Safe House (Burke Series #10) by Andrew Vachss | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Safe House (Burke Series #10)

Safe House (Burke Series #10)

4.5 4
by Andrew Vachss

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In Burke, Vachss gave readers of crime fiction a hero they could believe in, an avenger whose sense of justice was forged behind bars and tempered on New York's meanest streets.  In this blistering new thriller, Burke is drawn into his ugliest case yet, one that involves an underground network of abused women and the sleekly ingenious stalkers who've marked


In Burke, Vachss gave readers of crime fiction a hero they could believe in, an avenger whose sense of justice was forged behind bars and tempered on New York's meanest streets.  In this blistering new thriller, Burke is drawn into his ugliest case yet, one that involves an underground network of abused women and the sleekly ingenious stalkers who've marked them as their personal victims. 
   Burke's client is Crystal Beth, a beautiful outlaw with a tattoo on her face and a mission burned into her heart.  She is trying to shield one of her charges from a vengeful ex with fetishes for Nazism and torture. But the stalker has a protector, someone so informed, so ruthless, and so connected that he need only make a few phone calls to shut down Crystal Beth's operation for good—and Burke along with it.  Sinuous in its complexities, brutal in its momentum, Safe House is Burke at the edge of his nerve and cunning.  And it's Vachss at the peak of his form.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Vachss has always been one of the best and most creative authors of the thriller genre, with characters that leap off the page and story lines that threaten to break the reader's heart (e.g., Blue Belle, LJ 10/1/88). But the present work, though basically well crafted, has only brief flashes of Vachss's fine talent. Burke befriends those involved in a women's shelter and finds rogue government agents and a neo-Nazi group that plans to blow up federal buildings. He saves the day with the help of his friends: mute Max, Chinese terror "Mama," genius Mole, "Baby Sister" Michelle, and, of course, his beloved mastiff, Pansy. But what is lacking here is the bite of Vachss's earlier works, the toughness and brutality that have won him so many fans. Buy this for diehards. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/97.]Alice DiNizo, Raritan P.L., N.J.
A big dumb blond -- a muscle-bound prison friend named Hercules -- needs Burke's help. Hired to lean on a stalker and scare him off his victim, Herk has inadvertently murdered the mark. Obligation and honor demand that Burke and his tribe of urban warriors do their best to pull the lug out of a bad situation. Looking to discover more about the set-up that ensnared his friend, Burke quickly signs on with Crystal Beth, the woman who had hired Herk and who runs a shadowy network that protects abused women. His job starts out as protection for a woman being stalked by her neo-Nazi husband. Nothing is easy in Burke's life or Vachss's fiction and the stalker turns out to have a powerful protector himself. Soon Burke and Herk and everyone else are dealing with white supremacists ready to explosively bring down democracy .. Vachss plots this one as tight as a hooker's skirt and as smooth as a pimp's promises. His commanding characterization makes Burke so cold he's hot and the supporting crew is just as compelling. Safe House is packed with scintillating style, indelible imagery, and intense empathy -- maybe the best yet from a writer of raw power and passionate fervor.
Kirkus Reviews
Child-abuse specialist Burke expands his righteous field of operations—his one-man harrowing of our modern cityscape—to cover an Aryan supremacist network of terrorists. Not by design, of course. Burke and his ragtag band of urban avengers—Clarence, the Prof, the Mole, Max the Silent—start off much closer to their usual turf, on a self-ordained mission to take down domestic abusers who've turned into stalkers of their terrified women. Their eye-for-an-eye campaign leads them to Crystal Beth, who runs a shelter for women who have nowhere else to go. Vachss (False Allegations, 1996, etc.) establishes the safe house's credentials by admitting testimony from its desperate clients: the rape victim whose husband keep raping her "because I owed him"; the S/M player whose latest playmate refused to quit the game; the cyber-chump who was seduced by a predator who disseminated a falsely heroic image of himself over the Internet; the porn star whose most reverential fan had turned into an obsessive erotomaniac. But no story is more heartrending than that of hugely pregnant Marla, whose white-supremacist husband Lothar Bucholtz (born Larry Bretton, a name he jettisoned because it sounded too Jewish) is waiting for her to deliver the son he's already named Gerhardt so that he can spirit him off to his coven of neo-Nazis. When Burke and Co. try to move against Lothar, they run up against a brick wall named Pryce, who tells them Lothar can't be touched. It doesn't take long for Burke to work out the reason why: Lothar is the designated informant who's going to bring down his pack of bombing buddies, and custody of Gerhardt, along with immunity for his earlier peccadilloes,is part of the price the US government has included in his severance package. A lesser crew of vigilantes would be stymied at this point, but the scheme Burke hatches to take Lothar down is a thing of beauty. Think of a lesser James Bond adventure, minus the high-tech gadgetry and the rules.

From the Publisher
"The hardest-boiled crime fiction this side of Sing Sing"- USA Today

"Vachss makes other noir writers seem like William Saroyan."- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Scorching... the prose is accomplished, stylized, and flinty; the plot is direct and commanding."- Seattle Times

"Vachss's reverence for storytelling is evident in the blunt beauty of his language."-Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Burke Series , #10
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
321 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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