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Terminal (Burke #17)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  639 ratings  ·  35 reviews
After years of carefully working the edges, a blood-commitment forces Burke's return to his former career: "violence-for-money." Claw, once the shot-caller of a white supremacist prison gang is free . . . and terminally ill--he desperately needs a pile of cash to bet on a long-shot cure. He tells Burke about a punk who once purchased protection from him, a man who claims t ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Vintage (first published September 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 961)
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Larry Bassett
This book is coming at the end of the Burke series. The first two pages are action packed as Burke continues to pedal his tough guy skills to make a buck for himself and his family. “I slid the length of rebar out of my sleeve, gripped the taped end, and took out his knee from behind.” But his old con games are no longer dependable as the times have changed so he forced to scheme in new ways.

Since this is the next to the last book in the series, I am like the cows going home to the barn: just mo
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘A book can contain truth without being truth.’

Okay. This is a book where I've let emotion rate higher than intellect. This is not one of the best Burke novels and at times I was annoyed because I was being jerked out of the story by the political commentary. But wait, this is the reality. While ever children are being traded as commodities can we choose which weapons are comfortable to fight the war? I wish that I could read these novels and say that they are the products of a bizarre imaginati
First I have to say I love the Burke books. The character is multidimensional and interesting. And a great anti-hero. That said, this book was rather convoluted and hard to follow at times. My favorite characters were back and the crusade against sexual abuse theme continues. But this book just doesnt come together in the satifying way of others in the series. Nonetheless, it did give me my Burke fix. LOL
I don't think this would make any sense if you hadn't read all the other books in the series first. Contains a 3 or 4 page excerpt from an earlier book instead of coming up with it's own way to introduce backstory -- lazy!
Max Salt
I'm a long-time fan of Andrew Vachss' writing, so I enjoyed getting my hands on another in his Burke series of novels. As with any series, the latest edition is like a new visit from an old friend, and Terminal did not disappoint. Vachss' writing continues to be gritty and seems, at least to me, to be realistic and to capture the criminal subculture in our society. I also appreciate (and realize I've been influenced by) his minimalist, direct style. My one criticism is regarding his social comme ...more
From Publishers Weekly
Vachss's 17th Burke novel 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 pricey 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 c
William Thomas
My bad-asses shelf just keeps growing.

Andrew Vachss is one of my real-life heroes. He is an amazing person who does amazing things for children. He's a lawyer who uses the money from his books to fund his practice protecting children. I'm not going to write a big huge love letter here, just take a look at his site:

Sometimes this one can get a bit preachy, and if you're not a fan of Vachss before this book, I'd suggest not reading it as an introduction to his work. For the real
I'd forgotten who much I like this author - very dark, but very complex characters. I'm re-reading the earlier ones.
The Burke series follows Burke an ex-con and his "family" of fellow criminals attempting survive on the fringes of society and below the "normal" world.

This is typical Vachss. The plot (which centers on at times convoluted effort to help a former inmate shake down a group of millionaires who years ago were involved in a murder of a teenage girl--ie the Moxley case in Greenwich Conn.) is really there just an excuse for us to watch Burke and his crew operate.

Vachss prose and descriptions are ver
Not really his best work. I guess after 16 books about criminal knight Burke and his “family of the secret” you had to start stretching the fabric a little bit. In “Terminal” Vachss is now finally reaching for material. This is the first Burke book that I’ve found myself noticing the time I’ve spent reading it. I always just read these books until I was done reading.
Vachss gets a little preachy here. His books are always a little bit preachy but the preachyness always seemed to flow into the s
Joshua Walcher
Picked it up on a whim at the library. Ugh. It's a gritty book that I can't really recommend to anyone but I read it over a three-day period because I felt like it's something I should probably read. The language is probably right-on for ex-cons with previous associations with the Aryan Brotherhood that make a point of investigating sexual criminals and punishing them, but to a southern liberal white boy it's just too much to wade through. 2.5 out of 5.
#17 in the Burke series. Burke is a vigilante and children's advocate in the seamier parts of NYC.

Burke is approached by a member of the Aryan Brotherhood to blackmail a group of wealthy men who had raped and murdered a young girl 30 years earlier when they were 15 and 16 years old. The AB member needs money for a Swiss medical treatment and he has the person who buried the girl willing to spill the detail for $500,000 getaway money.
Tim Niland
The former shot-caller of one of the most feared prison gangs in the country calls on Burke, the great con-man and urban mercenary. The gang leader is dying, and only a huge score can help him take one last ditch chance at a radical cure overseas. He tells Burke of an extortion scheme he has been holding onto for a while: three very wealthy men, when they were teenagers murdered a young girl but were never charged for the crime. Burke and his "family" must set up an extortion sting that can make ...more
Vachss Burke novels always deliver strong characters and complex plots, but they also come with my on-going warning that they are not for the Agatha Christie crowd. Raw and powerful, Vachss reminds us that sometimes the real criminals wear suits and heroes live by their own moral codes...and their wits.
Al Young
This is my first Vachss novel, but I know at least one friend of mine is a fan. I liked this. I realize I don't have enough hard-boiled fiction under my belt to make an adequate comparison, but seemingly it would be comparable to Ellroy, in that it is snappy dialogue, hard-boiled definitely adult action, and fascinating characters. Vachss always has a touch of morality (He's a child advocate lawyer) to his world of bad, bad men.

It's Vachss's dialogue that makes it- every bit as mesmerizing as Ch
Not really my thing. Found it hard to get into, this was my third attempt was really short book but felt long reading, some bits seemed to be getting good then just went back to being dull...
Jim A
As indicated, number 17 in the Burke series. To this point, my least enjoyable Burke tale. To much non essential prose to make for a quality story.
John Grazide
Holy crap! Only one Burke left. The way this ended I know I'll be upset its over. But how will it end?
Erica Powers
Only a so-so addition to the normally good Burke series. I enjoy the characters, and I agree with much of the author's viewpoint, although he does tend to stand on a soapbox much of the time now, but the plotlines in this series have been going downhill for a few years now. This time, Burke gets involved with members of a white supremisist group which included a former jailhouse buddy. The plot gets buried by long stretches of dialogue and too much moralizing, but if you enjoy the other books in ...more
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Suspense/2007/244 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: #17 in Burke series
CHARACTERS: Burke/outlaw advocate for abused children
FIRST LINES: I got to the job site a couple hours early. The kind of work I do, you show up too late, sometimes you don't get to go home when it's over.

COMMENTS: library book. Another dark entry in the life of Burke and his crew (Prof, Mama, Michelle, etc).
Terminal (Burke #17) by Andrew Vachss (Pantheon Books 2007)(Fiction / Mystery) is the third Burke book I've read. I skipped way up in the series, and I liked this book much better than the second one. This installment has Burke brokering a blackmail scam against three men who killed a young girl over thirty years ago who were never caught. Maybe I'll try another Burke book. My rating: 7/10, finished 3/23/11.
Jamison Spencer
If you've ever read a Burke novel, you know what to expect. The grittiest and grimiest crime fiction out there. Burke and his family of badass archetypes investigate and eliminate some kind of sicko pervert. This time its some rich guys who got away with a vicious rape murder as teens. I highly recommend this series to any fans of hard-boiled fiction, but do yourself a favor and start at the beginning.
Vachss's more recent books have as a rule been disappointing--little plot, a lot of posture-heavy dialogue. As recent Vachss goes, though, this one's pretty entertaining, as Burke and company take on a job to shake down three rich guys who raped and murdered a girl thirty years earlier. Vachss actually seems to have put a bit of thought into the plot for this one.
Labeling Vachss work "hard-boiled" is an insult. The stories and characters go so much deeper than that. There are a few passages where Burke/Vachss gets on his soapbox and the work becomes more editorial than story-telling, but that's okay. In this case the words need to be said.
I don't think I will listen to any more books in this series. I did not become attached to any of the characters in Burke's "family". In addition, the author seemed to throw in descriptions of history that did not enhance the story telling; they just made me wonder what was going on.
May 28, 2008 Barbara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of violent crime novels
Recommended to Barbara by: I did
I love Vachss and Burke. Hard core crime fiction, not for the delicate flower. Burke can be a little self-righteous, but I don't care, so can I. What's the plot? Burke goes after a bad guy and people get killed in the process. Like all of them. And I can read it over and over.
The end for Burke and the end for me; I gave away all of my Vacchs books after attempting this truly violent and sexually horrific novel. Too over the top for me, his rage has so overpowered plot, narrative, sense, story, character that I found it unreadable
Wow. Andrew Vachss is my newest favorite author. I can't wait to read the Burke series from the beginning--I've already ordered the first five books. That should keep me occupied while I wait for the new Easy Rawlins book to come out.

Really like the Burke series. only one more to read and it is over. Darn it! But there will always be scum that has to be cleaned up. And Burke JUST got a new dog! And with the kids off to college and out of the gang, how will they all get by?
I didn't realize this was Book 17 of a series about this Burke character, which perhaps tainted my impression. It is to men what romance novels are to women, stereotypically.
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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
More about Andrew Vachss...

Other Books in the Series

Burke (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Flood (Burke, #1)
  • Strega (Burke, #2)
  • Blue Belle (Burke, #3)
  • Hard Candy (Burke, #4)
  • Blossom (Burke, #5)
  • Sacrifice (Burke, #6)
  • Down in the Zero (Burke, #7)
  • Footsteps Of The Hawk (Burke, #8)
  • False Allegations (Burke, #9)
  • Safe House (Burke, #10)
Flood (Burke, #1) Strega (Burke, #2) Blue Belle (Burke, #3) Hard Candy (Burke, #4) Shella

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“Life is a fight, but not everyone’s a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species.” 198 likes
“The Bowery station on the J line is what happens to a neighborhood once politicians realize the people who live there don’t vote.” 3 likes
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