Burke finds two cops gunning for him. One, Belinda, wants him to clear an imprisoned man for murder. The other, Morales, wants Burke dead or in jail. But how are the two cops linked...
Here we are again, another installment in Andrew Vachss Burke series. Like most of them, it's bleaker than a Valentine's Day at Jim Thompson's house.
Belinda, a character introduced in the previous Burke book, wants Burke to clear a prisoner of a murder. It seems other victims have turned up dead with the same calling card, a red ribbon inserted in the birth canal. Standing in Burke's way is a gung-ho cop named Morales, who wants Burke for a number of crimes, some of which he didn't even commit. As per usual, Burke plots and schemes his way to the novel's thrilling conclusion, which I didn't see coming until it was too late.
For my money, the thing that keeps me coming back to a long-running series of this kind are the characters. At this point, I'd read a book featuring Burke playing cards with Mama and the Prof. In this book, Vachss introduces another character, Frankie. Frankie's an up and coming boxer trained by the Prof and I hope he's a recurring member of the cast.
Belinda and Morales made suitable foils for Burke. I was surprised by the end and hope the repercussions are felt in the next book.
About the only gripe I had was that there weren't enough clues for me to solve the mystery. Other than that, no complaints. It was a worthy addition to the Burke saga.