Down in the Zero (Burke, #7)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Down in the Zero (Burke #7)

by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,051 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Andrew Vachss has reinvented detective fiction for an age in which guilty secrets are obsolete and murderisn't even worth a news headline. And in the person of his haunted, hell-ridden private eye Burke, Vachss has given us anew kind of hero: a man inured to every evil except the kind that preys on children.
Now Burke is back, investigating an epidemic of apparent suicides...more
Trade Paperback, 259 pages
Published July 1995 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Tagged by Joseph M. ChironA Life To Waste by Andrew LennonCoraline by Neil GaimanPlebs by Jim GoforthGrundish and Askew by Lance Carbuncle
Twisted Tales
263rd out of 277 books — 275 voters
Ten Big Ones by Janet EvanovichFalse Impressions by Sandra NikolaiBig Numbers by Jack GetzeGatsby's Smile by Morana BlueVicky Banning by Allen McGill
Books with Characters I'd LIke to Meet
10th out of 51 books — 40 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,352)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dan Schwent
Devasted over the death of an innocent on his last case, Burke takes a job that sees him in the Connecticut suburbs investigating a string of teen suicides. Burke's investigations take him into a web of S&M and blackmail that he may never escape...

Andrew Vachss' Burke stories are so bleak that they make the apocalypse look inviting by comparison and this one is no exception. Like the previous tales, Burke's case takes him up against uncomfortable subjects like child abuse. This time, Vachss...more
Eric_W
Burke, Vachss' anti-hero, is a quasi-detective, part vigilante, who has a soft spot for protecting children. We learn during the course of the novel that he grew up in an orphanage, has no memory of either parent, has served time in prison, where he learned much of his "trade" from the "Prof" who speaks in bizarre rhymes, and was a mercenary in Africa.

In this novel (basically your good, fun, fast, read - great for trains, planes or buses), he is summoned to help protect a young boy whose mother...more
Tim Warner
I happen to like Andrew Vachss very much. Burke is his own man, a unique individual who isn't someone with whom anyone can really identify. His world is peopled by characters as disparate as the invisible rejects and crazies who are all around us in any city these days, and somehow as connected and interwoven as any tightly-knit family. And Burke's world is the icy, raw and brutal city of New York, where the relentless evil is like a deadly poison, flowing through the streets and the veins of it...more
Larry Bassett
Published in 1994, Down in the Zero continues the Vachss tradition of women with unusual first names. This time it is Fancy and Charm. It is the seventh book in the eighteen book Burke series.

Vachss introduces a young male character who has skill and daring, moving immediately into a significant role in the book. Randy (“I don’t like my name.) morphs into Sonny after showing that he is a born auto driver who is headed for the Grand Prix or Daytona by the end of the book after putting Burke’s Ply...more
Tim Niland
Burke is out of his natural element again, this time called to a wealthy Connecticut suburb by the son of a former acquaintance who is scared about the rash of apparent suicides among his peers. When Burke investigates, he finds more than he bargains for, including sexual exploitation, blackmail and murder. This was a strange Burke novel, not only was he out of his usual New York setting, but it was as if Vachss was trying to have him establish a father-son relationship between him and his clien...more
Craig Werner
Excellent Burke novel. When I'm finished reading/re-reading the series in order, I'm going to assign five stars to the novel that combines the things I like about the series most effectively (and downplays the parts I'm not crazy about, primarily the occasional sex scene that feels gratuitous). Down in the Zero does a better job than usually integrating the sex into the plot line and demands of character development than it was in the early novels in the series). The focus here is on healing. Bu...more
Susan
Jun 14, 2014 Susan added it
Andrew Vachss has reinvented detective fiction for an age in which guilty secrets are obsolete and murder isn't even worth a news headline. And in the person of his haunted, hell-ridden private eye Burke, Vachss has given us a new kind of hero: a man inured to every evil except the kind that preys on children.
Now Burke is back, investigating an epidemic of apparent suicides among teenagers of a wealthy Connecticut suburb. There he discovers a sinister connection between the anguish of the youn...more
Ramzi
Sub par installment in the Burke series (2.5 stars is more accurate) that finds the "private eye" once again leaving the familiar confines of New York City, this time for the neatly manicured lawns of Fairfield County, CT. Burke's there to look into a rash of suicides that have been affecting the children of the wealthy and, of course, to find an angle to make a buck. He develops a relationship with Randy, the child of an old associate that hires Burke to investigate the suicides. Randy turns ou...more
Nik Bramblett
I read most of these books back about 15-20 years ago, but there were a couple I missed. Honestly, it's a pretty neat "world" this guy has built, and I think the characters and so forth are intriguing. Basically, there's this guy "Burke," who is a thug with a pretty much nonexistent childhood, who has quite a criminal record, and for some years now has put together a 'family' of other thugs. He's kind of like a 'rough-trade' sort of 'Equalizer,' with a particular bent towards hunting child moles...more
Shawn
I liked all of the Vachss books. I guess I read most or all of them. But they are really dark; darker than Michael Connelly, modern LA, "noir" detective books where the hero, detective Heironymous Bosch's prostitute mother is an unsolved murder case. In Vachss' (I think it's pronounced "vash") novels EVERYONE's mother is a prostitute--his characters won't even hang out with you if you never blew anybody for money! So it's a bit over the top, but basically Vachss' dark avenger heroes make everybo...more
Harry
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
Joe
A peculiar book, not Vaachs' best but still a brisk read. The plot is improbable, all the main characters except one are caricatures, and Vaachs lets himself get distracted by two of his favorite topics, S/M and cars. Nonetheless, the book works because it's centered on a relationship that feels real, between super hard-boiled private eye Burke and fragile teenager Randy, whom Burke calls The Kid and in whom he finds himself taking an unexpected fatherly interest, thereby expiating the only act...more
Nicole
Burke and his chosen family are another group of criminals doing the work of the angels that I adore. I also miss him badly now that the Burke series seems to have come to an end. Luckily, Andrew Vachss writes enthralling stories no matter who the main character is.
James Kidd
As with Blossom, Vachss rings the changes with this one, as Burke heads out of they cesspool that is NY. One of the major strengths of this series is the inter connectivity of the books- in that for a large part of the first half of the book, Burke is dealing with the consequences of his actions at the end of Sacrifice. It makes our lead protagonist a real, flawed character (unlike so many other heroes who shrug off the events of one of book in the next as the reset button is pressed). As to the...more
Lorilee
Not one of his best in this series. I think because I did not like Fancy and because his family was not in it much.
David
I grew up in a home of mental and physical abuse of many years' duration, and all of Vachss's work speaks to me on a level I cannot summon up the right vocabulary for. I simply love this book! That said, it is improbable in plot and all of Vachss's work is bleak - this one bleaker than most. I suppose on some level when I read his Burke character I fantasize that I could be like him. Regardless, I have been fascinated with Vachss the actual man for going on thirty years.
Iris
One of my absolute favourites. Gives a VERY clear idea about how LETHAL emotional abuse is, and dispenses with the idiotic opinion that "that is not really abuse...". Emotionally abusing children is RAPE with words, and this is presented succinctly throughout. And on the brighter side, the way Burke becomes a mentor and Father-substitute to the boy (he, who says he'll never have children!), is just incredibly touching. HIGHLY recommend to anybody, especially to "Therapists"!
Karl
This is one of my favorite books. It was my first Andrew Vachss book and it captured some feelings that I was dealing with at the time. It introduced me to Red Stripe beer and I finally looked up music by Judy Henske, one of Burke's favorites. As an author, Andrew Vachss really manages to make it all very real to the reader. He captures something that makes it more than a story - real life. One of the best book series that I have ever read.
Jennie
Feb 17, 2008 Jennie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: James Ellroy, Lee Child fans, crime fans
Shelves: crime
I really respect Andrew Vachss and I enjoy the brutality of his writing.

This Burke novel was pretty good, but I now have to admit that the way his associate, The Prof, always has to rhyme everything...it kinda bugs me.

At any rate, not the strongest entry in the series, but a quick read that holds your interest pretty well.
David Ward
Down In The Zero (Burke #7) by Andrew Vachss (Vintage Crimes 1994)(fiction - mystery) opens with a series of suicides by priveleged young people that leads back to a sadomasochistic underground lef by a pair of gorgeous twins Fancy and Charm. 4/10, finished 7/4/11.
Robert
I really wanted to love this book because of my profound respect for Vachss. I simply found the writing to be weak and unimpressive. It's not a bad read, it's just not a good one.
Austin MAKILLSKI
IT WAS AN OVER ALL GOOD FUN BOOK, IT HAS ALL THE GOODIES A KID LIKE ME WANTS, AND ITS EDGE TONE AND VOICE MAKE IT A GOOD READ FOR ANYONE, SEPT MAYBE NOT GIRLS.
Brian
Vachss is a true advocate for children and a wonderful writer. He lives the life he writes about in his books. His website is a treasure
Melinda
Dark detective fiction, with a protagonist who is gritty, forceful and lost. Once you start you cannot put down.
Morey
I can't review books i forget most of them as soon as I read them. it was Vachss so yeah it was good.
Ian
I'm still reading this of course, but it might as well be already read. Vacchs is so good. Awesome.
Charles
This series is no joke. Proceed carefully. This was my last one. I couldn't take any more.
Maigen
Hate. Another one of those "I'll finish reading it because of art." Nah, not worth it.
John
Teen suicides in upscale Connecticut aren't like those where Burke has been.
Barbara Kennedy
A tad on the dark side!!! but interesting.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 45 46 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Leather Maiden
  • The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover (Kinky Friedman, #9)
  • The Big Bad City (87th Precinct, #49)
  • Self's Deception (Gerhard Self #2)
  • Black Money
  • Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon
  • Death Vows (Donald Strachey, #9)
  • Sweet's Sweets (A Samantha Sweet Mystery #2)
  • Chicago Lightning
  • Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell
  • The Burglar
  • Breakout (Parker, #21)
36764
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...
Flood (Burke, #1) Strega (Burke, #2) Blue Belle (Burke, #3) Hard Candy (Burke, #4) Shella

Share This Book