Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780307949578, 228pp.
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
SUBJECT Specimen Retrieval
TARGET Shadowy hunter-killer teams, ID'ed viasignature killsworldwide. Identifiable onlyby skull-spine removal from victims. No witnesses, no forensics, no particular race targeted. On rare occasions, scraps of what appear to be playing cardsfound at murder sites.
OBJECTIVE Locate and capture any member of such teams. MUST be taken alive for study and observation.
AUTHORIZATION APPROVED FOR USE OF OUTSIDE CONTRACTOR Individual ID'ed only as "Cross" and his team.A pure mercenary outfit, well known throughoutcriminal underworld--no inside informants available.Ruthless, undeterred by risk, rumored never to fail, but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to be trusted.No known political or social objective, buthas proventreacherous when retained by government in the past.
UPDATE Cross and his team claim to haveidentified a patternto the signature-kills, andbelieve theycan predict a forthcoming strike.Theyare prepared to personally confront-and-capture, but financial arrangementalone not sufficient. What you describe as a"Get Out of Jail Free" card is hereby APPROVED.
"[A] heady mix of spy thriller, crime novel, and horror. . . . Vachss approaches it as he does all his work, imbuing it with a strong moral core. Without that moral core, Blackjack would simply be a better-than-usual take on the thriller genre; with it, the belief in and search for justice and loyalty that permeate the story echo in the hearts of its readers so that they see the world in a new light."
--The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
"Vachss has always been able to pit his protagonists against the darkness of the human heart to great effect."