It's a beautiful Thanksgiving morning in New York City. Perfect day for a
parade, and Fritz Malone just happens to have drifted up Central Park West to
take a look at the floats. Across the crowd-filled street he sees a gunman on a
low wall, taking aim with a shiny black Beretta. Seconds later, the air is
filled with bullets and blood.
Fritz isn't one to stand around and watch. A child of Hell's Kitchen and the bastard son of a beloved former police commissioner, Fritz is all too familiar with the city's rougher side. As the gunman flees into the park, Fritz runs after him. What he doesn't know is that he is also running into one of the most shocking and treacherous episodes of his life.
Though Fritz assumed that chasing down bad guys is perfectly legal, the cops hustle him from the scene and deliver him to the office of the current commissioner, who informs Fritz that someone dubbed "Nightmare" has been taunting the city's leaders for weeks, warning of an imminent attack on the citizenry. What's worse, Nightmare has already let the officials know that the parade gunman was a mere foot soldier and that there's more carnage to come unless the city meets his impossible demands. The pols don't dare share this information with anyonenot even the NYPD. What they need for this job is an outside man. And in Fritz they think they've got one.
Racing against the tightest of clocks, Fritz finds himself confounded by Nightmare's multiple masks and messengers. The killer is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. But as Fritz's frantic investigation takes him from a convent in the Bronx to a hookers' haven in central Brooklyn, the story behind the storycomplete with wicked secrets on both sides of the lawbegins to emerge. As Fritz zeroes in on the terrible, gruesome truth, the killer retaliates by making things personal, forcing Fritz to grapple with his deepest fear: sometimes nightmares really do come true.
In his brilliantly paced and stunningly original debut, Richard Hawke delivers a tale of flawed and unforgettable people operating at the ends of their ropes. It's literary suspense that doesn't let go until the last page.
If she had known she would be dead in another five minutes, maybe she
wouldn't have swatted her son so hard. That's just my guess. His balloon
had been drifting into my face, that was the problem. It wasn't bugging
me, but it was bugging his mother. He was a towheaded kid with a round
pink face. The balloon was larger than his head. I couldn't say one way
or the other if the kid was having fun, but Mom clearly wasn't.
"Ezra, if I have to tell you one more time."
She seemed to be wound awfully tight for nine-thirty in the morning. But I've never been a parent, so I'm hardly the person to judge. Maybe the kid was an absolute handful and his actions drained his mother daily of her reservoir of patience. Maybe the reservoir wasn't terribly deep to begin with. Or maybe the two were running late that morning and ...
Thriller writer's beware, there's a new kid in town - or should one say a new pseudonym! Richard Hawke (aka Tim Cockey) enters the over-crowded thriller market with his wisecracking private investigator, Fritz Malone, and the critics are full of praise.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (443 words).
About the author: Richard Hawke is a pseudonym of
Tim Cockey, also author of the humorous mystery
series featuring undertaker Hitchcock Sewell which
starts with The Hearse You Came In On.
Speak of the Devil is the first of his Fritz Malone
series written under the name Richard Hawke. The
second will be published next week (Mar 13, 2007) and
was written up in the February issue of "BookBrowse
Previews". Booklist gave it a starred review
saying, "Hawke's smart prose, easy wit, and unforced
pathos make this a great suggestion for readers mourning
the loss of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar or Stephen
Greenleaf's John Marshall Tanner."
If you liked Speak of the Devil, try these:
In a novel of runaway tension, Jodi Compton masterfully weaves together the quiet details of everyday life with the moments that can shatter them forever.
'Reed presents sex, money, power, and violence in an irresistibly melancholy noir package, readers who value intelligence, fine writing and action will find it all in this outstanding novel.'
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