Killing Sky Mass Market Paperback – Apr 2 2002
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His storytelling is as sharp and strong as talons....one of the rising stars of the mystery genre. -- Rick Riordan, Edgar, Shamus & Anthony Award-winning author of The Devil Went Down to Austin
About the Author
Andy Straka is the author of the widely acclaimed, bestselling Frank Pavlicek PI series and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of “ten rising stars” in crime fiction. Straka is a native of upstate New York, a licensed falconer, and a long-time resident of Virginia, where he is co-founder of the popular Crime Wave at the annual Virginia Festival of the Book. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm not normally a reader of PI novels, but this series is making me rethink that. The storyline is interesting, and the characters are well drawn. I am aware they fall well within PI novel norms, but that doesn't really bother me in the least. The added element of falconry adds another level of interest to an already strong book.
This series is certainly worth a look if you enjoy PI novels. And if you don't normally read them, pick these up and give the sub-genre a try.
Anyone who reads a lot of private eye fiction will find plenty of familiarity in Straka's book. Pavilcek cracks wise and has a somewhat mysterious, tough-guy sidekick (his former partner from his days with the NYPD), an emotionally strong and supportive girlfriend and an eccentric hobby (he's a Falconeer). Straka's descriptions of Charlottesville (home of the University of Virginia) are so accurate and inviting that they could have been written by the Chamber of Commerce.
As for the mystery, even though some of the minor elements of the book are a bit cliche (the Chief of Police is a jerk, the Feds are the clumsy heavies, the Congressmen's Chief of Staff is cast right out of the movie "No Way Out"), you can forgive it because Straka's prose and storytelling are so fresh and immediate. For example, Pavilcek's relationship with his college age daughter, who sometimes helps him with his cases, never lapses into cheap sentimentality the way it could in a lesser writer's hands. The build up to the climax is well done and when it comes it is explosive and ultimately satisfying climax.
Overall, an outstanding work of private eye fiction from a recently bygone era that I'm sure we all wish could return to.
Frank is yet another former homicide cop with a sidekick named Joe Tornado who could easily go by the name Hawk. Frank has a sophisticated love interest, Marcia (read Susan) and his hobby is falconry. (Well, Berretta had a cockatoo.) He lives in beautiful Charlottesville, VA and, like Jonathan Kellerman, a stickler for giving you routes, street names and landmarks. I always thought my lack of enthusiasm for this sort of information was because I did not know Los Angeles. I have lived in Charlottesville, and I can vouch for Mr. Stranka's authenticity, but I spent a lot of time visualizing exactly where I was when it really didn't make much difference to the plot. I know some readers enjoy this very much.
I think Mr. Stranka is a good workmanlike writer. He takes care and precision with his plots. "A Killing Sky" just has too much a look of being written from a blueprint of what makes a successful mystery novel.
Most recent customer reviews
I haven't read a detective novel since my Nancy Drew days. Didn't think I'd enjoy them, and besides, my attention span is ridiculously short. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003 by Janis Jaquith
Andy Straka's novel is a terrific mystery. A year ago, Publishers Weekly declared him a "Rising Star" of the mystery world, and Killing Sky proves their point perfectly. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2002 by Karin K.
I was very impressed with the author's first novel, A Witness Above. The falconry aspect is unique and very fascinating. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2002
I am genuinely impressed by Andy Straka's A KILLING SKY, though, initially, I expected to be disappointed. Read morePublished on May 12 2002 by Kent Braithwaite