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Mortal Lock Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


 "A collection of white-hot short stories.... The baddest noir stylist of them all digs into his archives from the past 15 years and comes up with 20 visits to hell." --Kirkus Reviews

“Vachss’s reverence for storytelling is evident in the blunt beauty of his language.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“Vachss is a contemporary master. . . Decidedly hard-boiled, his prose is lean, tough-edged, and brittle.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“To read Andrews Vachss at his best is to take a ride on the dark side, where the plight of the oppressed and vulnerable . . . becomes the catalyst for revenge-fueled street justice.” —Los  Angeles Times

“Many writers try to cover the same ground as Vachss. A handful are as good. None are better.” —People
“Vachss’s stories . . . burn with righteous rage and transfer a degree of that rage to the reader.” —The Washington Post Book World
“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 is red-hot and as serious as a punctured lung.” —Playboy --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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, and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, and The New York Times, among other publications. A native New Yorker, he divides his time between the city of his birth and the Pacific Northwest.

Phil Gigante has narrated over 70 audiobooks, including Audie Award winner The Dark Highlander. An actor, director, and producer with over 20 years' experience in theatre, film, television, and radio, he is currently the artistic director of Gigantic Productions and Little Giant Children's Theatre. He makes his home in the Midwest.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media; Unabridged edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624065961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624065965
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,370,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Mackela on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had been meaning to read one of the many novels by Andrew Vachss but somehow never got around to actually picking one up. When I saw that this book of his short stories was going to be published in May, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to sample Mr. Vachss' work. This was an excellent plan. In this collection of short stories, Mr. Vachss gives us a selection of tightly written glimpses into the inner workings of a very original thinker. There are 20 stories varying from just over one page to a screenplay that consumes the final third of the book. The shorter works are a timeless mix of contempory thought pieces, while the screenplay is a post apocalyptic story dealing with abuse in many forms. The writing is very focused and concise, the ideas strong and intense.
I give this book 4 Stars out of 5 and A Thumbs Up. The only thing that prevents me from giving 5 Stars is the screenplay. It takes up too much of the book and is a more difficult type of read for many people. You could skip it, but then you would be missing another insight into the workings of Mr. Vachss' mind.
This is an excellent introduction to Mr. Vachss' writing and will intice me to read more by this fine author.
I received this Digital Review Copy for free from Edelweiss.com.
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Format: Paperback
It's been a while since Andrew Vachss' last collection of short stories was published, so this book was a real treat for me. I've always loved Vachss' short fiction. Sometimes it's short indeed: MORTAL LOCK contains a couple pieces that run a page or two total (give or take a couple paragraphs). Not only are they complete within themselves, they resonate. Took me less than a minute to read "Sure Thing," front to back -- then I spent another ten minutes thinking about what I'd just read. *Feeling* it. Vachss' stories always leave an aftertaste, sometimes unpleasant (that's when the reader, hopefully, takes some ACTION -- rinse and spit, right?). Occasionally (as with, for me, "Blood Orchid") the aftertaste is unexpectedly sweet.

There's, as has been noted, a complete screenplay for the "Underground" series, tying the shared world together and expanding its vision. When reading a screenplay, I've found it helpful to keep a mental picture going -- we're not just reading about a guy walking through a door, we're "seeing" him walk through the door. We don't read the words he speaks on a page; we listen to them in our heads. Not sure it works that way for everyone, but it kept me inside the action! :-)

"Ghostwriter" was a definite fave for me -- I do like it when Vachss takes on the kind of sociopath who lives up here, with the rest of "us" rather than sticking to the shadows! And "Pig" reminded me of my old neighborhood, and the folks who lived there. A sad story, wrapped tight around a sad, nostalgic smile.

"Veil's Visit," is, as has been noted, a collaboration with author Joe Lansdale, and features his characters Hap and Leonard. I'd heard of the characters before, but this story was my intro to them, and made me want to seek out more.

It really was a treat for me to read this book. If you like AV's writing, you'll love these stories. A wonderful collection!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After years of writing the wonderful and disturbing "Burke" novels (along with other good works of fiction), Burke has been retired. This does not mean that Vachss isn't still exploring the underbelly of humanity and finding good and evil living side by side.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of 20 short stories and one original screenplay proves two things:
One, nobody writes tight, tough, powerful crime fiction any better than Andrew Vachss; and Two, despite the core purpose of his writing having always been to serve as a vehicle for carrying the message and truths of his central life's works -- i.e. to protect our society's young and vulnerable by impacting laws and perceptions and shedding light on the predators who prey upon these victims, thereby perpetuating a cycle of violence by "creating our own monsters" -- Andrew's skill as a pure writer and stylist, always being honed and expanded and experimented with, has never been on better display.

For starters, the sheer range of stories, as far as the span of settings, plots, and characterizations that they incorporate, are imaginative and impressive. One story ("Postwar Boom") reaches into the noirish past; another ("Underground") looks ahead into a grim future. The distinctive voices incorporated into the individual narratives as well as the different characters are spot-on and indicative of a writer always reaching, always stretching, never settling for a "comfort zone".
True, a number of the stories have urban jungle backdrops that Vachss is probably most closely associated with. But others are dark slices of suburbia, science fiction/horror, mysticism, and betrayal and sacrifice found in remote villages far removed from any steel and concrete urban sprawl. Vachss's popular Cross character is featured in one of the stories, "Profile"; and the character Veil is teamed with Joe Lansdale's rowdy Texans, Hap and Leonard, in the raucously entertaining "Veil's Visit".
The final and lengthiest entry in the collection is the aforementioned original screenplay, "Underground".
Read more ›
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