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Trojan Horses
Cross and Crew
by Andrew Vachss

There are places in America where the only reason for living is the hope of escape.

"Genre" is a ghetto, too.

Cross and crew originated in a series of short stories. I wanted to crank "Family of Choice"—the hallmark of my writing and my life—up another notch. To show how the childhood experiences of some—of us—can crystallize into an all-pervasive sense that they are not, and never will be, members of society. They don't turn into "outlaws"; nothing so romantic as that. "Outcasts" is closer, but it still doesn't convey the reality. For Cross and his crew, America is not their country. They have no country. The hate "them" all. They are together, bonded in blood, because there was no other place to go.

I needed an amoral protagonist, the better to illuminate the amorality of the world around him. Cross is a mercenary, but his crew is no A-Team. A man without a country, Cross is also a man without boundaries. He has no higher sense of honor, no "code," no loyalty to anything but "getting it done." A remorseless assassin ("White Alligator"), Cross's trademark is working the middle, betraying both the paymaster and the victim. Hence his name. "Value Received" is a good example. Even when confronted with the worst evil on this planet (the kiddie-porn creator in "Cripple"), Cross is as detached as an exterminator. And although he is a master tactician ("Mad Dog"), his core is utter simplicity: he is a man for hire ... any other job description is meaningless.

Cross also provided an opening for me to explore a parallel existence ... of the last tribe of species-protectors. Amazon calls this a visit to the "Supernatural" genre. As the Simbas are thematic, I guess that label will stick as well.

Sample stories: "The Concrete Puppy" and "Mad Dog"

Drawing Dead by Andrew VachssDrawing Dead
Vintage, April 19, 2016 (trade paperback)
Vintage, April 19, 2016 (eBook/Kindle)
Dreamscape, April 19, 2016 (audiobook)

Urban Renewal by Andrew VachssUrban Renewal
Vintage, January 21, 2014 (trade paperback)
Vintage, January 21, 2014 (eBook/Kindle)
Dreamscape, January 21, 2014 (audiobook)

Blackjack: A Cross novel by Andrew Vachss

Blackjack: A Cross Novel
Vintage, July 10, 2012 (trade paperback)
Vintage, July 10, 2012 (eBook/Kindle)
Dreamscape, July 10, 2012 (audiobook)

Profile by Andrew Vachss"Profile: A Cross Story"
An original short story, with illustrations by Geof Darrow, appearing in Dark Horse Presents #13
Dark Horse, June 20, 2012
Everybody Pays by Andrew VachssEverybody Pays
Including these Cross short stories:
"The Concrete Puppy," "Harvest Time," "Pigeon Drop," and "Two-Way Radio"
Vintage, 1999 (trade paperback)
Vintage, 2001 (eBook/Kindle)
Cross by Andrew VachssAndrew Vachss' Cross
Seven-issue series
(with James Colbert)
Dark Horse, 1995

Born Bad by Andrew Vachss

Born Bad
Including these Cross short stories:
"Bandit," "Cripple," "Mad Dog," "Statute of Limitations," "Crossfire," "Value Received," "Head Case," and "Kidnap"
Vintage, 1994 (trade paperback)
Vintage, 2001 (eBook/Kindle)


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