False Allegations (Burke Series #9)

False Allegations (Burke Series #9)

by Andrew Vachss
     
 

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Burke--ex-con, mercenary, sometime killer--makes his living preying on New York's most vicious predators and avenging their innocent victims. But in Andrew Vachss's mercilessly suspenseful new novel, Burke finds himself working the other side of the street, where guilt and innocence are as disposable as the sheets in a Times Square hotel--and as dirty.

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Overview

Burke--ex-con, mercenary, sometime killer--makes his living preying on New York's most vicious predators and avenging their innocent victims. But in Andrew Vachss's mercilessly suspenseful new novel, Burke finds himself working the other side of the street, where guilt and innocence are as disposable as the sheets in a Times Square hotel--and as dirty.

Burke's new employer is Kite, a fanatical crusader who specializes in debunking "false allegations  of child sexual abuse. Kite has a case that may be the real thing, but needs Burke to tell him if it is. And if mere money can't persuade Burke to cooperate, Kite has plenty of other incentives at his disposal--including a fanatical bodyguard with a taste for corsets and brass knuckles. A tour guide to hell written in icy prose, False Allegations is Vachss at his most unnerving.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Each of Vachss's 10 previous novels has dealt with child abuse, but he's worked other themes as well, most notably the volatility of love and the hypocrisies of the middle class. Judging by his darkly disturbing Batman novel of last year (Batman: The Ultimate Evil), however, and by this shard of a thriller, his literary vision seems now to have tunneled down to sight only child abuse and allied issues in its crosshairs. Here, Vachss takes aim at adolescent sexual abuse and at those who would debunk all cases of recovered-memory syndrome as he proselytizes for the work of the real-life Dr. Bruce Perry, head of the Civitas ChildTrauma programs in Houston (who appears as a character). The story begins when Vachss's urban outlaw, Burke, initially hired by an erotic dancer named Bondi to rob a voyeuristic pervert, smells a set-up. He's not wrongcareful investigation leads him to Kite, an albino lawyer who specializes in debunking recovered memories of child sexual abuse, either demolishing the witnesses' credibility or getting the cases thrown out of court. Now Kite wants to represent one Jennifer Dalton, a high-profile client whose story, if true, will bring the issue to national attention. Kite hires Burke to interview the alleged victim and pronounce her story true or false. This quest brings him to Dr. Perry, who is pioneering laboratoryas compared to clinical couchinvestigation of recovered memory syndrome. There are a few side glances (notably at the spectacular end of Burke's ongoing gin game with Max the Silent and at the results of his "sister" Michelle's long-delayed sex-change operation), and Vachss's consideration of the validity of recovered memory syndrome is informed and balanced, but his glare at child sexual abuse here is nearly relentless and, eventually, wearisome. Vachss's prey is certainly worth hunting, and he's a skillful hunter, able through his stiletto prose and his white-hot rage to persuade readers that Burke's vigilantism equals justice. Still, there's more to life and more to art than avenging the innocentand early in his writing career, when he was writing his finest novels (Flood; Strega; Blue Bell), Vachss seemed to know that. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Burke is back, blackmailed into dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse .
From the Publisher
"In the first rank of American crime writers. . . . Next to Vachss, Chandler, Cain and Hammett look like choirboys."  
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Burke is the toughest talking first-person narrator since Mike Hammer."  
-Los Angeles Times

"Vachss . . . writes hypnotically violent prose."
-Chicago Sun-Times

"Burke prowls the city with a seething, angry, almost psychotic voice appropriate to the devils he deals with."-Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375719110
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/25/2001
Series:
Burke Series , #9
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
206,250
File size:
240 KB

Meet the Author

Andrew Vachss, an attorney in private practice specializing in juvenile justice and child abuse, is the country’s best recognized and most widely sought after spokesperson on crimes against children. He is also a bestselling novelist and short story writer, whose works include Flood (1985), the novel which first introduced Vachss’ series character Burke, Strega (1987), Choice of Evil (1999), and Dead and Gone (2000). His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Playboy, and The Observer, and he is a contributor to ABA Journal, Journal of Psychohistory, New England Law Review, The New York Times, and Parade.

Vachss has worked as a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a caseworker in New York, and a professional organizer. He was the director of an urban migrants re-entry center in Chicago and another for ex-cons in Boston. After managing a maximum-security prison for violent juvenile offenders, he published his first book, a textbook, about the experience. He was also deeply involved in the relief effort in Biafra, now Nigeria.

For ten years, Vachss’ law practice combined criminal defense with child protection, until, with the success of his novels, it segued exclusively into the latter, which is his passion. Vachss calls the child protective movement “a war,” and considers his writing as powerful a weapon as his litigation.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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