Dysfunctional Doc Savage has gotten old.
, May 1 2003
This review is from: Safe House: A Burke Novel (Paperback)
There's something mildly comforting about a new
Burke novel, because you should know what you're buying by now.
A twist on the hardboiled detective, an antihero with a heart
of pyrite, a hard exterior protecting a tough interior protecting
a broken inner child.
I've been in on the Burke novels since the first one, Flood,
was dropped in my lap. I kinda liked the half-assed detective
character, and I was willing to go along with Vachss' evolution
of the character and his environment, but this novel represents
a definitive "mining of the old".
It's just short of becoming a parody of itself, and I don't
like it. Vachss has stripped down his usual dialogue and
character interactions down to the bone; it's really as if he's
now writing these novels from a template, where he plugs in
the scenario and picks from the usual menu of plot devices.
Perhaps I'm simply tired of Burke's world. The Prof's rhyming
is truly awful now, and I no longer find it a simple thing to
suspend disbelief during most of the book. I think the only
character preserved from my broad brush happens to be Max,
and I suspect it's partly because he doesn't speak, but mostly,
because Vachss now treats him as a deus ex machina and as such,
he's mostly an object rather than a person.
<sigh> I know this is not good news for loyal readers. However,
I have to write 'em like I see 'em, and this world has run its
course. Perhaps Vachss will take some time off, re-examine
where Burke is and where should be, and come up with something
fresh. He needs it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?