Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Only Child (Burke, #14)” as Want to Read:
Only Child (Burke, #14)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Only Child (Burke #14)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  710 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
It’s been years since Burke has been home, years since he’s seen his “family” and worked in the underbelly of New York City. Although his appearance has changed, his reputation grown dusty and his wallet thin, his skills and his crew remain razor sharp. So when he is contacted by a mob boss to investigate the murder of his illegitimate daughter, Vonni, Burke takes the job ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 8th 2002 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Only Child, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Only Child

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,087)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 04, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Burke is finally back in the city where he belongs, reunited with his "family," and now living in a sweet apartment designed by the Mole. (There are not only panels that flash if someone is sneaking up the stairs, but FREE CABLE as well! This guy thinks of everything!)

Running low on cash, Burke now needs to find a job. Before very long, one finds him. A Mafioso's daughter is dead. Was it a random killing, or was she murdered to send a "message" to her papa?

I've been avoiding this series for a fe
Larry Bassett
Sep 12, 2013 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
Burke is back from the dead – if by dead you mean someplace other than NYC. He has quit smoking – “Just use them as props,” he says. “It’s just that, ever since it happened cigarettes don’t taste the same.” “Not even after . . .?” Michelle asks. If you have to ask “after what?” you have not read enough Burke recently.

Four bowls of hot-and-sour soup at Mama’s restaurant and he is ready to get into book #14 in the series.

Vachss is clever and his dialogue is sharp and sparse. “. . . it didn’t tak
Raegan Butcher
Feb 12, 2010 Raegan Butcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Vachss is a superb writer and a hell of a human being. I've watched his style evolve from his 1st published novel, FLOOD, to his recent books and his writing just keeps getting better and better. Charles Bukowski once said that the most difficult thing in Art is to create something simple. Vachss can say more in one sentence than most writers can say in a whole page; his prose is spare and lean, beautifully constructed, simple and terse. All of his books are worth owning. I was fortunate ...more
John Grazide
Aug 01, 2015 John Grazide rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Burke is back in NYC. To be honest I lost it when Flower came into the room on page seven I think. It was so awesome to witness the true bond that this "Family" shares.

With that out of the way, Burke has to replenish his bank so he develops an "alternate" identity and gets a job tracking down the killer of a young girl. But as it turns out this young girl's father is a made man and runs a crew for one of the families.

Through some late night flashbacks we are re-introduced to some characters fr
Mar 30, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fourteenth Burke novel begins slow but picks up speed as the main narrative is introduced about a quarter of the way into the novel.

Burke has returned to NYC. Vachss muddles about for a while before establishing the central focus of the book: Burke is hired by a low-ranking mobster, with more than one major skeleton in his closet, to find who killed his daughter Vonni. The mobster thinks it may have been someone within his criminal circle, or possible the feds, but the police believe the mu
Its been a long time since I have read a Burk book , so I got this one and its was a good read , but it wasn't as page turning as the others I had read years ago. Its still a good Burk story , but not in the way I remembered him in stories past .
I do like that his family of characters are still in the story .
Tim Niland
Oct 06, 2008 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
Back in New York City and still "dead" to the cops, con-man and unlicensed private investigator Burke still has to make money. Hired by a mafia capo to find the killer of his illegitimate child, Burke delves into the world of underground film making and suburban teenage subcultures. Posing as an independent film producer and aided by his "family" of criminals, Burke must crack the case and track down the killer. It's great to have Burke back in his familiar environs, although they are changed li ...more
Sep 05, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raw, but then all the Burke novels are...a solid plot and remarkably strong, complex characters. Not for anyone with too much imagination or too fluttery a stomach.
David Ward
Feb 28, 2016 David Ward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, crime
Only Child (Burke #14) by Andrew Vachss (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard 2002) (Fiction - Mystery) is the best in the Burke series. For some reason, the author seems to have penned Burke as a little more human than in past installlments. Vachss has definitely lightened Burke up a bit; at times some of Burke's lines are almost funny. This volume finds Burke helping two mafioso find out who killed one don's daughter and why. Burke and the usual crew explore the world of underground film making to tap i ...more
Stuart Mcgrigor
Nov 01, 2015 Stuart Mcgrigor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ahhhhh .... Burke is back in NYC, where he belongs with his family.
May 06, 2016 Lorilee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read, but great ending!
Jun 08, 2010 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A high two, at the very least - kind of a patchy read to me in terms of my interest - some excellent, dense propulsive dialogue and scenes, but then the occasional part extolling manly things like cars and golf which, while good characterization for the main character, kind of alienated me a bit. My first Vachss, though - could be in bulk it would become more agreeable.
Okay. Agree with other reviewer that earlier Vachss novels were a little better, more gritty.

The novel has some interesting scenes and dialogue but in this novel Burke is more of a private eye who use to be a criminal, than the other novels where he is a criminal who sort of investigates.
Apr 08, 2009 Henry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Burke series - Set in Ney York, a mobsters daughter is slaughtered and dumped. Burke lives outside the system, he despises people who victimize children. He is hired to track down the killer, and he and his family learn about the movie business in the process.
May 28, 2011 Leona rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thought I'd give Andrew Vachss and his Burke series another try having not read one of his novels for a few years. Didn't care for this - same circuitous style of solving a problem. Maybe I'm just past this phase....
Jan 04, 2013 Ramzi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vachss gets the runaround from Hollywood and decides to write a book demonizing the film business. Above average for his recent fare but a far cry from his earlier work and some of his stand alone novels.
Feb 06, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
an attempt at a reboot of the series
but Burke finds home is not the same
some things are different
new car, now house
but family is still there
the only one missing is Pansy
May 30, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I try to read everything by Andrew Vachss, but I liked his earlier Burke novels much more than the later ones. They were trashier, but so much more passionate.
Jan 16, 2010 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
It is nice to see Burke back in NYC and home with his family after being forced to hide out in past novels.
'Damilare Olaleye
'Damilare Olaleye rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2016
Sheila marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2016
Nancy rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2016
Sherri rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2016
Brian rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2016
Nix added it
Sep 03, 2016
Daniel added it
Sep 02, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 36 37 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover (Kinky Friedman, #9)
  • The 38 Million Dollar Smile (Donald Strachey, #10)
  • Leather Maiden
  • Crossing the Lion (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #9)
  • Outsourced
  • Chicago Lightning (Nathan Heller Short Stories, Volume 3)
  • More Beer
  • Seven Complete Nero Wolfe Novels (The Silent Speaker, Might As Well Be Dead / If Death Ever Slept / Three at Wolfe's Door / Gambit / Please Pass the Guilt/ A Family Affair)
  • Portrait of a Monster: Joran van der Sloot, a Murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery
  • Sex Crimes: Ten Years on the Front Lines Prosecuting Rapists and Confronting Their Collaborators
  • The Night Inspector
  • The Cold Spot (Cold, #1)
  • Hard Revolution
  • Known to Evil (Leonid McGill, #2)
  • When One Man Dies (Jackson Donne, #1)
  • Murder in Vein (A Madison Rose Vampire Mystery, #1)
  • Life's a Bitch: The Complete Bitchy Bitch Stories
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)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“[I] settled down with the Daily News and the Post, glad to be back with journalism where all murders are “brutal,” all prosecutors are “tough,” and all blondes are
“attractive.” And any lawyer who cooperates with the reporter is
“A couple of buffoons were running for some state-senate seat just vacated by the incumbent's prison term. One accused the other of being "against the Internet" - a knockout punch in a world where whole hordes of humans think better sex is a faster modem.” 2 likes
More quotes…