That's How I Roll (Hardcover)

By Andrew H. Vachss

Pantheon Books, 9780307379948, 213pp.

Publication Date: March 20, 2012



Andrew Vachss, the master of hard-boiled fiction, returns with a deeply revealing new novel about an assassin whose love forced him to kill his own conscience.
Esau Till's race is almost run. After pleading guilty to a series of homicides, he sits on death row, awaiting lethal injection. And writing his life story. But his memoir is no case study in tragedy it's his one last chance to protect his brother, Tory, after he's gone. And, as too many have learned, when it comes to protecting his baby brother, Esau Till is a man without boundaries.
Esau's father was a widely feared beast who, it was commonly believed, killed his wife and used his own daughter as a substitute. In Esau's own words, when your sister is your mother, too, you know you re not going to come out right. Not you, not your life, not nothing.
When the genetic cards were dealt, Esau drew a genius IQ but a horribly crippled body. His brother Tory drew a slow mind but almost superhuman strength. Very early on, Esau learned that the only way to guarantee his baby brother's safety was to make himself indispensable to certain people. A self-taught explosives expert, he became the top assassin for two rival local mobs. When a third mob attempted to recruit his brother, Esau took them all out, unaware that one of them was an under-cover FBI agent.
Execution looms, but no prison can hold Esau's mind. Or his love. As the State prepares to take his life, Esau plots going all-in on the last and most deadly hand he will ever play.

About the Author

Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and youths exclusively. His many books include the Burke series and two collections of short stories. His novels have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in "Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, " and "The New York Times, " among other publications.

The dedicated website for Andrew Vachss and his work is"

Praise For That's How I Roll

“Combines [Vachss’s] trademark black humor with his longstanding concern for children and their well-being. . . . A smart, cynical glimpse into the human condition.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Crafty, strong-willed Esau combines courtly manners, deadly paybacks, and ruthless singularity of purpose in this chilling tour de force.”
 —Publishers Weekly

"Born of a supremely abusive father and his own sister, Esau Till is trouble from day onea hired killer who ends up on death row. This book unfolds as Esau's effort to tell his life story in a bid to protect Tory after his own death. Vachss writes raw, eye-opening works that deserve our attention."
—Library Journal

“Many writers try to cover the same ground as Vachss. A handful are as good. None are better.”
“Writing in a style so sleekly engineered that it purrs when you pop the hood, Vachss gives us such a smooth ride that it’s easy to forget someone is driving this thing.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Vachss’s stories . . . burn with righteous rage and transfer a degree of that rage to the reader.”
The Washington Post Book World
“A contemporary master . . . Decidedly hard-boiled, his prose is lean, tough-edged, and brittle.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Vachss’s tough-guy writing style grabs you by the hair and jerks you to attention.”
Detroit Free Press
“Vachss writes hypnotically violent prose made up of equal parts broken concrete blocks and razor wire.”
Chicago Sun-Times