Down in the Zero (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Down in the Zero (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Down in the Zero [Paperback]

Andrew Vachss
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
Price: CDN$ 13.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.12 (27%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually ships within 3 to 6 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $13.83  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged CDN $13.13  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

July 4 1995 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

   Andrew Vachss has reinvented detective fiction for an age in which guilty secrets are obsolete and murder isn't even worth a news headline. And in the person of his haunted, hell-ridden private eye Burke, Vachss has given us a new kind of hero: a man inured to every evil except the kind that preys on children. 
   Now Burke is back, investigating an epidemic of apparent suicides among teenagers of a wealthy Connecticut suburb.  There he discovers a sinister connection between the anguish of the young and the activities of an elite sadomasochistic underground, for whom pan and its accompanying rituals are a source of pleasure—and power

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In his seventh outing, Burke, Vachss's flinty ex-con and relentless crusader for abused kids last featured in Sacrifice , is still reeling after having killed a kid in a previous case gone sour. Here, he leaves his underground detective network headquartered in Manhattan's Chinatown for a rarified Connecticut suburb shaken by a series of teen suicides. Burke is hired to protect Randy, a listless high school grad whose absent, jet-setting mother did a favor for Burke years ago when she was a cocktail waitress in London and he a clandestine government soldier en route to Biafra. Still haunted by his experience in the African jungle and his encounter there with the suicidal tug of the abyss--the eponymous "zero"--Burke plunges into his plush surroundings with the edgy vindictiveness of a cold-war mercenary, uncovering a ring of blackmail and surveillance, a sinister pattern of psychiatric experimentation based at a local hospital and a sadomasochistic club frequented by twin sisters named Charm and Fancy. Vachss's seething, macho tale of upper-crust corruption is somewhat contrived and takes a gratuitously nasty slant toward its female characters.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Here is yet another hard-core novel in the author's series of fictional battles against child abuse amidst sleaze, slime, and the nearly surreal. Burke, who was last seen in Sacrifice (Knopf, 1991), is now confronted with young adult suicides and sexual blackmail in an affluent Connecticut suburb. Hired to watch the young son of a former lover, Burke is drawn into a bizarre situation populated by characters almost as strange as his friends. The suicides and the sadomasochistic sex, which are weirdly connected, force Burke to enlist his usual cohorts. Fans will want this crisply written work, but those not familiar with the bizarre characters who make up Burke's circle may be confused. Purchase where the series is popular.
Robert H. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Revised Opinion Feb. 23 2004
By A Customer
Ages ago I wrote a review of this book complaining that the violent sex seemed gratuitous. However, recently I was browsing through Andrew Vachss' website and I learned a thing or two about how he 'uses' sex in his novels. Apparently, when the lives of the characters revolve around sex, then sex in the plot is called for; when sex is not a driving force to the characters, then you won't find much of it in the plot. I'm probably not conveying it correctly, but it made sense to me when I read it! Anyhow, check out his website. It's really an eye-opener.
Was this review helpful to you?
There comes a time in the life of every vigilante where stock must be taken, where the actions of the past finally catch up, either literally or metaphorically. Burke is at such a crossroads: he's completely immobilized by a recent event, unable to function, or even care. Burke is looking down in the zero, into the abyss, and it beckons him with its silence.
Burke, for the uninitiated, is the protagonist of many novels of Andrew Vachss. Burke is a denizen of the world's underbelly, a man who has a code of honour all of his own, and a particular blinding hatred for any person who would prey on children. Burke is not a nice man, but he will get results. And DOWN IN THE ZERO provides him yet another opportunity to dispense his own unique form of justice.
DOWN begins with Burke at perhaps his lowest point: he has recently (albeit accidentally) caused the death of a child. He is crushed, depressed, and on the edge, and even the caring ministrations of his usual cadre of oddly endearing individuals (the Mole, the Prof, Mama, andthe transvestite Michelle) cannot rouse him from his depths. It takes a phone call from the son of a past acquaintance, relating a bizarre tale of an epidemic of teenage suicides in a Connecticut suburb, to stir him into action. That, and the possibility of easy money from the area's rich inhabitants.
Let's face it, the Burke series will never be accused of subtlety. It is violent, profane, and rather misogynist in its appeal. It advocates self-justice to the Law, and is inherently distrustful of the legal system. But Vachss (who also acts as an attorney exclusively for youth) writes with fury and passion: he's the leaner, meaner brother of Jim Thompson, if such a thing is possible.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Andrew H. Vachss, Esq. - Master of the Dark Side Sept. 19 2000
By "Dark Side," I don't mean the occult. Real-life attorney Vachss has an intimate grasp on all that that is offensive to the majority of us who live quiet, (semi-)organized lives. We gasp and recoil at the real-life occurrence of a brutal act by one human against another. The world of Vachss is the opposite. Therein we are non-plussed by an act of kindness. His world is real; it is simply a world that most of us chose to deny the existence of. (<-Dangling participle - sorry!) Vachss' fictional characters and situations are damn close to reality. And it's often tough to take.
In this latest outing, Vachss takes his main character, Burke, to the upper class suburbs to fulfill a longstanding "debt." Burke, an abandoned and abused former ward of the state, (both in childhood and occasionally in adulthood) is a urban survivalist, con artist and city animal. He is also presently mourning his "accidental" killing of a small child. (I told you it was tough stuff to take!) But he adapts to this new, ritzy environment as only a true survivor can. (Vachss' fans will recall that he pulled this off before, in exurban Indiana, in "Blossom.") And, as always, he solves the underlying crisis through a combination of detective work, technological assistance, sheer bravado and unrelenting violence.
The common theme to all Burke novels is moral outrage. Once Vachss has overwhelmed us with the horror of the situation (and it always involves the sexual and physical abuse of children), we applaud his character as a vengeful angel. Burke consciously believes that he does what he does for the money. Nonsense. He's driven by the demons of his own abusive upbringing. And I wouldn't want him "cured' for the world...
Keep writing 'em, Andrew. I'll keep reading them and recommending them.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start... Aug. 21 2000
Despite its laid back approach to a mystery, I liked its down-to-earth descriptions of how the rich think and feel. I would have liked it better if they had spent a little more time on Burke, but I'm sure I'll get that in other books. All in all an enjoyable adventure.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Burke in the 'burbs May 16 2000
I have read all of the Burke novels, and this is not one of the better ones. I guess after the absolute horror at the end of the previous book, "Sacrifice," it is understandable that Burke had to back off a bit. But his adventure in suburban Connecticut just isn't terribly compelling and leads to perhaps the least satisfying climax of the whole series. Who would have thought that Burke's legendary "Zero" is situated among the strip malls and housing developments! Burke beginners should start elsewhere (I recommend "Flood" or "Blue Belle"). This one's for hard core fans only.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?

Look for similar items by category