Flood Paperback – Mar 10 1998
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"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I recently revisited the first book in Vachss' BURKE series -- FLOOD. This book still holds up and shows what an inventive and original writer Vachss really is. Read morePublished on June 21 2003
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. Read morePublished on June 11 2003 by Andrew Simmons
Burke is a man of many trades. All learned and honed on the New York streets and some of the toughest penitentiaries. These days his livelihood is made as a private detective. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2002 by Christopher Mc Nally
...The novel introduces us to the toughest, take-no-[stuff]-I-dare-you-to-take-a-swing-at-me-if-you-value-your-life detectives, Burke (no first name, just that)!!! Read morePublished on March 30 2002 by Hassan Galadari
This is a remarkable work of "detective" fiction. The world it portrays is all too real, if disturbing in the extreme. Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2001
I've known about Vachss for years, and picked up this book at a thrift store ... I had nothing to do one Sunday, so I picked it up at 10 a.m. and started reading. Read morePublished on June 11 2001 by Annie_Xmas
Flood is the introduction book of Burke, a street-wise detective who understands the filth of the world. Read morePublished on March 28 2001 by flodnag
What is it about revenge that makes it such a vicariously satisfying experience? While most people would never act on their impulses for it, the desire for vengeance can be an... Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2000 by Stone Junction