Read Safe House by Andrew Vachss Online

safe-house

In Burke, Vachss gave readers of crime fiction a hero they could believe in, an avenger whose sense of justice was forged behind bars and tempered on New York's meanest streets.  In this blistering new thriller, Burke is drawn into his ugliest case yet, one that involves an underground network of abused women and the sleekly ingenious stalkers who've marked them as their pIn Burke, Vachss gave readers of crime fiction a hero they could believe in, an avenger whose sense of justice was forged behind bars and tempered on New York's meanest streets.  In this blistering new thriller, Burke is drawn into his ugliest case yet, one that involves an underground network of abused women and the sleekly ingenious stalkers who've marked them as their personal victims.       Burke's client is Crystal Beth, a beautiful outlaw with a tattoo on her face and a mission burned into her heart.  She is trying to shield one of her charges from a vengeful ex with fetishes for Nazism and torture. But the stalker has a protector, someone so informed, so ruthless, and so connected that he need only make a few phone calls to shut down Crystal Beth's operation for good—and Burke along with it.  Sinuous in its complexities, brutal in its momentum, Safe House is Burke at the edge of his nerve and cunning.  And it's Vachss at the peak of his form....

Title : Safe House
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375700743
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Safe House Reviews

  • Larry Bassett
    2018-09-26 19:53

    This is Burke #10. He is not known for long explanations or discourses or character development. Here is one example of the kind of rough sketch that you have to expect from Vachss. Vyra doesn’t know what I do , but she knows I’m not an accountant. She get nosy every once in a while – just to keep in practice, I think. But she doesn’t push, and it never comes to anything.Vyra knows where to find me. Or where to leave word, anyway. She never calls unless she’s already got a hotel room. And if I’m around when she calls, we get together and do what we do. But only if I’m around when she calls. I never think about what she does when I’m not. You learn a bit about the six or so supporting actors (including the dog) who appear regularly in the series. But pretty much limited to one or two things. Once you have reached this book (#10) in the series you know what pinch of plot each one adds. It is pretty immutable from book to book. They are all odd balls and the single skill that each one has only works only to advance the plot and not to deepen our feeling for the character. About a decade has gone by since the first book and there are some changes in the characters due to the passing of the years: the boy becomes a teenager, the transvestite becomes a woman with her sex change operation. In a relative sense these might seem to be examples of major but they are anticipated, no surprises. With Vachss you get some interesting stray information in the mix. What’s the scoop in a good cigar?“An old pal of mine makes them down in Honduras. Cuban seeds, Cuban artisans, but he says Cuban soil is all played out. These are better.” You get unique NYC atmosphere. Since I love NYC and have some familiarity with it, that is always enjoyable. The place looked like a Southern juke joint, only bigger and without the music. Ramshackle, thrown-together furniture, a big red-and-white Coke sign behind the wood plank bar, yellowing posters on the walls – looked like they’d been swiped from a Medicaid dentist’s office. The low ceiling trapped a heavy, multi-tone hum of voices, keeping the heat close to the floor. Somebody had nailed a THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING sign to the side wall. The floor was a giant ashtray. Of course there is the familiar.A tureen of hot-and-sour soup was at my elbow even before she made her way to my booth in the back. Always the familiar. And always direct and without embellishment.Once, I’d asked her why I had to have at least three bowls at every sitting. “Bowl small,” is all she said, and I haven’t questioned her since. Something new: a bad guy who wants a new career as a gardener. Really. Right at the beginning on page thirty-seven. No real relevance to the plot except that it allows the potential gardener to observe that one woman has eyes that are “brown like peat moss.”Humor: a lawyer joke. Understated. The Burke Way. “Yes. Of course, I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times in your line of work.”Seeing as how she’d been nice enough to upgrade me from thug to psychologist – or downgrade me to lawyer, I couldn’t tell which – I decided to let that one pass. You got to be prepared for unusual names in a Burke story. You’ve already run into Vyra up at the top of this review. But what do you think about Crystal Beth? Is that too cute? Burke usually has a new woman in each book. Crystal Beth is the new woman in this book. I say to myself, “Am I really reading this?” Vachss books are not meant to seriously challenge your brain. But it is interesting to wonder if a strong woman – maybe even a feminist – could also be a willing sex object.You have seen Burke’s recommendation of singer Judy Henske in prior books as well as this one. He has an author to add to his recommendation list here: Joe R. Lansdale. Just remember that this book was published in 1998 so you have to look for his books from that era. Look for the Hap Collins and Leonard Pine series that began in 1990. “Hap and Leonard return in this incredible, mad-dash thriller, loaded with crack addicts, a serial killer, and a body count.” Number eleven in that seriesDead Aimwas just published in January 2013.I got interested in Vachss because he struggled with and wrote about child abuse.Safe Houseis mostly about stalkers. Our hero (hero is strange word to attach to Burke) was a seriously abused child and he mentions that in each book as he gives some of his personal background. So, with that connection, all of the Burke books are connected with child abuse. But I wanted more on abused children and the people who abuse them. It seems so strange that Burke is opposed to and is a victim of violence on the one hand and yet is such a consistent user of violence on the other hand.There are about a half dozen one page examples of different stalking MOs towards the end of the book. They are interesting and help you learn more about the topic, but, as I have observed several times, it is information that doesn’t add anything directly to the plot. This is part of the Vachss effort to educate the reader but we probably didn’t need quite so many examples. Vachss inserts them at a pause in the action and, as a result they distract. They primarily tell about violence against women, an important awareness, but come off like a commercial interrupting the story.Here is a short exchange that, I think, shows some of who Burke is. As the main character, Burke has the most character development but it does not come in chunks, only bits as the series moves along. “You know what happens when a raccoon gets his leg caught in one of those steel traps, Herk? You know what he’s got to do, he wants to live?”“Bite the leg off?” the big man said.“Yeah. There’s two kinds of raccoons get caught in those traps. The ones with balls enough to do what they gotta do. And dead ones. A bitch raccoon gets in heat, she wants a stud that’s gonna give her the strongest babies, understand? You know what she looks for? Not the biggest raccoon. Not the prettiest one either. A smart bitch, she looks for the one with three legs.” I enjoy reading the Burke series and expect to continue to its conclusion. After all, I already have all the remaining books. At the end of this book I wonder if Burke’s new love will make the cut and appear in the next story. With the words of a Michael Jackson song turned on their head, I await the development of Burke: I’m a fighter, not a lover. It seems to me that in this book Vachss has begun to portray Burke more as a violent criminal than as a crusader for the abused child. I am looking forward to the next book to see if that trend continues.A strong minority of me wants to give Safe House four stars, but I am going to go with my majority and limit myself to three. I want more child abusers and their victims. I want fewer Nazi skin heads. I want Burke to more regularly charge in and save the good guy rather than kill the bad guy.

  • Tim Niland
    2018-10-07 23:49

    When ex-con, con-man and unlicensed private investigator Burke is contacted by a former jailhouse buddy about his need to disappear, he gets pulled into a secret underground of women who are protecting battered and abused women and children from harm. This is one of the wildest Burke stories, involving neo-nazis, undercover government agents and the witness protection program. When Burke gets in deep, he calls in his "family": reclusive tech genius The Mole, con-man and former strong-arm bandit The Prof and weapons expert Clarance. Together they must save Burke's friend, outwit the feds and the neo-nazis and thwart a terrorist attack. This was a very interesting book, not your typical noir crime novel. Vachss pushes a the envelope a lot, particularly in his descriptions of "warrior women" who run shelters and protect others from harm.

  • William Thomas
    2018-10-13 20:55

    the book started out as almost all of vachss' books do, in that it is gritty as well as literary, opening pages always rivalling raymond chandler for their wit and metaphor. however, like most all other burke novels it degenerated quickly into the typical expository for a few hundred pages. all explanation and no get up and go. very little action in the slumps, but the writing is fast paced and solid and easy to breeze through. even though it feels the need to explain itself too often, the book is full of amazing observation. i read it in just a few hours, so it isn't a huge investment.

  • Craig Werner
    2018-10-18 01:26

    Good Burke novel, clever plot, another installment in the thematic attack on sexual violence of all sorts.

  • Lukasz Pruski
    2018-09-29 00:51

    "First conviction for gang-fighting, [...] Age thirteen. [...] attempted murder with a handgun. Subsequent adult prison sentences for armed robbery, hijacking, and assault with intent."I like to alternate between the so-called serious books and pure entertainment reads, and I chose Andrew Vachss' novel Safe House" (1998) as a breather between critically acclaimed works by J.M. Coetzee and Helen Garner. Mr. Vachss is a lawyer specializing in child protection and has experience as a federal investigator and social services caseworker; this experience clearly shows in the novel, which contains compelling stories of women's abuse. Safe House, whose main theme is the fight against stalkers, is the tenth book in the Burke series. Since I have not read any other entries in the set I have had some difficulties getting into the novel: its extensive menagerie of characters is intimidating to someone who is not a Vachss' reader.In the novel - and presumably in the whole series - Burke, an ex-convict (see the epigraph) and a career criminal available for hire, is a force for good. He is helping his old prison pal, Hercules, who has gotten into trouble while doing a job for a nebulous organization that assists stalking victims. Hired by Crystal Beth, an active member of the organization, Burke works with her to find a dangerous abuser of women, who feels untouchable because of his connections to law enforcement. Burke and Crystal - soon linked not only by a common purpose but also mutual attraction - work in a world where the distinctions between law and crime are blurred and the main actors have connections to both sides.The theme of stalking and women abuse is important and timely. The reader has no doubts that the horror stories which Crystal Beth and her co-workers share with Burke are based on common real-life events. On the other hand, most everything else in the novel is subpar. The protagonists are not real people, they are just devices to carry the plot, caricatures that exist only on paper. The silliest feature of the novel is Burke's unrelenting quest to be cool and to demonstrate the absolute self-control. His utter cool is utterly ridiculous. The apotheosis of coolness becomes the main motif of the novel at the expense of plausible psychology and realistic grounding of the plot in social issues.One and three quarter stars.

  • Gina
    2018-10-12 01:40

    When ex-con, con-man and unlicensed private investigator Burke is contacted by a former jailhouse buddy about his need to disappear, he gets pulled into a secret underground of women who are protecting battered and abused women and children from harm. This is one of the wildest Burke stories, involving neo-nazis, undercover government agents and the witness protection program. When Burke gets in deep, he calls in his "family": reclusive tech genius The Mole, con-man and former strong-arm bandit The Prof and weapons expert Clarance. Together they must save Burke's friend, outwit the feds and the neo-nazis and thwart a terrorist attack. I have never read this author before and I have to say it really isn't my cup of tea. From the very beginning I couldn't stand the Prof's rhyming. It was so cliched and dated and it drove me absolultely crazy. I thought the story was going to be more about the safehouse for women but it is more about the criminals trying to save Hercules, another criminal, from going back to prison. This was very dark and gritty and just not my thing. I read this for a challenge and I am glad I am done with it. I can't say I would recommend it to anyone. 2 stars.

  • Spencer Abbott
    2018-10-17 01:40

    A bit of a departure for the Burke series. This one plays it pretty close to the vest with a relatively low-key story involving "Nazis" and their attempt to blow up a government building in Manhattan. Rather low on action, but heavy on the espionage, cloak/dagger mystique, complete with terrorist cells, shady operatives, and informants. There is a potential set-up for another "crew" (or "family", if you will), that would compliment Burke's posse (and Wolfe's, as well), but we'll have to wait and see if they materialize in future books. Keeping in tune with the previous books in the series, the set-up is long and the payoff comes quick (the last 20 pages). There were a few puzzling moments, but for the most part it's a solid effort, albeit not as page turning as some of the previous ones (took me a work week to read instead of a day, for example).

  • St Fu
    2018-10-03 17:54

    Reading a Burke novel isn't like reading a normal book. It's a comfort food, not a gourmet treat. I got the comfort I was seeking. The series is reliable that way. You get a foreground of intense but damaged love, the kind of intensity that requires the damage to prove its depth, in a background of a cynicism that feels more like reality than reality itself. You get the only kind of justice available in such an environment. You ignore the flaws and go for the feelings. If you can soak a while in this, you'll be glad you did. If you can't, I feel sorry for you.

  • Robin
    2018-09-24 20:41

    I was looking for book with male characters that were broken inside but with a tough exterior that push people away yet still do good even it is through violence. I found that exact person in the character of Burke. My first introduction to him in this novel just made me want to run out and get every other book in the series. I *love* it when I discover a new series of novels that I know I will enjoy from the start.

  • Chris
    2018-09-19 17:38

    I love all the characters in this series. The plots are always deep and dark, but trying to take down a potential threat that could start a terror epidemic in America. Strangely, this was written before Sept. 11, but when they talked about blowing up part of New York, it strangely foreshadowed what did happen just 3 years later. Also hearing how people stalked on the Internet in its infancy was strangely imsightful too.

  • Katy
    2018-10-13 22:29

    I cannot give a rating on this book since I didn't finish. I was listening to the audiobook on vacation, and ran out of time. I wasn't too upset to not finish though - which is unlike me. I didn't particularly like or dislike the book - it was okay. It was intriguing, but slow. Perhaps some day I'll finish.

  • Bernie
    2018-10-18 21:53

    Too many cliches, supporting characters are flat and seems like the whole series is just one large characterture. I realize that it is hard to keep an ongoing series fresh but it seems like it is the same thing over and over and over again.

  • Mandy
    2018-10-19 17:48

    Interesting to see Vachss branch out from child sex power plays to adult on adult crime that only periphereally involve children. He picked up the pace a bit in this one... reserving judgment on Crystal Beth; I want to like her as she's not a one-time Noir fantasy lay, but... we'll see.

  • David Ward
    2018-10-16 23:48

    Safe House (Burke #10) by Andrew Vachss (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard 1988) (Fiction - Mystery) is one of the better books from the Burke series. This one features Crystal Beth as a native American girlfriend, Nazis, and stalkers. My rating: 6/10, finished 6/8/11.

  • Lynn
    2018-10-15 01:35

    Quick blast of different nasty bad people (stalkers and Nazis) and good peoples' efforts to defeat them. As usual there is a lot to learn about bleak ideas and behaviors from Burke.

  • Debdanz
    2018-10-06 20:52

    loved the fact that vachss put out a blues cd to accompany this story. i love the vigilante justice of this series. but it's dark and gritty.

  • Stuart Mcgrigor
    2018-09-19 23:42

    Another great Burke installment....