Cover image for Dead and gone
Dead and gone
Vachss, Andrew H.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 2000.
Physical Description:
333 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



A ransom exchange is compromised, his employer murdered & Burke is on the run, hunted by both the forces of order and disorder. He has stumbled upon a criminal conspiracy of extraordinary scope and unfathomable evil, & will need all his training in the dark arts if he is to survive and bring the guilty to justice.

Author Notes

Hardboiled writer Andrew Henry Vachss was born on October 19, 1942 in New York City. He attended Case Western Reserve University and the New England School of Law.

Vachss has worked in many government and law enforcement organizations, ranging from the U. S. Public Health Service to the New York City Juvenile Justice Planning Project.

Vachss' work as a writer includes a series of books featuring an unlicensed private detective named Burke. Burke's appearances include Flood, Strega, Blue Belle, Hard Candy, Blossom and Sacrifice. Vachss has also written comic books and graphic novels.

(Bowker Author Biography) Andrew Vachss was born on October 19, 1942 in New York, New York. He graduated magna cum laude from the New England School of Law in 1975 and received a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University in 1965.

Some of Vachss' extensive experience include positions as an Attorney and Consultant, Adjunct Professor at the College of New Resources, New York, NY, Director of the Juvenile Justice Planning Project, New York, NY, Project Director of the Dept. of Youth Services, Boston, MA, and Unit Supervisor for the Dept. of Social Services, New York, NY. He is a member of the American Society of Criminology, National Association of Counsel for Children, American Professional Society of the Abuse of Children, and PEN American Center.

Vachss' first novel, "Flood" (1985), began his series of detective stories that feature the unlicensed private detective known as Burke. Burke narrates the novels "Flood," "Strega," "Blue Belle," "Hard Candy," "Blossom," and "Sacrifice." His subject matter uses child-related sex crimes, which is something Vachss spent his entire career observing. His literary awards include the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere for "Strega" in 1988, The Falcon Award for "Strega" in 1988, and Deutschen Krimi Preis, Die Jury des Bochumer Krimi Archivs for "Flood" in 1989.

Vachss has also written collected short stories: "Born Bad" (1994), and "Everybody Pays" (1999). He is also a contributing editor for Parade Magazine.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Burke, the ex-con protector of children, accepts a job as the middleman in a ransom exchange; his assignment is to drop the money and return a child, missing for 10 years, to his parents. But it isn't really an exchange; it's a setup to kill Burke; and it almost works. Burke's beloved companion, a Neopolitan mastiff named Pansy, is killed, and Burke himself winds up near death in a hospital bed (his assassins believe he has died). After a long recuperative period, secreted away in the womb of his adopted "family" of cons, arms dealers, and assassins, Burke forges a single-minded plan for revenge, beginning with the Russian gangster who brokered the deal. With the aid of Gem, a beautiful Cambodian refugeee who speaks Russian, and Byron, a mercenary whose life Burke saved in Biafra, Burke confronts a bizarre international cadre of degenerates who prey on children and have hatched a plan to buy themselves immunity by establishing their own country on a remote island. The left-for-dead-but-back-for-revenge plot is an old one, but Vachss manages to give it new life. Burke isn't quite as dark as he's been in the past, finding time to wax poetic on Chicago bluesman Son Seals and to discuss hot cars with other gear heads. But the message is the same: no mercy for the exploiters of children. Vachss--in real life, an advocate and attorney for children--spreads his message effectively through the ever dangerous, relentless Burke. Crime fiction with a powerful moral. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Burke, the dark avenger of Vachss's ultra-gritty urban crime series, has been killing bad peopleÄusually child molestersÄfor most of his 40-odd years. Somebody was bound to catch up with him eventually, and that's exactly what happens in this 13th installment in the series. Professional killers ambush Burke late one night, putting a bullet in his head and killing his beloved dog, Pansy. Physically, Vachss's self-professed "outlaw" is a changed man when he finally sneaks out of the hospital. But he's still the same old Burke on the inside. He wants revengeÄbut he has no idea who masterminded the attack. Thus begins a months-long odyssey that takes him all over the country. Tapping into his extensive network of gray-area lawmen, violent criminals, degenerates of all stripes, beautiful women and whacked-out geniuses, he slowly pieces together which one of his enemies (a) is still alive, and (b) has the resources to have engineered such a sophisticated hit. Vachss's voice, as always, is one of the most distinctive in crime fictionÄlean and tough, heavy on vernacular, notable for what's not said rather than for what is. Yet his plotting here is ponderous, with vast stretches of story devoted to Burke's self-analysis and a strange love affair he develops with Gem, a Cambodian woman he meets in Portland. Hardcore Burke fans may find the inner character work fascinating, as Burke reveals far more of himself and his sordid past here than in previous books. The novel's otherwise underwhelming finale does contain another nugget for fans: it appears likely that Burke will be leaving his longtime home, New York City, for the Pacific Northwest in coming books, just as Vachss did a few years ago. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the latest novel from attorney and novelist Vachss (Choice of Evil), criminal character Burke is about to have his life changed forever. A child has been kidnapped, and Burke agrees to deliver the ransom. But this really isn't an exchangeDit's a set-up, and Burke is shot several times, then left for dead. Barely alive, he must recuperate for months to get back into fighting shape, always nursing the single goal of wreaking revenge on those responsible for his injuries. The action moves from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest, with Burke, as always, at an advantage because he is believed to be dead. Fans of previous novels in the "Burke" series will be shocked at some of the plot twists in this exciting addition. Recommended for all public libraries.DJeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.