Andrew Vachss, |
I know all about Harry Bosch, Tess Monaghan and Matthew Scudder. (Lucas Davenport, too, but he's not quite in their league.) I hadn't met Burke yet. Now I have, in Flood.
It's set in Manhattan, where Scudder also works, but where Scudder's city is corrupt and brutal, Burke's is infected. All in all, it's much darker.
The precautions Burke takes in his daily life come close to preposterous. His flat is a maze of spyware and booby traps. Even his car, a tricked-out Plymouth, has, among other things, razor-sharp tire rims (to deter tire thieves).
He's an orphan and an ex-con. You learn a good bit about what prison taught him. He's on a friendly basis with a cop or two.
The woman in the novel, Flood, is a martial-arts fighter who spends a lot of time with no clothes on. She's also apparently a lesbian, but....
Burke's crew, a kind of family, is a colorful lot that includes a pre-op transexual, a hulking martial-arts guy, a wizened old "prophet" and a tech master called "the Mole" who seems to live in a cave made out of derelict cars.
Maggots. Lots of them.
The heavy, called the Cobra, never comes into clear focus. He's young and wants to be a merc. He rapes and kills children. That's why he wants to be a merc.
The coda, in which a pimp is taught a lesson, is a nice comic payoff.
All in all, I think I'll be spending more time with Burke.
10 October 2009
Send us your opinions!