Title: Safe House: A Burke Novel
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 0375400842 This hardcover book is Fine, being square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine lettering. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. This copy is signed by the Author on the tile page with the following inscription: To Bob/Focus-/Andrew Vachss. Bookseller Inventory # 006461
Synopsis: The new novel from Andrew Vachss puts Burke 'hard-core career criminal and man-for-hire' up against a new breed of predator: stalkers. Some obsessed, some deranged, all dangerous.
Burke's old prison pal Hercules, hired by a shadowy network that runs a safehouse for stalking victims, botched the job, and one of the stalkers is dead. To save his partner, Burke has to penetrate the network, and he makes a deal with the boss, Crystal Beth, a woman as obsessed as the stalkers. But Crystal Beth has a stalker of her own, an extortionist who threatens to bring down her entire network unless she surrenders one of the women she's hiding.
When Burke learns that the extortionist might be government-issue, and that the stalker he's protecting is a member of a neo-Nazi cell with plans to make Oklahoma City look like a pipe bomb, his survivalist instincts go on full alert ("When there's too many loose threads, somebody always weaves them into a noose"). And when it comes down to making his own house and his family-of-choice safe, Burke turns lethal.
With blistering power, Safe House reminds us why Kirkus has called Burke "one of the most fascinating male characters in crime fiction."
Review: 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
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