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Choice of Evil (Burke #11)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  773 ratings  ·  17 reviews
When his girlfriend, Crystal Beth, is gunned down at a gay rights rally in Central Park, Burke, the underground man-for-hire and expert hunter of predators, vows vengeance.But someone beats him to the task: a shadowy killer who calls himself Homo Erectus and who seems determined to wipe gay bashers from the face of the earth.As the killer's body count rises, most citizens ...more
Trade Paperback, 305 pages
Published May 2000 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1999)
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Larry Bassett
The names of Burke’s women are always quite original. This time it’s Chrystal Beth. Get it? Of course you do. Most of his women don’t last more than one book. His dog Pansy, a 150 pound Neapolitan mastiff has been there as a part of the family since the series began in 1985. She's his consistent woman.

Burke’s home has been a part of the stories as well. It is unique. But he has lost his home as this book, Burke #11, begins. This one came out in 1999. We have trekked with Burke for ten books now
Tim Niland
When con-man and unlicensed private investigator Burke's girlfriend is killed at a gay-rights rally, Burke seeks vengeance, only to find out that the killers have already been dispatched by a serial killer who is murdering anti-gay activists. Employed by a gay-rights group who wants to help this vigilante get away, Burke is drawn into a very complex web of crime and murder that could possibly involve the only man he has ever feared, the ice-man assassin Wesley. Vachss turns the conventions of to ...more
Given the option, I'd probably score this 3.5 stars, as it has some quite compelling bits. There's a narrative within the narrative, as we read a very disturbingly-depicted kidnapper's account of his final kidnapping. The rest of it, though, seems to try too hard, as is often the case with later Vachss books, to depict cold, amoral, damaged people. All too often, the result is forced, or, even worse, the characters and situations come across as absurd. His women, especially, beggar belief. There ...more
More of the same from Vachss and Burke's crew. The stories mostly fall flat these days but the strength of the Burke series has always been its characters which, for the most part, are ok here. That said, absurd coincidences are nothing new in Burke's world but there are more than a few in these pages that I'd consider groan-worthy. Nonetheless, I still give it three stars because as soon as Burke engages his target, the interaction between the two is both interesting and satisfying.

A se
St Fu
I like reading Vachss but I only rarely feel good about it. More often I feel I'm abusing a drug. Sometimes I feel like the drug was cut with animal tranquilizers. Still, I continue to risk it.
Steve Dennie
In “Choice of Evil” (1999), a close woman friend, Crystal Beth, is shot and killed at a gay rights parade; several other people are killed, too. Then someone starts picking off gay-bashers, lots of them. He’s quite a prolific killer…and becomes somewhat of a hero in the gay community.

Burke is hired to find this killer by some gay rights people who want to protect the guy. The ghost of Wesley, a notorious killer who was a friend of Burke, permeates the book. But Wesley’s dead…or is he? And who ki
Genine Franklin-Clark
I don't know. It got stranger and stranger. I think it would've made a little more sense if I had read the preceding books. It did make me uncomfortable, with the casual acceptance of violence. I like action-adventure revenge (fiction only, please)stuff as much as the next guy (I love what I call "mindless violence" movies,i.e."movies for guys who like movies"), but this was . . . oh, maybe, too much a way of life for too many in this book.
My second Burke novel and I enjoyed it almost as much as the first. The main character is interesting and complex and so are the rest of the characters. I like the way Vachss writes, they way he doesn't tell the reader too much and the way there's always a twist and a surprise or two before the end. Luckily not all real life criminals are this intelligent and chilling.
I love Andrew Vachss. Make no mistake, it's trashy, but it's fun as hell to read and filled with crazy almost comic-book scenes. I also like his general stance on the characters: tolerance for people of all types (one of the main characters in the series is a person who identifies as a female but is in a male's body), but none for the monsters of the world.
I originally gave this four stars, but then I started thinking about how confusing Wolfe's motivations were at the end, and I changed it to three stars. This book held my interest throughout, and I especially liked the killer's journal portions, but things got jumbled and hard to keep track of at the end. Too many unanswered questions.

David Ward
Choice of Evil (Burke #11) by Andrew Vachss (Random House 1999)(fiction - mystery) finds Burke hunting a serial killer who targets gay bashers. Is this Wesley, back from the dead? By the time I finished this 305 page novel, I didn't care any more. 5/10, finisheed 6/28/11.
I think I would have liked it better had I read the books before this because they have the same characters and at first it was hard to follow. I would definatley be interested in reading his other books though.
Laura Akers
Andrew Vachss's Burke books are always populated with characters I want to spend time with in dark scenarios pushing people's minds to consider what's really good or evil.
Ray Charbonneau
They're not very deep, but that somehow helps keep them from getting too repetitious.
Aug 19, 2012 Robin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, 2012
Classic Vachss. More wonderful crime brain candy w/ Burke and his family.
Joan Brown

another hard-boiled pot-boiler from Vachss. Good mind candy.
One of the most thrilling books of the Burke series yet.
Mike added it
Apr 28, 2015
Susan Van Bavel
Susan Van Bavel marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
David Nixon
David Nixon marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2015
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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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