"... ticks with the inexorable deliberation of a bomb about to blow."
A BOMB BUILT IN HELL
"History has caught up to Wesley's bleak odyssey, repeatedly rejected for publication decades ago but now unnervingly prescient."—Kirkus (click here to read the entire review)
"[Phil] Gigante uses his voice to paint Vachss' dark portrait with such vivid detail that it makes the novel even that much more shocking. Like a musician finally finding just the right song, Vachss' world is the perfect fit for Gigante, and together they create something special."—The Guilded Earlobe (click here to read the entire audiobook review)
"Andrew Vachss wrote his first novel based on professional experiences dealing with the children of abuse. He couldn't find a publisher because they all felt it was too unrealistic, despite the fact that it was all deeply rooted in the real world; a world he had seen first'hand. But at the time, the collective mindset was that such things just didn't happen. History has proven them wrong, and the book finally found a publisher."—Dagan Books (click here to read the entire article)
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Sept 18, 2000
Vachss introduces hardened hit man Wesley in this stinging, disturbing prelude, written in 1973, to his popular Burke outlaw PI series. Serving time for killing a fellow criminal, Wesley meets Carmine Trentoni, who, despite serving a life sentence, remains connected to the outside and who takes Wesley under his wing. Upon leaving prison, Wesley locates Carmine's ally, Mr. Petraglia ("Pet"), and the pair soon are hired to "take out" whomever their clients choose. Exquisite planning, professional technique and sharp intuition guide Wesley and Pet through the murders of an Asian mobster, a competing hit man and a Haitian leader. Each death earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the killers live in nearly complete obscurity in an old shirt factory in Brooklyn. Wesley isn't wholly satisfied with his lot, though, and sets out to make his mark on the world in an unforgettably dire fashion. In many ways, this novel provides a rough template for the Burke series, in which Wesley plays a major role. Vachss's prose, though not as stylized as the writing that would take the mystery world by storm in Flood, is as tight and succinct as Wesley's meticulously planned murders. Every Burke fan should read this novel, which ticks with the inexorable deliberation of a bomb about to blow.
© 2000 Cahners Business Information
Andrew Vachss' pre-Flood novel, A Bomb Built in Hell, was written in 1973.
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