Urban Renewal: A Cross Novel

Andrew Vachss. Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-8041-6881-6
The enigmatic Cross and his crew of misfits, who occupy a fortified position in a ruined Chicago, kill for money, or to make a point, though they do neither indiscriminately, as shown in Vachss’s hard-hitting sequel to 2012’s Blackjack. Cross’s colorful cohorts include Princess, known for his flamboyant dress and for his bashing of gay-bashers; squeaky-voiced Rhino, who weighs 500-plus pounds; pudgy sharpshooter Buddha; temperamental Tiger; and Ace, the assassin. A plan proposed by Buddha’s wife involves the group in buying up five houses in an unclaimed gang area and turning them over for a profit. Killing a few gangbangers serves to draw a boundary for the project. An assassination is refused, another accepted; a pimp’s girl is protected, and the pimp eliminated. This raucous ride also provides background on how Cross, Rhino, and Ace came together in a vile juvenile institution. Agent: Lou Bank, Ten Angry Pitbulls. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 01/21/2014
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