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Footsteps of the Hawk (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Vachss
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

  In Footsteps of the Hawk Burke himself is in danger of becoming a victim.  Two rogue cops are stalking him.  The coolly seductive Belinda Roberts wants him to free a man charged with a grisly string of rape-murders. The brutal and half-crazy Detective Jorge Morales may be trying to frame Burke for the same crimes.  What ensues is a novel of high-wire suspense and nightmarish authenticity informed by an insider's knowledge of the city where everything—from flesh to other people's cellular phone numbers—is up for sale.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The suburban sojourn of the Manhattan outlaw PI Burke in Down in the Zero didn't breathe any fresh air into this increasingly stale series; this eighth entry is the weakest yet. Instead of one memorable villain, Vachss gives us two forgettable ones-both cops, one a vengeful male, the other a calculating female-in a plot fractured in other ways as well as Burke must figure out which of the two is a serial killer before he's slain by one or the other. Most of the series' regulars, from the underground electronics whiz, Mole, to the mute martial arts expert, Max the Silent, show up to help out, though seemingly more for the sake of nostalgia than plot function, while a new supporting player, a young Italian boxer, serves mainly as an excuse for an elaborate but irrelevant subplot about his climb toward a title shot. As always, Vachss ties the plot into his bete noire, child abuse, but the connection seems arbitrary. In its final pages, the narrative at last achieves some tension as a naked and bound Burke confronts the killer; but it's too little, too late. Burke, through his constant complaining about humanity and the city ("New York may be a woman.... If she is, she's a low-class evil bitch.... I hate it all so much"), comes off less as the dark angel of righteous vengeance of his earliest outings than as an aging, kvetching curmudgeon.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The recent installments in Vachss' series of novels featuring underground investigator and avenging angel Burke have almost become parodies of themselves, with our antihero devoting as much time to wallowing in the filth of urban life as cleaning it up. This time, though, there's a marked improvement. Burke seems healthier emotionally and more focused, and the novel itself is more of a mystery and less of a harangue. The action begins when Burke is approached by a female police officer, Belinda, who wants him to exonerate her lover, now serving time as a serial killer. Belinda contends that the real killer is still on the loose; her lover is a connected guy who probably deserves to be in prison, but he's no killer. So she says. She also pins the cover-up on Morales, a psycho cop with a desire to send Burke to prison for his role in the violent breakup of a child pornography ring. Burke employs his familiar Fagin's army of street types to discover the real killer and the real motives behind the crime. As always in Vachss' work, New York's underbelly is vividly evoked, and the tough-guy, side-of-the-mouth dialogue crackles with authenticity. The occasional rays of hope and humor that shine through the bleakness don't threaten the vintage noir mood, but they do make the proceedings a little easier for the beleaguered modern reader to bear. Wes Lukowsky

Product Details

  • File Size: 386 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (September 25, 2001)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1I4A
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,127 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of His Best November 20, 1997
By A Customer
Vachss started out as one hell of a crime writer ("Strega", "Blue Belle"). But by "Down in the Zero", he looked as played out as the Rolling Stones. "Footsteps" showed he's still capable of writing brilliantly.
What makes this novel great is that it shows Burke has changed considerably from the person he once was (no longer carying a gun, keeping his temper in check), yet the change is completely plausable because, at his core, he's the same person (tough and cynical). Vachss's humor is as sharp as ever. So is his prose.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Vachss' best effort...but OK haiku!! July 4, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a huge Andrew Vachss fan who would love to adopt his main man, Burke (and "make his pain go away" - I'll take Pansy too!), I never thought I would see the day when I would give one of this author's novels a below average rating. But, hey...we all have off days/months/years. "Footsteps of the Hawk" is the eighth consecutive Burke book I have read and the only one I am not enthused about - not the usual 5 Star read, in other words. I will continue on, however, gobbling-up the series in order until there is no more...and then will wait until Mr. Vachss is kind enough to supply a new novel for those of us who need a fix.

"Footsteps of the Hawk" features two rogue cops with individual agendas. They both dedicate too much of their valuable time searching for Burke. With these folks, five minutes would be too much time! They actually know where to find him...occasionally, and won't get off his back. Detective Belinda Roberts, who can be extemely seductive when she wants to be, (Burke sees right through her, of course), wants our man to arrange a jail break to free a guy accused of a series of grisley murder/rapes. She swears to the con's innocence. Don't they all? Detective Jorge Morales comes accross as a major psycho who has a jones for that makes him want to eliminate Burke permanently. He is fixated, one might say. He is also ugly and out of control...beneath an obsessively controlled facade. Ready to explode. Could Morales have "done" the women?

The novel is set in early 1990s NYC, just after Mayor Guiliani came to office with the intent to clean up the City's mean streets. (Hah!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vachss's best suspense novel yet. December 31, 1996
By A Customer
Burke, ex-con- not ex-cop- finds himself hired by a police-
woman who insists that a recently arrested serial killer is
innocent, and wants him to find proof. Burke's old nemesis,
Officer Morales, is her prime suspect, and is also hot on
Burke's tail. A gripping page-turner, one of Vachss's best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vachss at his Vengeful Best January 19, 2008
First and foremost, Footsteps of the Hawk is a high octane, burn-your-weekend crime novel that will hook you into Vachss' work and world forever. Second of all, Andrew Vachss has expanded my mind. Really. At one of his readings, Andrew Vachss described his books as "non-fiction thinly disguised as fiction." The world his characters navigate is violent, nihilistic and unforgiving. And tragically real. But it is this context that makes Vachss' assertion of the potential of the human spirit and its capacity to love in spite of overwhelming degradation, cruelty and horror -- that makes it such compelling stuff to read.

(This is his eighth book, and where it's not necessary to read them in order, here they are up to Footsteps of the Hawk: Flood, Strega, Blue Belle, Hard Candy, Blossom, Sacrifice, Down in the Zero).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to the series starring Burke. July 1, 1996
By A Customer
Burke is the anti-hero of the nineties. If you are ready to move on from the Robert Parker series than you areready for this new, extremely neurotic individualist. There is a zen quality to Burke -- things seem to happen around him and he has limited chances to influence his situation. He does have a team of equally colorful cohorts, who are perfect role players to Burke's Michael Jordan. Once you get used to this character its hard to stop liking him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The eighth Burke novel November 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Burke series was losing some of its energy by the time Footsteps of the Hawk came along. Andrew Vachss used the Burke books as message novels, but readers got the message early on. Vachss' narrow focus on the damage done by child predators left Burke without much room to grow, and that's a deadly flaw in a series built on a recurring character.

Footsteps of the Hawk is one of the better late entries in the series, however, largely because the plot doesn't focus on child abuse. Vachss still conveys his message, but he does so in asides and flashbacks without hindering the development of the central story. The plot involves two cops who have it in for Burke: a lone wolf named Jorge Morales and a woman named Belinda. Morales seems intent on taking Burke down while Belinda wants to use him for her own ends. Her scheme involves an inmate who, she says, is innocent of at least some of the slayings he's accused of committing. She hires Burke to prove his innocence. The mission changes as the story moves along, and the truth -- what the woman really wants -- naturally proves to be quite different. Whether Morales and Belinda are working together or against each other is unclear until the end. The story kept me guessing and it resolves with a nifty twist.

The supporting cast (the Prof, the Mole, Max the Silent, Clarence, Mama) grew a bit stale over the years, so the addition of a new character to Burke's retinue is refreshing. Frankie is a boxer, learning the trade from the Prof with an assist from Max. He's deferential to Burke's buddies and serves them with unquestioning loyalty. It's therefore easy to understand why Burke likes him despite his lack of any discernible personality. Heck, I liked him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not quite up to the earlier adventures.
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars they are a great read-I am sad that I finished the series
I have every single Burke novel, they are a great read-I am sad that I finished the series.
Published 18 days ago by Michelle Almonte-Kaplan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just right.
Published 1 month ago by Joe Wyatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good story
Published 2 months ago by robert hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 'one-hero' novel series
Superb and breathtaking plot and heroes.
Published 4 months ago by Hector Haralanbous
5.0 out of 5 stars Vachss is a fantastic and descriptive writer. His Burke novels are...
Vachss is a fantastic and descriptive writer. His Burke novels are wonderful, engaging and thrilling. I hope they keep on coming forever!!
Published 8 months ago by Jenn RW
4.0 out of 5 stars Footsteps,...
Andrew Vachss' Burke turned a real corner in this novel as he becomes the hunted and once again,...the victim. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Christopher Kozar
5.0 out of 5 stars Footsteps of the Hawk
I was glad to add to my collection of Andrew Vachss and to receive great service and a great item what more could you want..
Published 18 months ago by Kimberly A Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Husband's Books
Ordered these for my husband upon his request. He said they were great reads and he really enjoyed them. He recommends them.
Published 19 months ago by Pam
4.0 out of 5 stars Long time fan
First read I've had on an e- reader. Glad it was my old friend Burke. Now onto the rest of the titles.
Published on January 15, 2013 by Todd Michael Nicodemus
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More About the Author

Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for "aggressive-violent" youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youth exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, three collections of short stories, and a wide variety of other material including song lyrics, graphic novels, essays, and a "children's book for adults." His books have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, The New York Times, and many other forums. His books have been awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature Policiére, the Falcon Award, Deutschen Krimi Preis, Die Jury des Bochumer Krimi Archivs and the Raymond Chandler Award (per Giurìa a Noir in Festival, Courmayeur, Italy). Andrew Vachss' latest books are Mortal Lock (Vintage, May 2013) and Aftershock (Pantheon, June 2013). The dedicated Web site for Vachss and his work is

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