Sacrifice (Burke, #6)
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Sacrifice (Burke #6)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,022 ratings  ·  24 reviews
What--or who--could turn a gifted little boy into a murderous thing that calls itself "Satan's Child"? In search of an answer, a man named Burke travels from a festering welfare hotel to a neat frame house where a voodoo priestess presides over a congregation of assassins. For this vigilante and unlicensed private eye has made it his business to defend the small victims wh...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 30th 1996 by Vintage Books (first published 1991)
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The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas HarrisPrimal Fear by William DiehlHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiRed Dragon by Thomas HarrisThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
40th out of 55 books — 12 voters
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Noir
330th out of 494 books — 510 voters

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Dan Schwent
A gifted nine year old boy is a murderer that calls himself Satan's Child and it's up to Burke to find out how he got that way. Burke's also been tasked with finding a father and a missing baby. Can Burke find who he's looking for and set things right?

Right off the bat, Andrew Vachss is so bleak he makes James Ellroy look like Richard Simmons. The New York Burke lives in is a cesspool of pimps and pedophiles. Burke's a miserable loner but the men he goes up against make him look like a saint.

Tim Niland
Unlicensed private investigator and con artist Burke is back in New York City for his latest case. An abused child is accused of two brutal murders, but claims he remembers nothing. The DA wants to prosecute him, while child advocates are trying to keep him out of the clutches of the justice system. Burke must locate the adults who abused this child and drove him to kill. Burke is also employed by a Voodoo Queen to track down a child killer, who has escaped into the New York underground. So, it...more
Raegan Butcher
Burke takes on voodoo, satanists and child pornographers in this revenge thriller. As the central character, Burke, says, his religion is revenge.
What--or who--could turn a gifted little boy into a murderous thing that calls itself "Satan's Child"? In search of an answer, a man named Burke travels from a festering welfare hotel to a neat frame house where a voodoo priestess presides over a congregation of assassins. For this vigilante and unlicensed private eye has made it his business to defend the small victims whom the law has failed--even a child who has been made into a killer.

Just discovered this author and now reading my way throu...more
Larry Bassett
I have not had much experience reading series so this is a relatively new experience for me. I started with book one and expect to read through in order to book eighteen. I have all the books at ninety-nine cents each from This is book six and I am now familiar with and fond of the regular supporting characters including Pansy, the dog. This is the first book of the Burke series where the title is not the name of a woman.

Liking Burke was not a sure thing for me since violence has be...more
James Kidd
I re-read Flood a few months back. Read some other stuff and then started on a Vachss/Burke fest. I have whipped through the next 5 books in this series in a few weeks. A real trip down memory lane for me. I first read Sacrifice int he early nineties. My abiding memory is of reading it whilst on a short holiday with a good mate. We were camping and had some kit, but not enough. I remember sitting in a chair near the tent, Snoddy was cooking and I was reading. I found Sacrifice compelling then an...more
What did I think? This guy's the king of "Noir", is what I think. Andrew Vachss, a lawyer and author with a penchant for the welfare of kids and women - especially the kids - has created Burke to let some steam escape.

Burke's world is not the world you and I live in. Burke exists in NYC but he is not seen in it. When society mentions the name "Burke" it is in the fashion of a legend: a myth, someone who is not real. Burke likes it that way.

With unforgettable characters fully developed over a lon...more
Craig Werner
Excellent Burke novel. This is the first in the series, which I'm (re)-reading slowly, that doesn't overdo Burke's sexual encounters. Other than that, it's a familiar mix: Burke's "family" (Mama, the Mole and Terry, Max and Mac, the Prof, Wolfe, even Michelle, who doesn't physically show up but is present); the focus on the sexual abuse of children; the presence of a New York City with its true face showing. This one centers on what may or may not be an actual Satanist cult--for Burke the trappi...more
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Gripping read. Looking forward to more of the series.
First book by Vachss I've read, and have to say it took some time before I got used to his writing style, but now I'm loving it and reading another one of his books. Burke is very likable but complex character, and so are all the others, you just want to learn more. The book was really dark and so is the world it depicts, so not to everyone's liking I suspect.
Good series
Pat Burns
...another great Burke book. This series is tough to read though, due to the dark subject matter. One can only read so many stories about sex crimes involving children. I've just read 2 more of the series in a row and it's time to take another break. The writing is great and the characters are original and colorful, but the serious, disgusting nature of the crimes is too much to bear at times.
Bill S.
Most of Vachss' books are tough to read because of the gritty subject matter (usually child abuse) and this one is no different. But Vachss' cast of characters - Burke, Max, the Prof, Clarence, et al - are easy to root for when things get rough. And you know they will. Vachss makes sure of that.

If the subject matter doesn't bother you, this is another fine addition to the Burke series.
Burke hits the bottom and from where he falls it doesn't seem like it would be all that bad. But when you choose to delve into the world where children are the victims of the freaks, things are not going to be pretty and someone always gets hurt. This book brought home the sadness of Burke's world more than any of the others. One of the best book series that I have ever read.
David Ward
Sacrifice (Burke #6) by Andrew Vachss (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard 1991)(fiction - mystery) was a pretty good read. A sweet child upon hypnosis calls himself "Satan's Child" and acted accordingly (it turned out that he had Multiple Personality Disorder - or whatever they are calling it these days). 5/10, finished 6/25/11.
Tim Warner
Very unique writer.Extremely economic but that's taste I have. I would also describe his style as raw, gritty, real, down and dirty. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sacrifice and am now interested in exploring his other works. This is not great literature, but a unique style which gets Mr. Vachss' point(s) across.
Once again another amazing read from Vachss.

Burke is such a gripping character who is written so well that he's almost timeless. And yes although other characters from other books are mentioned this can still be read on it's own merit and still be intensely satisfying.

I really just can't get enough.
I have read most of Vachss' books. This was one of my less favorite. He is equally as gritty, on-the-edge as ever, bu the story of protecting a gifted little boy who is a (multiple personality?) killer is a tad far-fetched.
William Thomas
Brilliant. No other Burke book lives up to this one. So glad this was voted in the top 40 horror novels of all time by the Horror Writers Association.
If you are going to start the Burke series, this is an excellent place to start. Informs the character throughout the rest of the series.
Erika Van
Just love these books, and going back to the beginning, reading as the author finds his voice, as he grows... so awesome!!
Vachss' Burke books are brutal, graphic, gritty, and very well constructed.
Doctor Edward Diesel
Burke and his crew take out satanist child pornographers.
Mad marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2014
Shane Dougall
Shane Dougall marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2014
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Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for “aggressive-violent” youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youths exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, two collections of short stories, and a wide varie...more
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“When you hunt predators, the best camouflage is weakness.” 12 likes
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