A woman calling herself Strega hires Burke to find an obscene photograph of her friend's five year old son. As Burke's quest takes him through a web of Nazis, pimps, and kiddie porn dealers, Strega gets her hooks deeper into him. Can Burke find the photo and escape Strega's grasp?
As I said in my review for Flood, Burke's adventures are so dark it took a man with an eyepatch to write them. Vachss takes Burke on another journey through hell and back.
The thing about Burke is that even though you know he's not a nice person, the bad guys are always so much worse. Burke's case was even darker than the last. When he had to talk to a pedophile for information after promising not to kill him, I was just as disgusted as Burke. No man is an island and Burke is no exception. His supporting cast adds a lot of depth, proving that even though Burke is a paranoid schemer, he still has some redeeming qualities.
Strega, the title character, was a much more interesting character than Flood, the title character of the previous book. Half the time I didn't know what she was going to do next. I expected the final twist but it was still effective.
Strega was a gripping read, quick but powerful. I highly recommend it but only if you have a strong stomach. There's no way I could read Burke stories back to back. His world is just too bleak.