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Speak of the Devil: A Novel of Suspense Mass Market Paperback – Feb 27 2007

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (Feb. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345482182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345482181
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 3.3 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,180,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Corrupt cops, venal politicians and a madman killer propel shamus Fitz Malone to the top of the wisecracking romantic-heroic PI heap in Hawke's hugely enjoyable debut thriller. It's Thanksgiving morning in New York and Fitz has stepped out for bagels and a peek at the annual parade when he spots a gunman taking aim at Mother Goose, waving from atop a winged float. Moments later seven are dead, including a cop, and a handcuffed Fitz is on the floor of a police cruiser with a bag over his head. The cops and the mayor try to keep the lid on the escalating disaster; once freed, Fitz—a failed cop and son of a former police commissioner—is hired to catch the killer who orchestrated what the press are calling the "Parade of Terror" as pieces of the deputy mayor (who's been taken hostage) begin arriving at police headquarters. A loaded backstory, compelling minor characters and clever, literate writing promise great things ahead for Hawke, who crams too much into the finale. In fact, it's hard to believe this is a first novel; it reads like number five in a series. Note to Spenser: best stay in Boston—Fitz has got the Big Apple covered. (On sale Jan. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Thanksgiving Day in New York turns deadly when a gunman takes aim during the celebrated Macy's parade. Grabbing a downed policeman's pistol, private investigator Fritz Malone fires off a trio of bullets, wounding the assailant. Moments after the bloody exchange, the detective is dragged from the scene with a bag over his head and delivered to the office of Police Commissioner Tommy Carroll (is this any way to treat a hero?). Beleaguered by a "Bad Apple" police scandal, the commissioner wants Malone on the case, but demands he keep it hush-hush. The detective, whose own police--commissioner father disappeared a few years before, has seen his share of crooked politicians and corrupt cops. But nothing can prepare him for the events that ensue._Further violence--and threatening letters to the city's mayor--leads Malone to a sinewy killer whose rampages are rife with religious overtones. Hawke explores the moral high and low ground (nuns and prostitutes and pimps, oh my!) in a deftly paced debut that crackles and pops from page 1. In a genre populated with predictable PIs, Fritz Malone is a fresh, engaging blend of laconic detective and likable guy. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 19 2006
Format: Audio CD
Move over guys, there's a new thriller writer on the block, and he's very, very good.
"If she had known she would be dead in another five minutes maybe she wouldn't have swatted her son so hard...."
How's that for an opening line grabber? That's what Hawke does, he pulls you in from the first sentence, and doesn't let go until he's good and ready.
Everyone loves a parade, especially the crazy shooter at New York City's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Why shouldn't he love it, it's just like a shooting gallery, as Hawke notes. The maniac can pop off Mother Goose on her float, shoot a young girl marching with her band, drop a kid in a Macy's T-shirt, and do in a harried mother who has just reprimanded her son. All this until there's blood and carnage all over the place.
Fritz Malone, a private investigator, is the first to spot trouble. He catches sight of a shiny black Beretta across the street. He can see clearly through a gap in the crowd - the shooter wears a green windbreaker, and Fritz sees him pull the gun from his belt. Unfortunately, Fritz's gun is at home. So, he quickly grabs the service revolver of a dead policeman and takes off after the killer. Not a very good idea.
Before he knows it, police who haven't been far behind are manhandling Fritz and carting him off to the Commissioner's office. Once there he learns that someone calling himself "Nightmare" has been threatening an attack on innocent people, and now it has happened - a parade of terror it's called.
However, according to "Nightmare" that's only the beginning - there's much worse to come unless demands are met.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 49 reviews
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
First Outing Outstanding Jan. 10 2006
By Lesa Holstine - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Richard Hawke's first Fritz Malone novel is an outstanding debut. If you're looking for a detective with a heart of gold, the smart-mouthed, witty type such as Archie Goodwin or Spenser, you'll love Fritz.

Fritz casually stops to watch the Thanksgiving Parade in Manhattan, but nothing else about his day is casual. When he tries to stop a sniper from shooting at a float, he witnesses a mass killing, chases and shoots the gunman, and then he's whisked away to keep his story under wraps. Because of his connections, Fritz is included in the police department and Mayoral cover-up, but he's suspicious that blackmail threats, bombs and dirty cops are somehow linked. The police department may use Fritz to run all over Manhattan, but he maintains his autonomy. No self-respecting detective would allow the police and the Mayor to run his business. This is a fast-paced, suspenseful debut.

Fritz Malone and his associates (a marvelous girlfriend, Margo; her father, a former detective) are wonderful additions to the detective world. I'm already waiting for the next Fritz Malone novel.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Much Ado About Nothing - 2 1/2 Stars At Best! April 14 2006
By Bobbewig - Published on
Format: Hardcover
No, this is not a review of Shakespeare's play. Having read the very positive reviews of Speak of the Devil by Richard Hawke (actually Tim Cockey), I was expecting to read an exciting, suspenseful mystery written in the style of some of my favorite authors in this genre (e.g., Harlan Coben, Nelson DeMille, Joseph Finder, David Rosenfelt, etc.). Unfortunately, to me, these favorable reviews were much ado about nothing. While the first third of the book was effective in fulfilling my high expectations, the remainder was disappointing. The plot was interesting enough and moved along at a brisk pace, although you really have to stretch your imagination for it to be plausible. My main problem is that I found Hawke's ability to develop credible characters and dialogue to be sub-par, especially relative to the authors to which he is compared in some of the other reviews posted on Amazon. The dialogue Hawke creates for his characters is much too glib to be credible and the characters themselves are too loosely developed and somewhat 'stick-like" to make them memorable and believable. Hawke works much too hard to make his main NYC characters appear "with it" and sophisticated in the "ways of the world." I've lived in and around NYC my whole life and have yet to meet anyone who comes close to the characters portrayed in this book. Further, I found the more secondary characters to be so thinly developed -- and especially the "bad guys, about whom I felt I never really got a clear picture of in my mind about what they looked like or what there motivations were -- that I couldn't care less about what happened to them. Perhaps if I read Speak of the Devil without having first read all of the high praise it received, I might not have felt as let down. Be that as it may, Speak of the Devil is good enough to finish, but not good enough to recommend highly. I hope this review is helpful to you in deciding on whether or not to read the book.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Numerous Procedural Errors April 30 2006
By Patrick Picciarelli - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book. I read so many glowing comments about it in various on-line mystery groups that I bought a copy and settled in for a great read. Is it only me or does every reader get supremely disappointed when a writer doesn't do his research? Did Mr. Hawke even talk to a NYC police officer before he wrote this story? The most amatuerish mistake a mystery writer can include in a story is putting safeties on revolvers. The author does this numerous times. His information about obtaining a NYS PI license is totally inaccurate. And I'm only through the first thirty pages. A big let down. Shall I continue? Cops refer to their badges as shields, it's a given from day one in the academy. And I would ask why with the most sophisticated PD in the world the mayor of NY would hire one lone PI to protect his girlfirend who was the intended target of a terroristic type murder plot? More? We're expected to believe that two experienced cops wouldn't search for and find a gun secreted in an ankle holster on the perpertrator of one of the most horrendous killing sprees in NYC history. The just "overlooked" it, which they had to do to move the plot along. More? With a possible group of terrorists roaming the streets of NYC why is the police commissioner and mayor of the biggest city in the world looking at a young PI to bring the city back from the brink of a possible disaster? Where's the task force that would have been formed miliseconds after the attack? Where's the FBI? Why does the mayor knuckle under to an extortion plot by agreeing to pay the killer to keep him from killling again? He dosn't even make a half-hearted attempt at finding the killer before he agrees to fork over $1M. It goes on. The "terrorist" dresses up as a nun to avoid detection from surveillance video cameras in a grocery store when he drops off a message for the mayor. Why not put the damn letter somewhere where there aren't any cameras? Duh? The author even has the police commissioner conducting field interrogations of supermarket employees. Ridiculous. More. Police Officers from the NYPD haven't been called Patrolmen since the early 70s.

All this and more during the first third of the book. There are too many errors to list. Part of the enjoyment of reading a good book, particularly a good thriller or mystery, is knowing that the author knows what he's talking aobut and has enough respect for the reader not to walk him through a mess of a story.

The author can write, nothing lacking in that department, but his slip shod research and silly premise detract from what could have been a real nail biter.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
how disappointing! May 4 2006
By M. Chestnut - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book, but I was very disappointed. While the main character seemed likable enough, the book was far too Spenserish - big, tough wise-cracking yet sensitive PI, colorful sidekick, intellectual girl-friend. The plot was (literally) unbelievable, with a messy ending that made no sense. The book could have benefited from a better editor, who could have pointed out the obvious police procedural errors and who could have pointed out to the author that he really, really, really, needed to come up with a better ending.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tough genre for newcomers March 9 2007
By J. D. Andersen - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I wasn't impressed with this novel, I have to admit that Mr. Hawke has some very tough competition in this genre. The bar is certainly very high. Robert Crais, James Lee Burke, Michael Connolly, John Connelly, John D. MacDonald just to name a few.

Mr. Hawke, in my opinion, needs to practice on his character development. This is a first novel and there were just too many unanswered questions about some of the characters. His old partner is in a wheelchair having been shot. Shot by whom? Was Malone with him when he was shot? Jiggs Dugan? How does Malone know this guy well enough to leave him in a car with a million dollars of New York City's money? What is Malone's background. Several references to his having been a cop, or at least that was the way I read it, but no explanation as to why he isn't any longer. Margo is another character that needs to be developed. Daughter of his ex partner is pretty much all of the depth of character offered.

Maybe lacking in the research department, as well. I believe New York has a statute of limitations on rape, five years. An arrest for rape, after 16 years, seems to be a bit over New York's limit.

Having said all of this, I will read one more of Hawke's novels. Maybe some of the issues will be addressed in the newest novel.