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I owe a debt of gratitude that I will never be able to pay. That debt is to a librarian, Bonnie Andrews, who ran the base library on Iraklion Air Station, Crete, Greece for well over 20 years. I hope that by passing along what she did for me will help lessen what I owe.

I was in the library one day looking for something to pique my interest. I had already read the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald and the available Matt Scudder books by Lawrence Block so Bonnie dug out a book called FLOOD by a lawyer named Andrew Vachss. Now lawyers get a lot of grief in their lives. This guy? He gives grief. He gives it in great big steaming heaps that turn into Grief Mountain and you can’t climb it or drive around it. So you gotta plow your way through it.

The best way to do that? Read. His. Books.

Start with FLOOD.

“Burke’s newest client is a woman named Flood, who has the face of an angel, the body of a high-priced stripper, and the skills of a professional executioner. She wants Burke to find a monster for her — so she can kill him with her bare hands. In this cauterizing thriller, Andrew Vachss’ renegade private eye teams up with a lethally gifted avenger to follow a child’s murderer through the catacombs of New York, where every alley is blind and the penthouses are as dangerous as the basements. Fearfully knowing, crackling with narrative tension, and written in prose as forceful as a hollow-point slug, Flood is Burke at his deadliest — and Vachss at the peak of his form. “An extraordinary thriller. . . . Vachss never flinches from the horror.” — Washington Post Book World “Burke would eat Spade and Marlowe for breakfast, not even spitting out the bones. [He] is one tough, mean, pray-God-you-don’t-meet-him hombre.” — Boston Herald” – Amazon.com

And, somewhere along your journey through the Vachss books, you absolutely, positively have to read this one:

Batman: The Ultimate Evil – When millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne experiences a revelation about his childhood and transformation into Batman, he follows a trail of perversion to Southeast Asia to destroy the Ultimate Evil . . . or die.

Yeah. That’s right: The Dark Knight kicking the butts of evil people. The only difference is that these villains, though presented in a comic book universe, are real. And they’re out there now. And you, yes, YOU, can do something about it. No need to be a millionaire playboy whose parents have been murdered in front of him. No need to wear any kind of costume. You can simply be yourself.

So go to the comments section after you’ve read one or two books by Mr. Vachss (pronounced “Vax”, like “Fax”. With a “V”.), and let me know what you think.

And stay tuned to this page, because I’m going to reveal to you the perfect way to get into the fight to protect children from evil.