Down in the zero / by Andrew Vachss.
LJ Reviews 1994 August #1
Here is yet another hard-core novel in the author's series of fictional battles against child abuse amidst sleaze, slime, and the nearly surreal. Burke, who was last seen in Sacrifice (Knopf, 1991), is now confronted with young adult suicides and sexual blackmail in an affluent Connecticut suburb. Hired to watch the young son of a former lover, Burke is drawn into a bizarre situation populated by characters almost as strange as his friends. The suicides and the sadomasochistic sex, which are weirdly connected, force Burke to enlist his usual cohorts. Fans will want this crisply written work, but those not familiar with the bizarre characters who make up Burke's circle may be confused. Purchase where the series is popular.-Robert H. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.
PW Reviews 1994 July #1
In his seventh outing, Burke, Vachss's flinty ex-con and relentless crusader for abused kids last featured in Sacrifice , is still reeling after having killed a kid in a previous case gone sour. Here, he leaves his underground detective network headquartered in Manhattan's Chinatown for a rarified Connecticut suburb shaken by a series of teen suicides. Burke is hired to protect Randy, a listless high school grad whose absent, jet-setting mother did a favor for Burke years ago when she was a cocktail waitress in London and he a clandestine government soldier en route to Biafra. Still haunted by his experience in the African jungle and his encounter there with the suicidal tug of the abyss--the eponymous ``zero''--Burke plunges into his plush surroundings with the edgy vindictiveness of a cold-war mercenary, uncovering a ring of blackmail and surveillance, a sinister pattern of psychiatric experimentation based at a local hospital and a sadomasochistic club frequented by twin sisters named Charm and Fancy. Vachss's seething, macho tale of upper-crust corruption is somewhat contrived and takes a gratuitously nasty slant toward its female characters. (Aug.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.