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Flood (1985)

by Andrew Vachss

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Burke (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7791528,788 (3.85)54
Burke's newest client is a woman named Flood, who has the face of an angel, the body of a high-priced stripper, and the skills of a professional executioner. She wants Burke to find a monster for her--so she can kill him with her bare hands. In this cauterizing thriller, Andrew Vachss's renegade private eye teams up with a lethally gifted avenger to follow a child's murderer through the catacombs of New York, where every alley is blind and the penthouses are as dangerous as the basements. Fearfully knowing, crackling with narrative tension, and written in prose as forceful as a hollow-point slug, Flood is Burke at his deadliest--and Vachss at the peak of his form. "An extraordinary thriller.... Vachss never flinches from the horror." --Washington Post Book World "Burke would eat Spade and Marlowe for breakfast, not even spitting out the bones. He] is one tough, mean, pray-God-you-don't-meet-him hombre." --Boston Herald… (more)
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» See also 54 mentions

English (13)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Good story. A little jumpy in places but otherwise good writing.
Looking forward to the rest of this series. ( )
  Rockhead515 | Jan 11, 2022 |
Burke is a private detective living in the dark netherworld of NY City. He is contacted by a relentless woman, skilled in martial arts but not worldly, who is seeking revenge on a killer/rapist. This is the first of 17 books by Vachss, and Burke has a diverse group of supporting characters, including the Prof, Mole, Michelle, deaf-mute Max, Mama, and two dogs, who who guards his office and the other, who guards his junkyard (co-owned with Mole.) Dark stuff, with a side order of violence. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Years ago, I read Strega and was instantly a Vachss fan. However, while I did read some of his other works (including some comic book contributions), I never got a chance to return to the Burke series. So now, here I am at the beginning.

Flood is a great crime noir featuring larger than life characters that achieve almost mythical street cred without - in my opinion - straining credulity. At the center of this story of revenge and justice is Burke, a below-the-radar survivor that makes his home and living in the slimy underbelly of New York City. Much like the author, Burke has a special hatred for child molesters and other freaks that prey on innocent youth, and the focus of this first novel involves him helping the mysterious Flood track down the main responsible for the rape and murder of her best friend's baby.

It's hard not to draw parallels between the Burke series and other off-the-radar protectors like Jack Reacher and Repairman Jack, but the comparisons end when it comes to the level of real-world evil on display in Burke's world, which is unfortunately too close to the real world. If you like your action dark, gritty, and violent, you might want to tag along with Burke. ( )
1 vote smichaelwilson | Nov 30, 2020 |

Burke's newest client is named Flood, a young woman, trained in martial arts but naive about the ways of the street who is hunting the man who killed her best friend's child. Flood hears of Burke and enlists his help to find a monster for her, so she can kill him with her bare hands. Flood is the first novel featuring the anti-hero Burke, and the best place to get to know him. Later novels build on top of this introduction. Burke is not a happy man and is filled with an emptiness he calls "The Zero." Abandoned as a child, he grew up hard in the system. Only now as he approaches middle age has he developed any sort of wisdom. He works the gritty streets of New York City and the atmosphere of the city seems extremely authentic.

Originally published in 1985, Flood by Andrew Vachss has been reissued by the Vintage Crime House of Black Lizard Publishing and written in first person, in a hard-boiled noir style. The writing may seem a little dated because it was written so long ago, but the story is quite compelling.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vachss, AndrewAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huang, GraceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lai, Chin-YeeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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For
Victor Chapin
Yale Lee Mandel
Iberus Hacker (a.k.a. Dan Marcum)
Wesley Everest very different actors
who all left this junkyard of a planet
to work a better room
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I got to the office early that morning -- I think it was about ten o'clock.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Burke's newest client is a woman named Flood, who has the face of an angel, the body of a high-priced stripper, and the skills of a professional executioner. She wants Burke to find a monster for her--so she can kill him with her bare hands. In this cauterizing thriller, Andrew Vachss's renegade private eye teams up with a lethally gifted avenger to follow a child's murderer through the catacombs of New York, where every alley is blind and the penthouses are as dangerous as the basements. Fearfully knowing, crackling with narrative tension, and written in prose as forceful as a hollow-point slug, Flood is Burke at his deadliest--and Vachss at the peak of his form. "An extraordinary thriller.... Vachss never flinches from the horror." --Washington Post Book World "Burke would eat Spade and Marlowe for breakfast, not even spitting out the bones. He] is one tough, mean, pray-God-you-don't-meet-him hombre." --Boston Herald

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Dutch translation of Flood?
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