Synopses & Reviews
Bone-crushing impact, set in a milieu that clogs your lungs and stings your eyes, Down Here
is the penetrating and remarkable new thriller from the master of American noir.
For many years, Burke has carried a torch for Wolfe, the beautiful, driven former sex crimes prosecutor who was fired for refusing to "go along to get along." They share a marrow-deep hatred of predators but walk different sides of the street when it comes to justice. So when Burke hears that Wolfe has been arrested for attempted murder, he knows something is double-wrong–and deals himself in.
Putting together a distrustful alliance between his “family of choice,” Wolfe's outlaw network, and an informant inside the police department, Burke starts with the alleged victim, a brutal serial rapist Wolfe had personally prosecuted. He's back on the street because his conviction was reversed, and any of his long list of victims has plenty of motive to kill him. The deeper Burke gets into the investigation, the more holes he finds in the case against Wolfe. Yet the DA's office continues to press forward, and Burke has to find out what their game is. No stranger to devil's bargains, Burke reopens the rape investigations–his way–and discovers an artist whose violent work in progress is a whole city’s nightmare.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Burke is back with a vengeance, and with the full complement of underground irregulars who've populated his dozen or so previous noir adventures. For starters, there's Max the Silent and the Prof (short for both Professor and Prophet), Pepper, Mole and Michelle, street folks all, as well as the giant menacing rottweiler known as Bruiser, who protects the beautiful crime fighter Wolfe. No series offers a richer world of night people, or one as dark and brutal. For the Burke fan, plot becomes almost secondary to the immersion into Vachss's thrillingly seductive downtown Manhattan shadow land. But this installment has a terrific hook as well: Burke and company must come to the rescue when Wolfe, a righteous former prosecutor specializing in sex crimes, is framed for the attempted murder of one of the serial perps she once put away, a lowlife named John Anson Wychek. Vachss's prose is at its brittle best in his presentation of the case against the taciturn Wolfe, as well as Wychek's criminal past. At length, Burke learns that Wychek inexplicably has federal protection, and conceives an elaborate scam to snare him. Posing as reporter pal J.P. Hauser, Burke works his way into the life of Wychek's yuppie sister, Laura. This extended cat-and-mouse game (or perhaps Burke is falling in love?) has quiet depth as well as tension. Burke's an original, often imitated but never matched because Vachss keeps raising the bar. (Apr. 16)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The narrative spine is a bit more collapsible than usual, but pace, tone, and atmospherics are all Vachss-grade." Kirkus Reviews
"Old characters come back as Burke reminisces about his past and makes a surprising discovery about himself and his current life. Nothing particularly special here, but fans of Burke will want to read his latest exploits." Library Journal
When a former sex crimes prosecutor is arrested for attempted murder, Burke knows something is double-wrong and deals himself in.
About the Author
Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social services caseworker, and a labor organizer and has directed a maximum-security prison for youthful offenders. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youths exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, two collections of short stories, and a wide variety of other material including song lyrics, graphic novels, and a "children's book for adults." His books have been translated into twenty languages and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, the New York Times, and numerous other forums. A native New Yorker, he now divides his time between the city of his birth and the Pacific Northwest.