Audiobook Review: Blossom by Andrew Vachss

8 01 2011

Blossom by Andre Vachss

Read by Phil Gigante

Brilliance Audio

Burke isn’t your typical thriller hero. First off, he’s a criminal. A thief and hijacker, Burke lives on the edge of society, looking down on the rest of society, the citizens that inhabit day to day life. Although skewed, Burke lives by a strict moral code. Having no biological family, he embraces his real family, others who live on the edge of society. Yet, Burke has a “weakness.” An extreme distaste for sexual freaks who prey on innocent children. Using that as a basis, Andrew Vachss takes us into an often times unpleasant, yet fascinating world, the urban jungle of New York, where children are exploited everyday. Here Burke lives as an anti-hero, taking down rapists and pedophiles. Working with cops and people in the “system: yet, according to his own rules, often bringing heat on himself.

Yet, in Blossom, the fifth novel in this series, Burke is a fish out of water. Drawn to a small town in Indiana, summoned by his “brother” former cell mate Virgil, Burke is hunting a sexual sniper, who is targeting kids at lover’s lane. While the setting is different, Burke is the same, and not only finds himself embroiled in the hunt, but in the arms of the sister of one of the victims of the sniper.

Blossom is another fascinating edition to the Burke series. While missing the grit and grotesqueness of Burke’s New York, there is a bit of freshness to this tale. Burke may be a gruff and sometimes unlikable character, but his stories, and his assorted family makes the tales he is telling enthralling. Vachss knows about the world he writes, and this authentic take on it adds to the story.

To make things even better, Phil Gigante is the narrator on Blossom, again bringing his bluesy cool voice to Burke’s world. One of the better narrators working today, Gigante handles everyone from the monosyllabic Mole to the poetic preacher man Prof, as if they are all instruments in this literary version of a blues number.

Grade B+



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