Good Vachss Read Jun 7, 2007
I thought this was a pretty good representation of his writing, & I've read quite a few of his books. There was one very disturbing scene in the book - sexual violence & murder, that I would have preferred not to read. I kind of glossed over that part. Thankfully it's pretty brief.
Sometimes when I encounter a really disturbing scene in a book I will not read that author again, but in this case, I would not say that. In fact I since have read another.
A good typical story, a little heavy on the routine details, in that respect it can seem to move rather slowly. Maybe it's just my mood while I read it.
Sometimes it's so corny you just want to laugh out loud, because the antihero Burke is so incredibly stereotypic. The characters in these novels are almost archetypal - try reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" for some REAL archetypes! Talk about cardboard cutouts! These characters are so true to themselves they CAN'T behave otherwise.
e.g., the "prostitute with the heart of gold".
Anyway, I liked the book and found it satisfying. The ending was fine.
I can't say I've liked all the endings of his, but then, what are ya gonna do? The really good authors sometimes go for the ending that is more likely, even maybe more dramatic, but less emotionally satisfying.
I will say that I thought Flood was kind of hazy, as a character. I didn't really get a clear picture of what she was like. First I'm told she was not attractive. Then she turns out to be Wonder Woman. It's a little confusing.
Also, I don't quite get all the stuff about these women throwing themselves into his arms and saying, quite breathlessly, "oh Burke, I'll do anything for you". Puhleeeze. You tell me this guy is ugly as sin and mean as a rattlesnake, then he gets the girl? Are girls that dumb?
But I like a good crime noir, and this one fits the bill. Maybe not as good as James Elroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia), but still, passes the time between birth & death & does relatively little harm to my psyche.
Hope you like it too.