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' signature narrative overdrive — and with his unnerving familiarity with the sub-basement of American crime — Hard Candy is vintage Burke. “Burke fills a void. . . . With his soiled white hat, this Lone Ranger. . . asks difficult questions while shining light into the darkest recesses.” — Chicago Tribune “There’s no way to put a [Vachss book] down once you’ve begun. . . . The plot hooks are engaging and the one-liners pierce like bullets.” — Detroit Free Press
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