In this mercilessly compelling thriller, Burke—the private eye, sting artist, and occasional hit man who metes out a cruelly ingenious vengeance on those who victimize children—is up against a soft-spoken messiah, who may be rescuing runaways or recruiting them for his own hideous purposes. But in doing so Burke becomes a target for an entire Mafia family, a whore with a heart of cyanide, and a contract killer as implacable as a heat-seeking missile. Written with Vachss's signature narrative overdrive—and his unnerving familiarity with the sub-basement of American crime—Hard Candy is vintage Burke.
Vachss's fourth street-smart novel featuring an unlicensed, ex-con private eye known as Burke has the shamus trying to rescue an old flame's daughter from a cult in Brooklyn, while coping with the rumor that he has become a gun for hire. ``Burke's turf--the sleazy underbelly of New York--springs to life in cinematic scenes,'' wrote PW.