by Andrew Vachss
"You know why we hate you? Not because you don't know what we know, but because, if you did, you wouldn't give a damn.
"So I'm sitting here, waiting to commit extortion, and planning a lot worse. I'm what you'd call a criminal. That's why I'll never be you. And I'm proud of it."
When the former shot-caller of the country's most feared white supremacist prison gang contacts Burke, he comes with references … and the promise of a huge score. Terminally ill, the ex-con needs major cash to gamble on the long-shot possibility of a cure that's available only in Switzerland. The only card he has to play is a small-time degenerate who paid for protection when they were in prison together. That professional bottom-feeder claims he personally buried the body of a thirteen-year-old girl who had been raped, tortured, and finally killed by three rich men more than thirty years ago—and that he's holding irrefutable proof. But such a complicated extortion scheme needs the hand of a specialist crew, so Burke is offered a piece of the action.
He and his outlaw family put together a lethal plan. If they can pull it off, Burke gets the two things he lives for: Money and Revenge. If not, "Terminal" could prove to be more than just one man's diagnosis.
Read an excerpt from Terminal.
Pantheon, 2007 (hardcover)
"[Andrew Vachss'] 'fiction' is more than kick-ass entertainment; it has, literally, changed the world for the better." - Joe R. Lansdale
"Those who have read Vachss's previous Burke novels will find [Terminal] a more-than-worthy successor, and for those who haven't yet made the acquaintance of this unrelenting, frightening and compelling character, there's no better time to start." - Chet Williamson
"Vachss' prose is as taut and streetwise as ever, drawing his readers again into an evil underworld that is at once impossible to look away from and horrible to behold."- The Associated Press
"Vachss portrays the criminal underworld with a grimy, exacting realism matched only by 'convict writers' like Edward Bunker, and the writing is more incisive and less pulpy than earlier efforts. Although the action seems relatively restrained, Burke's verbal fury ensures a propulsive, cleanly limned thriller that illuminates both the darkest excesses of criminality and, in counterpoint, the slack-jawed solipsism of the law abiding. Vachss's literary chops continue to mature, even as his lawyerly rage remains undimmed." - Time Out
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