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ANOTHER LIFE by Andrew Vachss

ANOTHER LIFE

By Andrew Vachss

Pub Date: Dec. 30th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-307-37741-8
Publisher: Pantheon

Avenging angel Burke goes global in search of the kidnapped son of a Saudi prince.

You might think that Burke would want to concentrate on his family, since his dad, the Prof, got shot up good during their last caper (Terminal, 2007) and is currently stashed in an ultrasecret, ultraprivate hospital under the care of West Indian nurse Taralyn, who’s definitely caught the eye of brother Clarence. But health coverage for outlaws is mighty poor in the United States, so Burke takes on a job guaranteed to raise some cash. A shadowy agent named Pryce asks him to locate the two-year-old son of Prince Fazid el Kandal, grabbed from his custom Rolls during one of their evening drives. An added hook for child-advocate Burke is that Fazid used those excursions to give the toddler firsthand lessons on how to mistreat prostitutes. But there’s something hinky about the snatch. Although Fazid is sitting on enough oil to power a platoon of Hummers, there’s no ransom demand, no political angle, no word at all from the kidnappers. So with the help of his mix-and-match “family,” Burke thrashes through his world of lowlifes, looking back all the while at his disabled dad and his own checkered career to find a predator where you’d least expect.

For a guy who hates shrinks, Burke spends way too much time working through his private traumas, putting the brakes on what would otherwise be an engrossing thriller. His writing may be more therapeutic for the hero than for his readers.