In this mercilessly compelling thriller, Burke—the private eye, sting artist, and occasional hit man who metes out a cruelly ingenious vengeance on those who victimize children—is up against a soft-spoken messiah who may be
rescuing runaways or recruiting them for his own hideous purposes. But in doing so Burke becomes a target for an entire Mafia family, a whore with a heart of cyanide, and a contract killer as implacable as a heart-seeking missile. Written with Vachss' signature narrative overdrive—and with his unnerving familiarity with the sub-basement of American crime—Hard Candy is vintage Burke.
"Burke fills a void . . . With his soiled white hat, this Lone Ranger of the 1990s asks difficult questions while shining light into the darkest recesses."
"Torrid, gritty, frightening, compelling."
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The characters and events are as sharply defined as if they were etched in steel. The prose is short and choppy, like the ticking of a time bomb about to explode."
"Vachss is a contemporary master."
Vintage, 1995 (trade paperback)