning with FLOOD in 1985, and continuing with STREGA, BLUE BELLE, HARD CANDY, and BLOSSOM, Andrew Vachss has infused the modern crime novel with a dose of salient reality and a markedly different kind of hero, an outcast who makes his living dispensing mean yet measured justice. Vachss' focused, street-sharp protagonist—an ex-con turned unlicensed PI known only as Burke—comes combat-ready to engage those who prey on and profit from the lives of children. "They're evil," Burke tells us, "and they get away with murder."

With SACRIFICE, Burke's reputation as the baddest guy dispensing justice in contemporary crime fiction continues. Only this time, the devil Burke faces is real. Or is it?

A battered child has disappeared. Burke's job is to find the child. His search unearths a trail leading from a welfare hotel to a wet grave. En route, Burke stumbles into the lair of a voodoo queen, a woman who knows about him—who he is, why he has come, and what he is looking for.

With her aid Burke learns the truth about a cult and its creation, "Satan's Child"—a psychotic boy who kills other children. The DA wants the kid locked up. Burke wants the real killers—the terrorists who have turned the child into their personal instrument of death—to pay for the crime. And if he can't make the written laws do the trick, he knows another set of laws—the ones he lives by, the laws never written down....

The currency of his subject matter, as well as his spare prose, has gained Andrew Vachss certain notoriety. Reviewing Vachss' writing in PLAYBOY Digby Diehl described it as "scary" and his views of the seamy underside of New York City as "eerie, real, excuciating. His bad guys will make your skin crawl, and his good guys aren't much better...Uncomfortable terrain, covered brilliantly."

SACRIFICE is vintage Vachss—brilliant, dark, terrifying, and real.

Acclaim for Andrew Vachss

"Burke is back, tougher than ever...Gritty...hard-edged"

San Francisco Chronicle

"...a hypnotically violent prose made up of equal parts of broken concrete blocks and razor wire."

Chicago Sun-Times

"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."


"Strong, gritty, gut-bucket stuff, so unsparing and vivid that it makes you wince. Vachss knows the turf and writes with a sneering bravado....Burke prowls the city with a seething, angry, almost psychotic voice appropriate to the devils he deals with...Vachss is good, his Burke novels first-rate."

Chicago Tribune

"A harrowing tale in which outcasts are the moral heroes, and the people who belong to civilization are corrupt...An absolute original...Andrew Vachss has become a cult favorite, and for good reason."


SACRIFICE A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss
0-679-40283-7 | June 1991
Knopf hard cover edition

SACRIFICE A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss
0-8041-0919-2 | July 1992
Ivy Books edition

SACRIFICE A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss
ISBN 0-679-76410-0 | February 1996
Vintage Crime edition

"Vachss' writing is as gritty as ever....It's doubtful there's another fictional private eye who can summon up in the reader as powerful—and powerfully conflicting—emotions as Burke can."


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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