By Andrew Vachss
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679764106, 288pp.)
Publication Date: January 30, 1996
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What—or who—could turn a gifted little boy into a murderous thing that calls itself "Satan's Child"? In search of an answer, a man named Burke travels from a festering welfare hotel to a neat frame house where a voodoo priestess presides over a congregation of assassins. For this vigilante and unlicensed private eye has made it his business to defend the small victims whom the law has failed—even a child who has been made into a killer.
Gripping and chillingly knowledgeable about the mechanisms of evil, Sacrifice is a thriller of savage authority from one of the best crime writers of our generation.
Andrew Vachss, an attorney in private practice specializing in juvenile justice and child abuse, is the country’s best recognized and most widely sought after spokesperson on crimes against children. He is also a bestselling novelist and short story writer, whose works include Flood (1985), the novel which first introduced Vachss’ series character Burke, Strega (1987), Choice of Evil (1999), and Dead and Gone (2000). His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Playboy, and The Observer, and he is a contributor to ABA Journal, Journal of Psychohistory, New England Law Review, The New York Times, and Parade.
Vachss has worked as a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a caseworker in New York, and a professional organizer. He was the director of an urban migrants re-entry center in Chicago and another for ex-cons in Boston. After managing a maximum-security prison for violent juvenile offenders, he published his first book, a textbook, about the experience. He was also deeply involved in the relief effort in Biafra, now Nigeria.
For ten years, Vachss’ law practice combined criminal defense with child protection, until, with the success of his novels, it segued exclusively into the latter, which is his passion. Vachss calls the child protective movement “a war,” and considers his writing as powerful a weapon as his litigation.
"Powerful... mesmerizing in its intensity."- Los Angeles Times
"Vaschss's writing is as gritty as ever... It's doubtful there's another fictional private eye who can summon up in the reader as powerful—and powerfully conflicting—emotions as Burke can."-Newsday
"Vachss is a contemporary master... Decidedly hard-boiled, his prose is as lean, tough-edged and brittle as the man who is his protagonist."- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A harrowing tale in which outcasts are the moral heroes and the people who belong to civilization are corrupt... An absolute original... Andrew Vachss has become a cult favorite, and for good reason."- Cosmopolitan