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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)
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*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.