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Andrew Vachss's series hero, an outlaw vigilante named Burke, is on the trail of the man who murdered the teenage daughter of a Mafioso whose secret affairs with a black woman and a gay crime boss make Tony Soprano's sub rosa relationship with his psychiatrist seem inconsequential. More accustomed to committing crimes than investigating them, Burke comes out of retirement and reunites with his New York family, a group of criminals who join him in a clever ruse to unmask the killer. The circuitous trail eventually leads to an underground filmmaker whose disturbing brand of noir vérité was responsible for the girl's death; as usual, Burke metes out vengeance with a steady hand. As usual, Vachss turns in a suitably dark, violent thriller with a strong narrative drive and an explosive conclusion. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Sherlock Holmes is dead," intones Giovanni, a New York Mafia boss who hires street criminal Burke-who's made a career of killing child murderers and molesters-to solve the murder of his illegitimate teenage daughter, Vonni. Indeed, the whole Vachss oeuvre (this is the 14th novel to feature the avenging angel Burke) is a reminder that Conan Doyle's fictional sleuth would be clueless in the violent, sordid world of today's hard-boiled mystery. Burke doesn't search for clues so much as extort them by combining street smarts, his formidable intelligence and a deeply rooted outrage at the victimization of the young. Burke's fans will be delighted that he's returned to his home turf-the gritty back streets of New York City-where he's welcomed into the bosom of his ragtag band of delinquent colleagues. The novel has a compelling plot line (like a police procedural without the police), but the narrative is far from seamless. There are a couple of false starts as Burke searches for something to occupy his time, and the references to earlier novels will probably baffle newcomers. More seriously, the elaborate ruse Burke executes to identify and trap the killer is barely credible. But the noirish prose (a man's eyes are "the color of old dimes") is a pleasure, and Burke is an antihero of the old school. Though it doesn't break new artistic ground for Vachss, the book is another harrowing glimpse of the urban underworld from an author who clearly knows his terrain and whose sympathy for the truly innocent-the children-is unstinting.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book is the greatest! The author's critique of movie worshippers is the best ever.Published on April 10 2004 by Roger Arkin
Andrew Vachss lost the thread of his Burke books about five years ago. What he needs is a good editor again to tell him what's working and what isn't. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Ann M Eadie
This is a return to the sort of Burke story that got me hooked on the series in the first place. It was great to have Burke reconnected with his New York "family". Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2003 by Stew J. Weldon
Andrew Vachss is a superb writer and a hell of a human being. I've watched his style evolve from his 1st published novel, FLOOD, to his recent books and his writing just keeps... Read morePublished on July 22 2003 by Raegan Butcher
because each book shows the reader the insidious new trends that prey upon us all. Only Child exposes us to the vicious new world of "reality film" -- it's Fight Club meets Candid... Read morePublished on Dec 30 2002 by Gary Fordham
_Only Child_ is full of all the wonderful things we love in the Burke series. Best not to plan anything else for the day you begin reading - Once this book is opened it will stay... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2002 by SoapSnob
In the mid 1800s, Gustave Flaubert described France as a place where "the banal, the facile, and the foolish are invariably applauded, adopted, and adored. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2002 by Belinda Kameron
Reunited with his "family", in New York, Burke looks different (more like the author), but the action is back. Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2002 by John Bowes