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Safe House, the latest in Andrew Vachss's series of Burke novels, begins when Burke's "brother," Hercules, is paid to scare off a neo-nazi stalker and accidentally kills the wrong guy. Burke finds himself unwittingly drawn into a world of white supremacists, stalkers, and safe house networks. What ensues is an intense rush to cover Hercules' tracks and, at the same time, bring down a New York City white supremacy ring.
Safe House offers up Vachss's repertoire of repeat characters. The most fascinating are Burke's prison "family," the Prof, Max the silent, the Mole, Michelle, Clarence, Mama, and, of course, Burke himself, who is as hard-edged as ever. The family's willingness to help one another, even die for one another, is the emotional string that ties the books together. There are also two new female characters, Vyra, the affluent Jewish housewife and Crystal Beth, half Inuit, half Irish safe house madam. Though not as believable as their male counterparts, Vyra and Crystal Beth have powerful secrets of their own and add a soft, human element to the story.
Like other Vachss novels, Safe House embraces the dirty, grim life of the ex-con for hire. The most compelling aspect of Safe House is Vachss's no-holds-barred writing style. He spares nobody's feeling and minces no words in this rough, gritty and often painfully raw crime story. --Mara Friedman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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.
-?Alice DiNizo, Raritan P.L.,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Safe House" sets the tarnished hero Burke in pursuit of a stalker with a neo-Nazi bent. Anyone who has read previous Burke novels knows that this type of work is right... Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2000 by Brian D. Rubendall
Burke allows his emotions to show in his relationships with his loyal "family." He and his friends will go the distance to protect others from the predators that stalk... Read morePublished on July 14 1999 by "eagerreader"
A friend suggested that I read SAFE HOUSE, and now I am hooked. Just the picture of Vachss wearing an eyepatch for the author's photo was enough to interest me. Read morePublished on May 23 1999