Click here to read reviewer Luan Gaines' take on Haiku.
A group of men have come together as a family in a large city. The world sees them as homeless, but they divine the worth and talents each brings and have banded together to take care of each other. Ho is a former martial arts instructor who walked away from fame and fortune when he decided he was losing his honor by gaining riches. Lamont, a former convict and poet, drinks to make it through the day.
Once a high-rolling stockbroker with all the accoutrements of wealth, Michael became a gambler and lost all that he had accumulated. Brewster is a high-functioning schizophrenic, rejected by his family and on and off his medicine. Target is a damaged man
whom none of the others understand. Ranger is a Vietnam vet who returned physically but not mentally from those brutal fields.
This group comes together to accomplish a goal, something compellingly important to one of the group. Each man contributes what talents he has as they work together to accomplish their task. As they work, each also starts to let go of his demons and move toward a healthier place,
aided and supported by each other when nothing society had to offer seemed to help at all.
Each man has his own truth - his 'haiku' - and his life's task is working toward the discovery of this inner truth and honor.
Readers will recognize Andrew Vachss as the author of the Burke series, eighteen books
with some of the same themes. That series focuses on how society ignores the helpless
- children who are molested and women who are degraded and brutalized. Burke and his group of friends work together to save these victims. In this series, the theme
is twisted a bit to show that there are other victims of society: the homeless, who each have a story and
can point to an event that has put them where they are. Another twist is these same individuals
whom others would see as victims have the ability to save themselves as well as others.
Fans of previous Vachss books will enjoy Haiku.
It uses the same sparse writing and the themes of honor and protection of those less able to help themselves.
Recommended for readers of crime and mystery fiction.