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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Terminal (Burke Novels (Paperback)) Paperback – December 2, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
Book 17 of 18 in the Burke Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vachss's 17th Burke novel (after 2006's Mask Murder) combines gritty realism with an over-the-top depiction of an omniscient spy network. Claude Dremdell, a white supremacist whose sole hope against his terminal illness is a pricy experimental Swiss treatment, ropes Burke into a plot to extort money from three wealthy men who years earlier committed a brutal murder (loosely based on the real-life Martha Moxley case), but were never suspected. Armed with only fragmentary evidence in the form of two checks, Burke turns for help to an Israeli intelligence operation working covertly in the U.S. with superhuman powers of information gathering. Lengthy tirades about the failures of the criminal justice system under the current Bush administration will distract even those who agree with them. In the end, the violent vengeance Burke seeks overshadows the worthy points Vachss makes about the continuing horrific sexual abuse of the young.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Illuminates both the darkest excesses of criminality and, in counterpoint, the slack-jawed solipsism of the law-abiding."—Time Out Chicago“Vachss's prose is as taut and streetwise as ever, drawing his readers again into an evil underworld that is at once impossible to look away from and horrible to behold."—Associated Press"Burke is the hardest, most twisted man in crime and thriller fiction."—Contra Costa Times “Transcends the crime novel even further. . . . Like a lecture from the smartest raconteur you never want to meet.”—The Seattle Times

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Product Details

  • Series: Burke Novels (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307387054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307387059
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Burke is back: older, perhaps wiser, attempting to avoid being crushed by the accumulation of his losses, at the book's beginning.

The basic plot has already been described accurately enough. Burke is going through the motions, attending to his usual schemes and scams, but gaining no real satisfaction from his successes. He's back in New York and his family is there for him, as always, but Burke seems struck by a sense of impending...not loss, exactly, but perhaps sadness, as he observes the Family Pride at Flower's academic achievements, even as he shares them, remembering the day her parents met, so long ago.

Terry, too, is now a grown man, struggling to accept the idea of commencing with his own life, as he fears his future will bring him further away from his own mother and father, even while understanding that this is what they *want* for him -- a life of his own, outside the shadows.

The Prof has Clarence; the Mole has Michelle; Max has Immaculata, and while Burke loves them all, and rejoices in their closeness with one another, Burke himself is all alone. Thoughts of Belle and Pansy haunt him, as does his knowledge that he's blown his last chance with prosecutor Wolfe, and he finds (to his own surprise) that the events which took place in Vachss' last Burke book, _Mask Market_, have affected him profoundly.

This is the state of mind Burke is in when contacted by Claw, the terminally-ill, high-ranking member of a White Supremacist group with ties to another member of Burke's family-of-choice, Silver, who Burke fans will remember from other novels.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've never picked up a Burke book before, this is the one to start with. Full of action, darkness, and a message buried in the pages that will haunt you long after you finish. Andrew Vachss always calls his books "Trojan Horses" because he wants the public to take a good look at themselves and understand why certain types of evil happens in the world. Vachss has reported on child molestation, Internet child porn, sex slavery in Thailand, and school shootings long before the "media" pretended that they discovered a new phenomenon. Chris Hanson is not a hero; he's a television personality looking for ratings. Andrew Vachss writes "thrillers" to wake people up to the truth. Terminal continues that trend. I don't want to give elements of the plot away. Suffice it to say that this is a one-sitting read, with Hammett-like economy and a poetry all his own. It's no wonder that many of the popular writers today (David Morrell, to name one) sing his praises. To me, if he isn't pissing people off, he's not doing his job. And by pissing off, I mean making the predators of this world angry that he's exposing them for what they are, and angering those "Children of the Secret" who will try to show lawmakers, politicians, and bureaucrats that "behavior is truth." I know that's Mr. Vachss' rallying cry. I hope everyone who sees this will read the book and answer the call.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to be honest and admit that I understand why Publishers' Weekly describes the work of Andrew Vachss as "over-the-top." Like so many pundits, they are writing from a position of ignorance and wishful thinking. While I have come to expect such ignorance in everyday life, I expect more from those who claim the right to judge the literary merit of America's finest authors. On the other hand, to be honest, there are times when I envy their ignorance, though never for long.

Over the years, as I have read each and every one of his books, I have consistently wished that the work of Andrew Vachss really was more fictional and less real. When he wrote about Internet porn, years before "regular people" were aware of this horrendous and lucrative criminal enterprise, he was called "over-the-top," and accused of a wild and sick imagination. If only those accusations were correct.

I wish I didn't know so much about the evil that (mostly) men do, and I wish that I could join in the ill-informed chorus that accuses Vachss's novels of being "over-the-top." It would be a better world if he were inventing this stuff, but he is not.

Each of Andrew Vachss' novels has required a combination of skill and courage. Because he relies so heavily on unpleasant, unthinkable truth, he is guaranteed to draw fire from bad people who perpetuate these evils, and otherwise good people who simply don't want to believe that they exist. But ignorance is not bliss; ignorance harms children. The telling of hard truths has always been the hallmark of our greatest thinkers, and they are almost always vilified. Later, when the entertainers who bring us our news confirm the unthinkable, too slowly they are believed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Andrew Vachss is one of my favorite tough-guy novelists. Generally, no one writes them meaner or leaner than Vachss. He's got the inside track on a lot of sex crimes, particularly pedophilia and child-rape, which are special topics to him.

When he's not writing bestselling fiction about these two potentially stomach-turning subjects, he's practicing law to save kids from these predators and put those predators away for ever. In some ways, in real life Vachss is an even larger hero than his iconic hijacker/gunman/profiler, Burke.

Vachss has been writing these novels since FLOOD was published in 1985, and I've been reading them since I found the paperback in 1986. TERMINAL, this year's release, is the 17th in the series.

I love Burke. He's a hardened criminal with no remorse in him for people he takes advantage of. He usually operates cons, selling information that's no good or forgeries to people who intend to use it for evil pursuits. Burke justifies it, and I've always bought into his justification, though I wouldn't do it myself. He was raised and mistreated by the State, in institutions as well as foster homes. He never had a chance and he knows it. He still doesn't have one. So he lives his life in the shadows, and that provides a vicarious thrill that I haven't gotten over even twenty-plus years later.

He's also got a "family" of other people who were just as broken as he was, yet who refused to roll over and die. There's Max the Silent, a deaf and dumb Mongolian martial arts master who is immediate death to anyone that he's decided must die. The Prof is the black con man who taught Burke how to survive in prison, then on the streets. The Mole is a Jewish techno-wizard, a savant with anything electrical or explosive.
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