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Cold Day in Hell by Richard Hawke

Cold Day in Hell

by Richard Hawke

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Second in the Fritz Malone mystery series set in New York. With a popular late-night television star on trial for the brutal murders of two of his ex-girlfriends, the city is shocked when a third, and then a fourth murder using the same MO are discovered with the main suspect in custody. Fritz gets involved because the first of the post-arrest victims was a woman he’d unofficially consulted with about security concerns. Now, I loved the first book in this series, but this one I’d have to demote to “liked a lot.” Part of the reason is that Charlie, Fritz’s girlfriend’s father and his mentor, doesn’t appear in the book at all. He’s a wonderful character, so that was a shame. Plus, he and Margo are on the ‘outs’ and their relationship in the first one was a big part of the book, and an enjoyable, refreshing part at that. The humor was also a bit flat this time. I figured out the bad guy almost from the moment he was introduced, too—even with all the intriguing red herrings, I just knew who it was. And though some of the side plots were quite interesting, it seemed like they took us too far afield and some of the doings were quite implausible, too. Don’t get me wrong—I like Fritz a lot, and will happily read anything this author puts forth. (Including anything featuring Hitchcock Sewell, the main character of a series he writes in his other guise—hint, hint!!) I just hope Fritz is more on form again by the next book. This one left me feeling a bit dissatisfied on the whole--but I still love this author, his writing style and his characters. Maybe that means I hold him to a higher standard, I don't know. ( )
  Spuddie | Oct 3, 2008 |
Good story, but I had a problem with the structure of the book. To me the best part of this book (and its predecessor) is Fitz Malone. And I like the parts that Fitz tells. But the book jumps back and forth to third person narration and I found that jarring. And the time line took a major jump. On page 75 a corpse is found but shows up again, very much alive, on age 205. It wasn't until then that I figured out that Part II is not only entirely third person narration, but it also jumps back in time. If another Fitz Malone book comes out, I'll read it. But I probably won't read this one a second time. ( )
  TallyDi | Jun 12, 2008 |
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In the stew and dazzle of New York City, savvy, irreverent Fritz Malone–who Susan Isaacs called “the perfect balance of noir P.I. and decent guy”–is embroiled in a string of grisly murders that drags him behind the lurid headlines into the tangled affairs of some the city’s most beautiful people and their ugly truths.

When two women linked with charismatic late-night TV personality Marshall Fox are found brutally slain in Central Park, Fox becomes the prime suspect and is charged with the murders. At the tabloid trial, one of Fox’s ex-lovers, Robin Burrell, is called to testify–and is instantly thrust into the media’s harsh spotlight. Shaken by a subsequent onslaught of hate mail, Robin goes to Fritz Malone for help. Malone has barely begun to investigate when Robin is found sadistically murdered in her Upper West Side brownstone, hands and feet shackled and a shard of mirror protruding from her neck.

But it’s another gory detail that confounds both Malone and Megan Lamb, the troubled NYPD detective officially assigned to the case. Though Fox is in custody the third victim’s right hand has been placed over her heart and pinned with a four-inch nail, just as in the killings he’s accused of. Is this a copycat murder, or is the wrong man on trial?

Teaming up with Detective Lamb, Malone delves deeper into Fox’s past, unpeeling the layers of the media darling’s secret life and developing an ever-increasing list of suspects for Robin’s murder. When yet another body turns up in Central Park, the message is clear: Get too close to Fox and get ready to die.

And Malone is getting too close.

In Cold Day in Hell, Richard Hawke has again given readers a tale about the dark side of the big city, a thriller that moves with breakneck speed toward a conclusion that is as shocking as it is unforgettable.

Praise for Richard Hawke’s Speak of the Devil

“Richard Hawke has managed what some writers spend a lifetime trying to accomplish: He has come up with a character and place that should entertain in countless stories to come.”
–Rocky Mountain News

“Fast-moving, first-rate . . . Hawke’s plot grabs us by the throat. . . . He keeps the suspense mounting.”
–The Washington Post

“[A] bang-bang thriller . . . We are absolutely powerless to stop reading.”
–Chicago Tribune

“Mr. Hawke’s [novel] tours the city . . . with unusual streetwise panache . . . but this isn’t a book that coasts on its urban geography. It lives by its wits, and its wits would work anywhere.”
–The New York Times

“A deftly paced debut that crackles and pops from page 1.”
–Booklist (starred review)

“Thrill-a-minute pacing and inspired plot twists.”

“[An] amazing thriller . . . Hawke’s dialogue is sharp and snappy and the plot moves with all the energy of New York City.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Hawke razzle-dazzles us with . . . bada-bing narration and quirky, well-drawn characters.”
–The Boston Globe

“[Packed] with a breathless pace and hair-pin turns.”
–South Florida Sun-Sentinel

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

Late-night TV host is on trial for the murders of two women he knew. P.I. Fritz Malone gets involved when a third victim is found. She was the neighbor of his girlfriend and had come to him for help.

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