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Andrew Vachss
"Lord of the asphalt jungle." —Washington Post
A Bleak Romance of the Damned

"Terse, intense and brilliantly written, SHELLA is a body-blow of a book delivered by an emerging literary heavyweight."

Flint Journal

Andrew Vachss
Photo: Elena Seibert

Mystery | Vintage Crime | Trade Paperback
Aug 1994 | $12.00 | Andrew Vachss

From the author of the acclaimed Burke private-eye series comes an ambitious and chilling novel that shows us not only what evil is, but where it comes from. For Shella is nothing less than a tour of evil's spawning ground, conducted by one of its natural predators.

He is called "Ghost" because he is so nondescript as to be invisible and because he slays with such reflexive ease that he might be one of the dead. Once he traveled with a woman who was called "Shella"— because those who had treated her as a horrendously ill-used child had tried to make her come out of her shell. Now Shella has vanished in a wilderness of strip clubs and peep shows, and Ghost is looking for her, guided by a killer's instinct and the recognition that can only exist between two people who have been damaged past the point of no return. The result is Andrew Vachss's most compelling work to date, the thriller reimagined as a bleak romance of the damned.

"A noir archetype as bare as unfinished furniture. The plot...has been sanded down into a taut monofilament...The prose in Shella is boiled to the bone."

The Village Voice

"Vachss tells his story in an understated shorthand.... He seems bottomlessly knowledgeable...about the depth and variety of human twistedness."

The New York Times

Acclaim for Andrew Vachss

"Next to Vachss, Chandler, Cain and Hammett look like choirboys."

Clevelend Plain Dealer

"Vachss distinguishes himself as writer with an assurance of words and experience that has a discomfiting ring of truth."

Austin Chronicle

"A book so icy it can freeze your fingers as you turn the pages, and numb your soul in the process. SHELLA is as lean and mean—but also as literate and deeply felt—as crime fiction, or any fiction gets."

Cemetery Dance

"SHELLA, Vachss' latest excursion to the American underbelly, is his darkest yet....Vachss' characterizations are so strong, so immediate, that it's impossible to brush them easily out of mind....And I defy anyone to remain untrouched by the climax, which manages to be horrific, touching, tragic and strangely hopeful."

Arkansas Democrat & Gazette

"Vachss is a contemporary master."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ISBN 0-679-75681-7 | August 1994
Vintage Crime edition

"Mesmerizing...a subterranean nightmare world, a place as compelling and morally challenging as any to be found in the best crime fiction today."

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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