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Footsteps of the Hawk Paperback – Oct 29 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Oct. 29 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679766634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679766636
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.1 x 20 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #422,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on Nov. 20 1997
Format: Paperback
Vachss started out as one hell of a crime writer ("Strega", "Blue Belle"). But by "Down in the Zero", he looked as played out as the Rolling Stones. "Footsteps" showed he's still capable of writing brilliantly.
What makes this novel great is that it shows Burke has changed considerably from the person he once was (no longer carying a gun, keeping his temper in check), yet the change is completely plausable because, at his core, he's the same person (tough and cynical). Vachss's humor is as sharp as ever. So is his prose.
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By A Customer on Jan. 1 1997
Format: Paperback
Burke, ex-con- not ex-cop- finds himself hired by a police-
woman who insists that a recently arrested serial killer is
innocent, and wants him to find proof. Burke's old nemesis,
Officer Morales, is her prime suspect, and is also hot on
Burke's tail. A gripping page-turner, one of Vachss's best.
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Format: Hardcover
Burke is the anti-hero of the nineties. If you are ready to move on from the Robert Parker series than you areready for this new, extremely neurotic individualist. There is a zen quality to Burke -- things seem to happen around him and he has limited chances to influence his situation. He does have a team of equally colorful cohorts, who are perfect role players to Burke's Michael Jordan. Once you get used to this character its hard to stop liking him.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
One of His Best Nov. 20 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Vachss started out as one hell of a crime writer ("Strega", "Blue Belle"). But by "Down in the Zero", he looked as played out as the Rolling Stones. "Footsteps" showed he's still capable of writing brilliantly.
What makes this novel great is that it shows Burke has changed considerably from the person he once was (no longer carying a gun, keeping his temper in check), yet the change is completely plausable because, at his core, he's the same person (tough and cynical). Vachss's humor is as sharp as ever. So is his prose.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not Vachss' best effort...but OK haiku!! July 4 2006
By Jana L. Perskie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a huge Andrew Vachss fan who would love to adopt his main man, Burke (and "make his pain go away" - I'll take Pansy too!), I never thought I would see the day when I would give one of this author's novels a below average rating. But, hey...we all have off days/months/years. "Footsteps of the Hawk" is the eighth consecutive Burke book I have read and the only one I am not enthused about - not the usual 5 Star read, in other words. I will continue on, however, gobbling-up the series in order until there is no more...and then will wait until Mr. Vachss is kind enough to supply a new novel for those of us who need a fix.

"Footsteps of the Hawk" features two rogue cops with individual agendas. They both dedicate too much of their valuable time searching for Burke. With these folks, five minutes would be too much time! They actually know where to find him...occasionally, and won't get off his back. Detective Belinda Roberts, who can be extemely seductive when she wants to be, (Burke sees right through her, of course), wants our man to arrange a jail break to free a guy accused of a series of grisley murder/rapes. She swears to the con's innocence. Don't they all? Detective Jorge Morales comes accross as a major psycho who has a jones for Burke....one that makes him want to eliminate Burke permanently. He is fixated, one might say. He is also ugly and out of control...beneath an obsessively controlled facade. Ready to explode. Could Morales have "done" the women?

The novel is set in early 1990s NYC, just after Mayor Guiliani came to office with the intent to clean up the City's mean streets. (Hah!) For those who have not met Burke before - and here is definiterly not the place to make his acquaintance - he is a hard-boiled, in-your-face, ex-con detective, who still isn't sure on which side of the law he prefers to operate. Abandoned at birth, father and mother unknown, Burke has no real first name. "Baby boy" is the name on his birth certificate. He is a survivor. He's also a standup guy....a righteous man.

P. I. Burke, as always, is the narrator. And the narrative, at times, goes off on a tangent, like Burke's thought processes. This occasional stream of consciousness has always been extremely effective and enhances the detective's persona. However, here Vachss wanders off way too much and his usual tight writing style suffers for it. The storyline is much too convoluted, and even Vachss' usually strong cast of characters cannot shore-up this piece of fiction enough to make it more enjoyable.

Actually, there is one scene that is excellent, featuring Mama Wong and her granddaughter Flower. Mama is group doyenne and mother, of sorts, to Burke's "real family" - a Chinese Jewish mother and restaurateur. She "keeps her prices high and the ambiance foul to discourage yuppies," cares for the gang and holds Burke's stash. She is teaching calligraphy to the little girl who is copying an ancient haiku:

"the ferret hunting
eyes on the ground, never hears
footsteps of the hawk."

Best part of the novel.
JANA
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Vachss's best suspense novel yet. Dec 31 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Burke, ex-con- not ex-cop- finds himself hired by a police-
woman who insists that a recently arrested serial killer is
innocent, and wants him to find proof. Burke's old nemesis,
Officer Morales, is her prime suspect, and is also hot on
Burke's tail. A gripping page-turner, one of Vachss's best.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vachss at his Vengeful Best Jan. 19 2008
By P. Taegel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First and foremost, Footsteps of the Hawk is a high octane, burn-your-weekend crime novel that will hook you into Vachss' work and world forever. Second of all, Andrew Vachss has expanded my mind. Really. At one of his readings, Andrew Vachss described his books as "non-fiction thinly disguised as fiction." The world his characters navigate is violent, nihilistic and unforgiving. And tragically real. But it is this context that makes Vachss' assertion of the potential of the human spirit and its capacity to love in spite of overwhelming degradation, cruelty and horror -- that makes it such compelling stuff to read.

(This is his eighth book, and where it's not necessary to read them in order, here they are up to Footsteps of the Hawk: Flood, Strega, Blue Belle, Hard Candy, Blossom, Sacrifice, Down in the Zero).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A worthy addition to the series starring Burke. July 1 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Burke is the anti-hero of the nineties. If you are ready to move on from the Robert Parker series than you areready for this new, extremely neurotic individualist. There is a zen quality to Burke -- things seem to happen around him and he has limited chances to influence his situation. He does have a team of equally colorful cohorts, who are perfect role players to Burke's Michael Jordan. Once you get used to this character its hard to stop liking him.

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