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Mask Market: A Burke Novel    by Andrew Vachss order for
Mask Market
by Andrew Vachss
Order:  USA  Can
Pantheon, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lisa Respers France

Burke is back! Andrew Vachss' anti-hero returns in the 16th novel in this hardboiled crime series which has delighted fans for years. This time Burke, a sometimes off the books investigator and always thief, finds himself searching for a woman who was once a runaway he returned home years before. When a meet with a potential client ends with the man picked off by assassins, Burke must find out if he is also in the killers' scope and unravel the relationship between the victim and the one time runaway.

The solo named Burke is in his element here, working the streets of New York as he tries to put together the pieces of a puzzle that involve his past and could determine his future. The characters from his self made family are all back and it's good to see Burke once again winding through the subways and navigating Gotham during his trek for survival.

These books are as dark as noir can get and may not be to everyone's taste. But for those who can stand the heat in Mama's kitchen, it's a thrill ride which confirms that Andrew Vachss is well beyond the comparisons to Chandler and Hammett - he is now one of the masters himself with his own sense of gritty style.

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