Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, Paperback, 9780679761686, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 4, 1995
Burke is one of the most cold-blooded yet strangely honorable heroes in the history of crime fiction, an outlaw who makes his living by preying on the most vicious of New York City's bottom-feeders, those who thrive on the suffering of children.
In Andrew Vachss's tautly engrossing novel Burke is given a purse full of dirty money to find the infamous Ghost Van that is cutting a lethal swath among the teenage prostitutes in the hood. He also gets help in the form of a stripper named Belle, whose moves on the runway are outclassed only by what she can do in a getaway car. But not even Burke is prepared for the evil that is behind the Ghost Van or for the sheer menace of its guardian, a cadaverous karate expert who enjoys killing so much that he has named himself after death.
"Burke would eat Spade and Marlowe for breakfast, not even spitting out the bones. [He] is one tough, mean, pray-god-you-don't-meet-him...hombre." -Boston Herald
"A book so ferocious, with characters so venal and actions so breakneck, that you dare not get in the way.... First rate."- Chicago Tribune
"A tough crime novel that pulls no punches; it places Vachss in the front rank of contemporary American crime writers."-Kansas City Star