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Speak of the Devil: A Novel Kindle Edition

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Bookmarks Magazine

At once a serial-killer and political thriller as well as a portrait of a city, Speak of the Devil excited some critics while disappointing others. Richard Hawke, the pseudonym for mystery writer Tim Cockey, has penned a smart, entertaining whodunit—but how each element fit together raised some questions. Malone, a man with a troubled past and a vanished former-police-commissioner father, offers a good character study. But reviewers disagreed about how well Hawke captured the city's pulse, from the Cloisters to Central Park to the 59th Street Bridge. Too many characters, side stories, predictable relationships, and an implausible plot also detracted from a few critics' enjoyment. Nonetheless, the suspense never wanes and will keep readers turning the pages.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 915 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0739325825
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (January 10, 2006)
  • Publication Date: January 10, 2006
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,843 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lesa Holstine on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Richard Hawke's first Fritz Malone novel is an outstanding debut. If you're looking for a detective with a heart of gold, the smart-mouthed, witty type such as Archie Goodwin or Spenser, you'll love Fritz.

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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
No, this is not a review of Shakespeare's play. Having read the very positive reviews of Speak of the Devil by Richard Hawke (actually Tim Cockey), I was expecting to read an exciting, suspenseful mystery written in the style of some of my favorite authors in this genre (e.g., Harlan Coben, Nelson DeMille, Joseph Finder, David Rosenfelt, etc.). Unfortunately, to me, these favorable reviews were much ado about nothing. While the first third of the book was effective in fulfilling my high expectations, the remainder was disappointing. The plot was interesting enough and moved along at a brisk pace, although you really have to stretch your imagination for it to be plausible. My main problem is that I found Hawke's ability to develop credible characters and dialogue to be sub-par, especially relative to the authors to which he is compared in some of the other reviews posted on Amazon. The dialogue Hawke creates for his characters is much too glib to be credible and the characters themselves are too loosely developed and somewhat 'stick-like" to make them memorable and believable. Hawke works much too hard to make his main NYC characters appear "with it" and sophisticated in the "ways of the world." I've lived in and around NYC my whole life and have yet to meet anyone who comes close to the characters portrayed in this book. Further, I found the more secondary characters to be so thinly developed -- and especially the "bad guys, about whom I felt I never really got a clear picture of in my mind about what they looked like or what there motivations were -- that I couldn't care less about what happened to them. Perhaps if I read Speak of the Devil without having first read all of the high praise it received, I might not have felt as let down. Be that as it may, Speak of the Devil is good enough to finish, but not good enough to recommend highly. I hope this review is helpful to you in deciding on whether or not to read the book.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Picciarelli on April 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book. I read so many glowing comments about it in various on-line mystery groups that I bought a copy and settled in for a great read. Is it only me or does every reader get supremely disappointed when a writer doesn't do his research? Did Mr. Hawke even talk to a NYC police officer before he wrote this story? The most amatuerish mistake a mystery writer can include in a story is putting safeties on revolvers. The author does this numerous times. His information about obtaining a NYS PI license is totally inaccurate. And I'm only through the first thirty pages. A big let down. Shall I continue? Cops refer to their badges as shields, it's a given from day one in the academy. And I would ask why with the most sophisticated PD in the world the mayor of NY would hire one lone PI to protect his girlfirend who was the intended target of a terroristic type murder plot? More? We're expected to believe that two experienced cops wouldn't search for and find a gun secreted in an ankle holster on the perpertrator of one of the most horrendous killing sprees in NYC history. The just "overlooked" it, which they had to do to move the plot along. More? With a possible group of terrorists roaming the streets of NYC why is the police commissioner and mayor of the biggest city in the world looking at a young PI to bring the city back from the brink of a possible disaster? Where's the task force that would have been formed miliseconds after the attack? Where's the FBI? Why does the mayor knuckle under to an extortion plot by agreeing to pay the killer to keep him from killling again? He dosn't even make a half-hearted attempt at finding the killer before he agrees to fork over $1M. It goes on.Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Chestnut on May 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book, but I was very disappointed. While the main character seemed likable enough, the book was far too Spenserish - big, tough wise-cracking yet sensitive PI, colorful sidekick, intellectual girl-friend. The plot was (literally) unbelievable, with a messy ending that made no sense. The book could have benefited from a better editor, who could have pointed out the obvious police procedural errors and who could have pointed out to the author that he really, really, really, needed to come up with a better ending.
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