Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Witness Above (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Witness Above (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Witness Above (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries #1)

by
3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  683 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Thirteen years ago, Frank Pavlicek left the NYPD under less than ideal circumstances. Now the divorced father of a teenage daughter, he works as a private investigator in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he indulges his passion for falconry and tries to live outside the shadow of his past. Frank is hunting with his red-tailed hawk, Armistead, when he finds a teenage boy's ...more
Audio, Abridged
Published by Americana Publishing (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Witness Above, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Witness Above

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,866)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ukgardenfiend
A Netgalley review

These books just keep getting better.

So unless you really need to read all the back story, I don’t suggest you start here with the very first novel in this series.
I didn’t. and I’m really glad, I guessed all that was necessary from what was written in the book I did read. However, don’t let me stop you reading these books in order - it is often the best tactic .

This is an author who has learnt his trade as he has written and published.

His main character is fairly stock - espec
...more
Lilian Flesher
Jul 03, 2015 Lilian Flesher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed-reads
I received a copy of this book from the Publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

After reading a pre-release copy of A Killing Sky I fell in love with the Author's writing, his PI Frank Pavlicek is such a down to earth ex-detective who has a knack of getting involved in murder cases (old habits die hard I guess).

A Witness Above is another of the Frank Pavlicek stories, this one involves him stumbling across a dead body, and the dead man has in his wallet Frank's daughters telephon
...more
Maggie Thom
Jun 18, 2014 Maggie Thom rated it really liked it
This book definitely starts off with an intense start that leaves you with the interesting question if the cop decides to be honest or not. This is a really good crime story/mystery. The author has done a good job of weaving the past into the present so you get a good sense of what happened from the first chapter throughout the rest of the story. There is definitely a lot of misdirection, it will keep you guessing as to who the bad guy is. Interesting twist at the end. I definitely recommend thi ...more
Ian Wood
May 29, 2015 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
...more
Darcia Helle
This was an interesting story that holds promise for a great series to come. I liked Pavlicek as a main character. He's smart and determined, but also has some all too human flaws.

I know nothing about falcons or the sport of "falconry". While we're given some insight into this, that aspect does not overshadow the story. I was intrigued by Pavlicek's relationship with his bird, and I found this approach refreshing and unique. We never learn exactly how or why Pavlicek became a falconer, and I wo
...more
Bestselling Thrillers
A Witness Above – A Frank Pavlicek Mystery – Andy Straka 4 stars
Written from the heart

“The snow could have been confetti the way it swirled in the glow from the streetlights and skittered across the hood” When I read this in the opening chapter, I knew that I was in for a special read.

The story starts with Frank Pavlicek and his partner Jake Toronto (detectives of NYPD) are on a stakeout, when a call comes in requesting their help. Shots had been fired in an officer down. When they arrive at th
...more
Lexie
Jan 24, 2016 Lexie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review

A Witness Above is the beginning of a series of private detective mysteries, This book is the right one to start with as the reader gets the backstory for the character of Frank Pavlicek. Following a shooting, Frank and his partner Jake lose their jobs as NYC detectives and move to rural Virginia, where the main story begins. The addition of Falconry in this story was fascinating to this reader. I was captured from page one by this wonderful series and was unable to put the book down. I re
...more
Gail
Feb 05, 2015 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a birder myself, I was hoping for a little more about falconry, perhaps some of the author's next books will have more about that. I liked the book for the most part but there were a few annoying things. Toward the end of the story, the propagandist showed virtually no emotion despite the fact his daughter was in extreme peril -- opting to wait until morning to attempt rescue and hope she hadn't been killed yet. I found that rather disconcerting. I also didn't care much for the main character ...more
Diana
Jul 15, 2014 Diana rated it liked it
This was on the verge of being a better book than it was. I never figured out what exactly the title of the novel stood for other than this author is obsessed with falconry. To begin the story, the falcon led the main character to the teenager's body. But other than that, for me, the bird's intrusion was a distraction. The book also could use some editing, as it seemed that the author might have been asked to lengthen his novel and he just then fiddled with dribble. The story kept my attention f ...more
Susan
Jun 20, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thirteen years ago Frank Pavlicek was with the NYPD. He and his partner Jake Toronto are called for backup to an "officer down" where they meet Cat Cahill whose partner is dying. There is a shootout where an unarmed African American teenager is killed. It ends their careers as police men. They all live in Virginia now. Frank is out exercising his red tail hawk, Armistead on Cahill's land. Armistead discovers the body of a dead Africam American teenager. In the victim's wallet, he discovers his d ...more
Devin
Jun 19, 2015 Devin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I began this series out of order, starting with the second book, it doesn't matter too much. The novels are standalone, aside from the fact that since this is the first story, it details how and why Frank Pavlicek went from being a cop to being a police officer. Quite the interesting backstory.

Unlike the second novel, this case is more personal for Frank, and it's not one he's hired on. His daughter is in jail after cocaine was found hidden in her vehicle, which she claims she was unawa
...more
Ian Wood
May 29, 2015 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
...more
Clare O'Beara
May 09, 2015 Clare O'Beara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: birds, america-crime
The witness above is a red-tailed hawk owned by a falconer, and they find a teenaged boy's body on wild land. Frank Pavlicek used to be with the NYPD and his instinct is to find out who the boy was, so even though he knows he shouldn't touch anything he checks the wallet. And finds his own daughter's phone number.

Frank then starts lying to the police until he can check with his daughter but he doesn't see much of her these days, being divorced, and she's less than helpful. Days later she's in ja
...more
Richard
Aug 21, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from the mystery at its center, a story like this needs characters who are real and relationships that are believable. This novel creates a situation that draws the reader in, both in terms of the murder mystery to be solved and the characters dealing with the case. Frank Pavlicek is an interesting and intelligent human. I appreciated the connection between his earlier life in New York and the situation he gets entangled in in Virginia. The resolution of the story was credible and satisfyi ...more
Lillian Cummings
Jun 12, 2015 Lillian Cummings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 1st book in the Frank Pavlicek series. A great story full of action and surprises. Frank is a PI who was thrown off the police force after a shooting when wrong. He isn't the greatest PI but he had to start somewhere. Frank has issues with his ex wife and his daughter and hopefully we get to see more of his daughter in future books.

Just a great interesting read that keeps you wanting more. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley
Scott
May 16, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Witness Above is the beginning of a long running series of private detective mysteries, so in this initial volume the reader gets the backstory for the character of Frank Pavlicek. Following a questionable shooting, Frank and his partner Jake lose their jobs as NYC detectives and move to rural Virginia, where the main story begins.

The twist in this series is Frank and Jake's interest in the sport of falconry. While Mr. Straka is obviously very knowledgeable on the subject it didn't add much to
...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
Apr 20, 2015 Wanda Hartzenberg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Although by no means a bad read it was rather predictable and .... a bit convuluted at times with too many characters in the mix.

I did however like the plot and writing well enough but the end was rushed and the author would have done himself a favour if he kept up with the pace he set in the latter half on the book instead of russhing ahead getting all the secrets out.

Will I recommend it? Yes, it is not bad it is simply not brilliant either.

WaAr
Susan
Jan 05, 2015 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had potential. It grabbed you at the beginning but quickly became slow, predictable and quite honestly frustrating. It vacillated between trying to be profound and juvenile. The characters were one dimensional, ex-cops, rich ex-wives, angsty (is that a word?) teenager, angry and/or church going African Americans. It tried to create racial tension but came off as patronizing. The conversations were frustrating and rarely moved the story forward.
Sara
Aug 27, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is about Frank Pavlicek who becomes a PI after a scandal in New York while he was a police officer. Frank stumbles upon a body in the woods and begins investigating the murder. The story is full of twists and turns including Frank's daughter being a suspect.
The story is full of suspense and keeps you guessing.

Note I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Gar Wiggs
Aug 26, 2014 Gar Wiggs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A spellbinder!

A spellbinder!

As a "Birdman" and avid Virginia, and former NY/NJ resident reader, I couldn't put down Straka's work! Obviously, he knows birds and how to write mysteries. Hopefully, he and his sidekick will continue their adventures in making things right in their world!

Keep them coming, Andy... I'll keep buying & reading them.

Gar

Marjorie
Jun 01, 2015 Marjorie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given To Me For An Honest Review

A Witness Above: A Frank Pavlicek Mystery by Andy Straka is a must read. Make sure you have your seatbelt on nice and tight because your going on a falcon flight like you've never been on before. Once you open the book, it will grab you, hold you down really tight and you'll be watching the pages turn and turn and turn some more until you get to the last one. You'll be going through a few twists and turns along th way. This story will grab your attention from the
...more
Cheryl M-M
Jun 19, 2012 Cheryl M-M rated it really liked it
There are loads of PI/crime books floating in the deep mire of e-literature, so it is incredibly hard to write one that captivates a reader enough to actually read on till the end. Although I found some of the dialogue stilted and there were some bits that were superfluous, overall this was a very good read. The author managed to keep the villain a secret till the last chapter or so and create characters that I for one would like to read about again. I think one of the most interesting aspects w ...more
JMRL
Find it at JMRL: http://bit.ly/1J8h9jj

Andy Straka currently lives in Charlottesville, VA, and his Frank Pavlicek mystery novels are also set there! Read more: http://www.andystraka.com/

You may have seen Andy at the Crime Wave series at the VA Festival of the Book, or as a guest of the Central Library's Regional Author Series in April 2015.
Sue Lambert
Jan 25, 2015 Sue Lambert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book by Andy Straka, a new author for me and thought I would give it a try. I do not regret it! This book was suspenseful and kept me on the seat of my chair most of the time, read this book is less than 24 hours and I had a full day of work yesterday! I will be reading more by this author for sure!
Carl Rochelle
A winner from Andy Straka. Three cops, booted from the NYPD, two good guys one bad who almost gets the other two killed. Add in a Falcon who hunts and a girl who is the daughter of one of the good cups, but she is accused of drugs and murder. it makes fora good read.,
Dawn
Jul 14, 2014 Dawn rated it really liked it
Another great find, thank you BookBub. A Witness Above was a great book that kept me guessing. I enjoyed many of the characters included in the book. I look forward to reading another book by the same author including same characters. I love a good mystery!!
Sandra Ash
Feb 26, 2015 Sandra Ash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book

I enjoy this first book with Frank P. I look forward to another book. Kept me interested throughout the book. I did not figure out who did it, nice twist and turns. The hawks added a nice touch, hope hawks return in next books.
LLona Cunningham
Jul 12, 2014 LLona Cunningham rated it really liked it
Much enjoyed the interesting twist on the usual 'retired cop forced out of uniform' detective story. This one has taken up Falconry as a hobby and tells us just enough about it to be informative without dragging us through an inventory. He has more important pieces of story to tell, like his daughter and her mother (his ex) aren't getting along, and then his daughter is arrested for trying to outrun the local cops, and a kilo of drugs are found in the wheel well of the car she was driving. As a ...more
Joe O'c
Very Good; Continuing character: Frank Pavlicek (first in series); three ex-cops, one now a PI, share a mistake in their past and become involved in a case involving the PI's daughter, a dead young man, and drugs
Mleehall
Jan 14, 2016 Mleehall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arresting Characters and Falconry Too

This is my third time reading some of the books in this series. This time reading them in order greatly enhances the understanding of the character development. A really excellent story teller!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 62 63 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Absolution (Frank Renzi, #1)
  • On the Ropes (The Duffy Dombrowski Mysteries, #1)
  • Senator
  • Torn Apart (Hero, #1)
  • Arsonist (Jon Stanton, #4)
  • The Silent Reporter (Hyder Ali #1)
  • The Bones Will Tell (Skye Cree, #2)
  • Tin City Tinder: A Thriller (Boone Childress Mysteries)
  • Murder! Too Close To Home (The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic #1)
  • An Easy Thing (Héctor Belascoarán Shayne, #2)
  • A New Dawn Rising
  • Elly's Ghost
  • The Big Bend (Terry Rankin, #1)
  • Mad Money
  • MAC WALKER'S BENGHAZI:  The Complete Collection
  • The Devil's Closet
  • What She Saw
  • The Shoulders of Giants
558166
Andy Straka is the bestselling author of nine novels, including the Shamus Award-Winning, Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated Frank Pavlicek private eye series. His other books include RECORD OF WRONGS, hailed by Mystery Scene magazine as “a first-rate thriller,” and THE BLUE HALLELUJAH. Part 2 of the DRAGONFLIES series (DRAGONFLIES: FLOCK OF ANGELS) has also just been released. (This near future t ...more
More about Andy Straka...

Other Books in the Series

Frank Pavlicek Mysteries (6 books)
  • A Killing Sky (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #2)
  • A Cold Quarry (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #3)
  • The Night Falconer (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #4)
  • Flightfall (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #5)
  • The K Street Hunting Society (Frank Pavlicek Mysteries, #6)

Share This Book