Speak of the Devil: A Novel of Suspense Mass Market Paperback – Feb 27 2007
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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.
*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.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
It is fast paced and interesting. But, and this is the reason that it only gets 3 stars, the story seems to lose some focus s it goes on and on. It actually ends up spiraling into a mess of police intrigue, conspiracies and a hunt for the mastermind behind it all. Parts of that worked and other parts were just too much and led to a disjointed finale. As I said before, I liked it quite a bit until the final 75 pages. This review would have been a definite 4 stars but the ending dropped it.