SPEAK OF THE DEVIL by Richard Hawke


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The welcome latest addition to the peeper community is a semi-tough, semi-slick, semi-noir son of a former NYPD commissioner.

On a brisk, bright Manhattan Thanksgiving morning, Fritz Malone has left a warm bed, his girlfriend Margo still under the covers, on a quest for bagels. As a crowd watches the annual parade, something catches Fritz’s eye, something armed with a Beretta aimed at Mother Goose, whose flotilla happens, like Fritz, to be passing in front of the famed Dakota apartment building. Shots ring out, bodies fall and Fritz, unarmed, gives chase to the gunman and plunges deep into the sort of hot water from which he’s always managed to emerge unscalded. (Just ask Margo, who says that her man was “born under the watchful eye of the Saint of Reckless Dumb Luck.”) Though at first the cops eye him dubiously, they soon enlist his help in tracking down the terrorist. As Fritz investigates, however—and is shot at, beaten up and mishandled in all the usual ways—he finds himself confronting not only a crazed killer, but myriad secret agendas.

Like most of the noir persuasion, Fritz is a confirmed ironist, but his is somehow a kinder, gentler mode.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2006
ISBN: 1-4000-6425-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005


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