The man known only as Cross and his multi-skilled team of urban mercenaries are back, this time invading one of Chicago's least desirable neighborhoods in a land-grab that has the entire underworld puzzled. Chicago has no shortage of deadly gangs. They all know the Cross Crew occupies a cinderblock bunker called Red 71. The Crew is notorious for its deadly efficiency and its disinterest in anything but money. So why has it turned from seller to buyer, grabbing up houses on a block where only a few holdouts against urban decay remain? Both the cops and the underworld are watching closely...but are they the only ones?
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Weird but satisfying
Just to be clear, I’m new to Andrew Vachss. I’ve read a couple of his Burke books, but that’s all. Here I was hoping for something like a Burke book without it being a Burke book because the first two of those were really similar. I have a feeling after reading this one that all of Vachss’ books follow similar lines. That’s fine. I guess most genre authors do. These Cross have enough going on and is different enough that I actually prefer them over Burke at this point. The rough edges are rougher and the street crime stories are mixed with flourishes of the military, supernatural (maybe) and even exploitation, which I really liked. The world of Cross feels VERY much like Walter Hill’s The Warriors to me.
This is the second Cross book and I have just started the first one. I recommend reading the first (Blackjack) before you buy this one. You could read this without reading Blackjack first, but you might feel lost like I did for some of the time.
I admire Vachss’ work so far, but I don’t know how good I’d say his actual writing is. These Cross books are told in the 3rd person and I think the 1rst person suits Vachss better. Because he still tells the story like a guy talking to you and it stylistically doesn’t work. I also didn’t always know what was happening in the story. Some of that was because I hadn’t read Blackjack. It was also because of plotting issues.
But that’s what I mean by the book having rough edges. That’s OK with me. It sort of works for the story.
- Bradley P. Valentine
Cross is no longer rightous