A Burke Novel
By Andrew Vachss
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780375425080, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 25, 2007
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“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.” --from Terminal
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.
Terminal is a blistering thriller that forces Burke back in time--to keep a blood-commitment to a brother from his prison past, and to avenge the “cold-cased” rape-murder of a teenage girl.
Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and youths exclusively. His many novels and two collections of short stories have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Esquire, Playboy, and The New York Times, among other publications. A native New Yorker, he divides his time etween the city of his birth and the Pacific Northwest.
The dedicated Web site for Andrew Vachss and his work is www.vachss.com
"Andrew Vachss is a great writer, not just because he writes fine novels with a sharp, original, and gripping prose style but also for the undisputed fact that he is a true warrior for the protection of children. His books never graphically display abuse, never wallow in it, but they always force us to look at the results of that abuse, how it changes, demoralizes, and destroys the innocent.
"Long may this man write. Long may he protect children. He is one of a few who can lay legitimate claim to having changed laws and ways of thinking about child abuse, a real hero who has shone a harsh light on the cockroaches who scuttle about in the dark. His 'fiction' is more than kick-ass entertainment; it has, literally, changed the world for the better."
--Joe R. Lansdale, author of Sunset and Sawdust