Knopf, Apr 2004, 19.95
Eva Wolfe lost her job as sex-crimes prosecutor when she refused to let a politically protected offender get away with his crimes. Though the success rate of prosecuting these vermin has dramatically gone down, her former superiors remain happy to see her gone, as she was a career liability. Not so shockingly, street vigilante Burke, who eradicates sex predators as an illegal but cleansing sideline, admires and loves Eva with a passion though she apparently does not return his feelings.
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When convicted serial rapist John Anson Wychek gains his freedom due to a legal technicality, the police arrest Wolfe, accusing her of rage when her former case unraveled leading to her shooting him three times. Before becoming comatose, Wychek accused Wolfe of trying to kill him. Thus, this one is personal on two counts as Burke with the help of the Irregulars begins digging for the truth because the love of his life would not shoot this human bug in cold blood.
Burke is a wee bit different in this novel though the dregs of society looking from DOWN HERE would probably differ. This time he wears positive feelings on his sleeves, not just his usual avenging soul. Still even as Burke shows more heart than usual, the story line remains classic Vachss with lowlifes taking it in the shorts. The investigation is fun to follow as Max the Silent, the Professor, and Mama are their typical irresistible selves enhancing the fact that Burke's back in town.