Speak of the Devil
Richard Hawke, . . Random, $21.95 (323pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-6425-0
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.
Reviewed on: 10/03/2005
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-5370-7
Hardcover - 562 pages - 978-0-7393-2582-7
Other - 280 pages - 978-1-58836-513-2