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- Hinweis: Dieses Buch hat einen sogenannten "rauen Buchschnitt" oder auch "rough cut", weshalb die Seiten unregelmäßig geschnitten sind.
Terminal: A Burke Novel (Burke Novels) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Rauer Buchschnitt, 25. September 2007
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"Andrew Vachss is a great writer, not just because he writes fine novels with a sharp, original, and gripping prose style but also for the undisputed fact that he is a true warrior for the protection of children. His books never graphically display abuse, never wallow in it, but they always force us to look at the results of that abuse, how it changes, demoralizes, and destroys the innocent.
"Long may this man write. Long may he protect children. He is one of a few who can lay legitimate claim to having changed laws and ways of thinking about child abuse, a real hero who has shone a harsh light on the cockroaches who scuttle about in the dark. His 'fiction' is more than kick-ass entertainment; it has, literally, changed the world for the better."
--Joe R. Lansdale, author of Sunset and Sawdust
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and youths exclusively. His many novels and two collections of short stories have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Esquire, Playboy, and The New York Times, among other publications. A native New Yorker, he divides his time etween the city of his birth and the Pacific Northwest.
The dedicated Web site for Andrew Vachss and his work is www.vachss.com
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The continuing references to and back stories of past characters in the Burke series while probably necessary for the understanding new readers of the series, was frustrating and quite frankly annoying to me and was detrimental to the flow of the present story. The white supremacists were a bit hard to take on any level. I found the story slow and unsatisfying.
This will not stop me from reading Vachss but I will be more wary.
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. Michelle is the ex-streetwalker transvestite who was surgically altered when she got the money together and serves as their social engineer. Wesley was the pistoleer of the group, and no one was more deadly with a firearm. Mama is the Chinese restaurant owner who's always served as their bank and a place of operations.
Over the years, Burke and Vachss - and the readers - have added to that family. And, sadly, they've taken away.
With the publication of TERMINAL, Vachss has pushed his series into near-inaccessibility by new readers. The world Burke inhabits has just grown and gotten so large that newbies need a scorecard to keep up. Vachss tries to alleviate that problems with a lot of explaining and backtracking, but that effort gets in the way of long-time readers. I understand the characters and the world. I wanted the action to move a little faster in this book. I still enjoyed it a lot, but a lot of it was like having a good friend rework stories you've heard before. Still, I like the stories, so it's not so bad.
However, the plot was a little late in launching and I became impatient at times. Vachss is still fun to read, though. But I'd really suggest reading the early ones first and doing some catch-up before tackling this one. That way you know who Clarence and Terry and Flower are.
In this book, Burke goes back to stalking the child molesters and killers in the shadows. Three men are guilty of raping and killing a girl over twenty years ago. One of their accomplices has come forward with a blackmail scheme. The sons of privileged families, they've all ascended into wealthy lifestyles.
Burke intends to blackmail them for the murder, make them pay financially, then with their lives. It's what he does, and I'm one of his biggest fans.
The book takes a while to wind up to full speed, but it's always a pleasure working the capers and the con with Burke. Vachss pulls you right into the middle of the action and explains how those operations work better than anyone else I've ever read. And he doesn't flinch over the hard stuff like murder and torture either. He lays it out on the line. These books often aren't for people with weak stomachs.
In addition to the Burke books, Vachss has also written standalones and graphic novels and comics. I really recommend his novels SHELLA and THE GETAWAY MAN to showcase some of his other writing.
Vachss is seriously THE crime writer you should be reading if you're not.
The plot of Terminal centers on a long-ago crime in which three male teenagers from wealthy families raped, tortured, and murdered a thirteen-year-old girl for the sheer fun of it. Only one other person knew that the boys had committed the crime, a dope dealer, and he'd used it to his full advantage for over thirty years, hitting the three men up for small amounts of money at different times as they eventually grew into adults and became multi-millionaires in their own right. A white supremacist who knew Burke when he was in prison comes to him with a plan of extortion in which the dope dealer, who's still alive, will help them achieve one big score by taking three million dollars from the murderers and then getting revenge for the dead girl. All of Burke's family is going to be needed for this job as they set the deal in motion and then encounter trained assassins and ex-government agents hired to kill them. Burke will have to depend on his instincts and skills to keep himself and his family alive and to finally carry out his goals of death and destruction. There's going to be a high body count before everything reaches its final conclusion.
This is a story that takes a closer look at Burke's earlier years in prison and how he managed to stay alive with the Professor's help, the white supremacist groups that are there and how they originated and what's expected of its members once they get out of jail, the return of Max the Silent (the deadliest martial artist alive) and his fight with a Thai killer sent to murder Burke, the Mole and his connection to the Israeli secret service and how they use Burke to kill a man, who also happens to be a child molester, in exchange for their help with this score, and finally how our anti-hero sets up and then takes down through insurmountable odds the men who murdered a thirteen-year-old girl so many years ago.
This is Andrew Vachss reaching into the darkness of humanity's soul to tell a story that's but the tip of the iceberg to what goes on in today's society. This is certainly mankind at its cruelest and most violent state and how the lead character in Terminal achieves some measure of justice for those unable to defend themselves.
The Terminal is definitely Vachss at his best. This is why I've stayed with the series so long, praying that the author would once again write a novel that would blow me away with its intensity and violent demeanor. The author certainly knows what he's talking about and clearly understands the underbelly of society's dark side. This is a man who's a lawyer in real life and battles for the rights of children who have no one else to stand up for them. In many ways, Andrew Vachss is Burke, a shadow warrior who'll stop at nothing to protect the young and innocent. Highly recommended!!!