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Footsteps of the Hawk [Paperback]

Andrew Vachss
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.95
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Book Description

Oct. 29 1996 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

  In Footsteps of the Hawk Burke himself is in danger of becoming a victim.  Two rogue cops are stalking him.  The coolly seductive Belinda Roberts wants him to free a man charged with a grisly string of rape-murders. The brutal and half-crazy Detective Jorge Morales may be trying to frame Burke for the same crimes.  What ensues is a novel of high-wire suspense and nightmarish authenticity informed by an insider's knowledge of the city where everything—from flesh to other people's cellular phone numbers—is up for sale.


Frequently Bought Together

Footsteps of the Hawk + Choice of Evil: A Burke Novel
Price For Both: CDN$ 26.06


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Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Latest installment in the Burke series, in which the gritty detective finds himself battling two rogue cops.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The recent installments in Vachss' series of novels featuring underground investigator and avenging angel Burke have almost become parodies of themselves, with our antihero devoting as much time to wallowing in the filth of urban life as cleaning it up. This time, though, there's a marked improvement. Burke seems healthier emotionally and more focused, and the novel itself is more of a mystery and less of a harangue. The action begins when Burke is approached by a female police officer, Belinda, who wants him to exonerate her lover, now serving time as a serial killer. Belinda contends that the real killer is still on the loose; her lover is a connected guy who probably deserves to be in prison, but he's no killer. So she says. She also pins the cover-up on Morales, a psycho cop with a desire to send Burke to prison for his role in the violent breakup of a child pornography ring. Burke employs his familiar Fagin's army of street types to discover the real killer and the real motives behind the crime. As always in Vachss' work, New York's underbelly is vividly evoked, and the tough-guy, side-of-the-mouth dialogue crackles with authenticity. The occasional rays of hope and humor that shine through the bleakness don't threaten the vintage noir mood, but they do make the proceedings a little easier for the beleaguered modern reader to bear. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars One of His Best Nov. 20 1997
By A Customer
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to the series starring Burke. July 1 1996
By A Customer
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Vachss's best suspense novel yet. Dec 31 1996
By A Customer
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 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
2.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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).
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