From Publishers Weekly: "The enigmatic Cross and his crew of misfits, who occupy a fortified position in a ruined Chicago, kill for money, or to make a point, though they do neither indiscriminately, as shown in Vachss's hard-hitting sequel to 2012's Blackjack. Cross's colorful cohorts include Princess, known for his flamboyant dress and for his bashing of gay-bashers; squeaky-voiced Rhino, who weighs 500-plus pounds; pudgy sharpshooter Buddha; temperamental Tiger; and Ace, the assassin. A plan proposed by Buddha's wife involves the group in buying up five houses in an unclaimed gang area and turning them over for a profit. Killing a few gangbangers serves to draw a boundary for the project. An assassination is refused, another accepted; a pimp's girl is protected, and the pimp eliminated. This raucous ride also provides background on how Cross, Rhino, and Ace came together in a vile juvenile institution."
From Booklist: "Cross, a deadly ex-con with a crew of kindred souls, operates outside the usual parameters of Chicago
crime. The gangs, the ethnic mobs, and the cops stay clear of Cross' crew. The crew will separate the
straights from their money via an off-the-grid strip club, but its primary M.O. is extracting money from
other criminals. The threat of violence if one confronts Cross is high, but so few have survived a head-to-head
that sensible criminals avoid the situation. With Chicago's gang situation fractured — microgangs
claim territory by the block rather than the neighborhood — Cross buys recently abandoned property prime
for rehab. Wha? This Old House: Ex-Con Edition? What is he up to? His rivals want to find out. Let the
games begin. Vachss is unlike any other crime writer. His Burke series set the standard for dark noir. Cross
is a bit more conventional than Burke, but not much. The straight world is as corrupt as any 'criminal'
enterprise, and Cross and crew, fiercely loyal to each other, set out to exploit it. Readers who want to visit
a new twist on the dark side will be mesmerized."