Author Rating: B

Richard Hawke is a pseudonym of Tim Cockey who writes humorous mystery fiction set in Baltimore, Maryland under his own name, reserving Richard Hawke for noir-ish detective fiction.

Speak of the Devil (read 5/28/09) recommended

Set in New York City, the protagonist, Fritz Malone, a private detective, is out buying bagels to take over to his girlfriend’s apartment but takes a small detour to view part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. He spots a gunman but is unable to get to him fast enough to prevent seven people being shot and killed.

It’s a pretty good, fairly well paced story involving an apparent mastermind who is holding the city hostage through a series of bizarre and escalating events.

I was disappointed by the resolution at the end. It seemed overly simplistic given the build up. Although there were many sections of the book which were excellently done, there were other sections which were disappointingly weak. I blame his editor who probably thought it “good enough” for a B genre. Westlake proved that crime fiction can be so much more, and Cockey/Hawke has potential. I’m just not sure that we will see it from him.

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