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Flood Paperback – Mar 10 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Vintage Contemporaries ed edition (March 10 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679781293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679781295
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #123,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Hard-boiled fiction at its best."- The Chicago Tribune Book World

"Vachss's tough guy writing style grabs you by the hair and jerks you to attention."- Detroit Free Press

"An extraordinary thriller... Vachss never flinches from the horror."- Washington Post Book World

"Burke would eat Spade and Marlowe for breakfast, not even spitting out the bones. [He] is one tough, mean, pray-to-God-you-don't-meet-him hombre."-Boston Herald

About 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 12 2009
Format: Audio CD
Amazing when you think that this iconic thriller was first written some 25 years ago. Since then there have been a number of copycats who have tried to imitate Vachss's tough guy narrative or replicate the jaw-dropping cast of characters who dwell in hero Burke's netherworld, but it can't be done. Vachss set the pace when he introduced his quixotic hero, a guy with a record and standards he's set for himself. Burke is a street wise (or more accurately dark alley wise) misfit who takes on cases that baffle the police.

A gorgeous gal named Flood comes to him asking for help in finding a child killer so as she delicately puts it she "can kill him with her bare hands." The search is on through some of the most dangerous places in New York City and among the lowest of the lowlifes, the desperate depraved denizens of the City. However, while police and other private eyes would be put off by the likes of these, they're people Burke knows and understands.

Vachss writes in a gripping almost staccato style, which is the way actor Christopher Lane narrates the story. It's a task to take on the voices of not only Burke but also his crew of pals, such as a panhandler dubbed the Prof and a genius in electronic who dwells under a pile of junked cars.

If you want a sizzling thriller to heat these cold days, FLOOD is for you.

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Paperback
This book is entertaining by all means and will not leave you bored at any point during the novel. If that is what you are going for, than by all means pick up this novel, it will not leave you disappointed. The characters are incredibly interesting and at some points Vachss reminded me of Spillane, my all time favorite mystery writer. The only problem I had with this book was with the main character. Everything seems to go his way, not necessairly in the events of the story, but in his past. Numerous times when an object is referenced to, Burke will go ahead and explain how he attained it, and this happens quite often. In the first few pages you learn why Burke does not pay for his apartment, and you think "Wow, that is pretty cool." And then when you read about his friend Max the Silent, you think, "Wow, that is pretty cool." And you think this when you learn about his mail, or when you learn how his calls are routed. It just seems too convenient and fantastic. I have not read any of Vachss' other books (I plan to), but I have heard from friends that they are all about child molesters. This isnt a good thing, writers should write about more than just one topic.
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By Andrew Simmons on June 11 2003
Format: Paperback
I am a fan of James Lee Burke, Alan Furst, Robert Parker, John Sandeford, etc., and I really hoped to like this novel by Andrew Vachss. It's a lot of fun to discover a new series of books you know you are going to like?
Sad to say, I couldn't finish this novel. I found the tone confusing. Sometimes the writer seemed to be making fun of the main character, and sometimes he seemed to be taking him seriously.
There were irrelevant asides, such as the story about the lawyer defending the dog. The story seem forced, and not nerely as funny as the author wanted it to be. I had the feeling the writer was trying too hard to make me laugh.
And what's with all the impossible and implausable gadgets, the alarms all over the office, the secret entrances? All of this kind of stuff seemed Mickey Mouse, as though Vachss had been reading too many comic books.
There are lots of excellent, beautifully written novels in the mystery/detective genre. This is not one of them. I got the feeling the writer doesn't take writing seriously.
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By mrliteral on Dec 11 2002
Format: Paperback
The first book in Vachss's Burke series, Flood is a good tough-guy sort of mystery and is as hard-boiled as they come.
Flood takes place in a sinister version of New York City, where everyone is crooked, no one seems to have both a first and last name and even the dogs are aggressive, if not vicious. Burke, the anti-heroic main character is not a very pleasant person except in relation to the sleazy characters he must face. In this story, he is hired by the woman Flood to find an elusive child-killer; along the way, he also must deal with other unsavory people.
While good, this book is not quite great. In his first novel, Vachss shows some beginner's traits in his style, and his characters sometimes come off clown-like or cliched. Also, this is an unpleasant world, and no character really has redeeming values; this may be compelling, but it can also be a turn-off if overdone.
In the end, I found this good enough that I will probably try another in the series, but I think I will wait a little while. Too much of this dark universe at one time could be depressing.
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By A. Trotter on Oct. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the first in the Burke series. I read the second (didn't even know they were a series at the time) when I was a teen... you really don't need the first to read the second... Anyways, I read it, and thought "yes". Burke is a con artist, an ocasional murderer, a paranoid (but they're really after him) and a theif. He lives on the edges of the gene pool, where the scum grows thick and green. He also, incedentaly, hates loaths and despises child molesters and abusers in general. Voilla, a story is born. Flood, as the first book, is also the first of several tough sexy women, all physically different but all sharing similar charactistcs (Vachss doesn't deal in innocence much, unless it's in how it was taken away).
Andrew Vachss became somewhat of a target of controversy for writing these books; some people say he's capitalizing on child abuse, others think he should be sainted for drawing such unflattering attention to it & campaigning against it. Personaly, I give less than a smidge for the politics of my authors; if I had to research the backgrounds of everyone who writes the books I read I'd never bother to read. I generaly just judge a book on how it was written. And I really, really like these books. They crack me up (ok, so some people seem to think they're morbid and cynical. So?) and [annoys me]at the same time.
If there's one thing about this series that gets to me it's a sameness about the women as Vachss writes them. Not a physical sameness... he's good about that. And as characters, they stand out vividly in mind. But... while Vachss characterizes his main people extremely well (I love Michelle and the Mole) he doesn't give as much depth to the ones who arn't sticking around. They tell their stories and step offstage.
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