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Double Deuce (Spenser) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Parker's ( Pastime ) 23rd Spenser novel, our hero finds himself, at the behest of his pal Hawk, defending the residents of a gang-terrorized Boston housing project known as Double Deuce. The drive-by shooting of a teenage mother and her child brings the duo into a confrontation with gangleader Major Johnson and his posse. At the same time, Spenser's longtime relationship with psychologist Susan is escalating, and the two agree to live together. The contrast between Spenser's cozy domestic situation (and a new relationship for the enigmatic Hawk, who reveals some of his background) and the poverty and violence of the urban projects reinforces the authenticity of this series, and its quirky appeal. The plot is nothing new--it might be described as Spenser meets New Jack City --but Deuce 's snappy dialogue, timely, fast-paced action and quick characterizations make it classic Spenser. Mystery Guild main selection; Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild alternate selection; condensation rights to Time-Life Books; audio rights to Dove Audio.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The still-popular Spenser ( Playmates , LJ 4/1/89) helps sidekick Hawk solve the seemingly random murders of a teenaged mother and baby in a violent housing project.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Spenser (Book 19)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Thus edition (April 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425137937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425137932
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Byrd on March 15, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Parker likes to change up the Spenser series. He gets stuck in a formula just chugging along in Boston, and likes to mix it up every few novels. He writes a basic Spenser novel, and they complain hes just going through the motions. If he writes something different they complain he should stick to what he writes best. Give me a break!
Here's why you should read Double Deuce. The classic stand off. Yes, we get to learn alot more about Hawk, but not too much as to deflate the mystery about the caracter. But the boasting that goes on between Hawk and the Gangs is interesting.
There isnt alot of mystery in this one, some of the Spenser novels arent so much a who-done-it but more of a how-will-you-resolve-it kind of book. I've read this book many times, there are better in the series, but if your reading them in order, don't skip this one!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Double Deuce" is the Spenser novel where our hero finally plays the supporting role to Hawk. A drive-by shooting in the Double Deuce project has claimed the life of 15-year old Devona Jefferson and her baby. Hawk is hired by the tenants association to find the killer and drive out the gang that considers the place their turf. Spenser signs on, at one-third of the nothing Hawk is being paid, to help out. Since Hawk is in the lead on this one the question of why he is doing this becomes a major subplot. At face value it seems he is doing it for a woman who just might be his Susan Silverman, but of course nothing can be taken at face value in a Spenser novel and expectations are rarely met.
Since this is the 19th novel in Robert B. Parker's series of Spenser novels, it is certainly about time that Hawk had a chance to take the lead. Of course this means that "Double Deuce" has a much different feel to it because whereas our hero takes every opportunity to mouth off to everybody on anything, Hawk's strength is in just looking at people until they fall apart (one of the reasons I think the character worked so well on television is that Avery Brooks had the looks down cold). So while this is the most atypical Spenser novel yet, it does try to be true to the Hawk character, which justifies the stylistic change. I just think that he works better as more of a man of mystery where we never really know why he does what he does. Hopefully Parker will take a second try at having Hawk be the main character in a future novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Parker has succeeded in writing crime thrillers that are entertaining and fast reads and yet give you issues to think about. "Double Deuce" is no exception, and this time, the issues are racial relations and gang psychology.
This novel has a more intense than usual opening for Spenser, because we get to sorta know the young girl and her baby daughter just before they're killed, and to have a feeling of the life they were leading.
From there, as other reviews have pointed out, Hawk is the principal character this time, though Spenser does provide him with valuable information just before the climax. And hey, Hawk is involved in a relationship too, as if trying to clear a housing project in the ghetto of a gang isn't enough.
The romantic side plot this time takes up the question as to whether Spenser & Susan should be living together or not.
Especially good here is the portrayal of the attitude of the project residents and the activist preacher helping them towards Spencer. Also good is the portrayal of the grudging mutual respect between Hawk and the gang leader. On top of that, we're given an idea of how Hawk, in his own way, rose above his childhood beginnings.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Spenser and Hawk are both noble, honorable men of the highest caliber. They are the best of friends, willing to join the other in the deadliest of fights, all the other has to do is ask. In this story, some people in a ghetto neighborhood are desperate to rid their neighborhood of the scourge of gangs and drugs. They turn to Hawk to help them, but are unable to offer him anything in return. Hawk agrees and then asks Spenser to assist him at the same rate of pay.

While we learn a great deal about Spenser's past in the Spenser series of books, Hawk is an enigma. In this book, we learn a little bit about him, but he remains circumspect about his past. All we learn is that he probably grew up in a very dangerous environment and through unusual circumstances managed to survive to adulthood. Hawk uses those skills to probe the neighborhood and deal with the members of a violent youth gang. A teen mother and her new baby have been ruthlessly gunned down and the prime suspect is a gang led by a very tough kid named Major Johnson. They proclaim their innocence, although they are coy about it, as they enjoy the attention from Hawk, someone they respect.

There is a subplot as well. Spenser and Susan agree to live together, so Spenser moves in with Susan. Although they "get along", there is a great deal of underlying tension. Susan eats healthy and Spenser eats hearty. Finally, they agree that they love each other and will stay together, but they dissolve their cohabitation union. Hawk also has a love interest, a beautiful black woman who tries to get inside him but fails. When Hawk shoots past her to wound a man threatening to kill her, she decides that her interest in Hawk is not that strong.
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