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Showing 1-10 of 65 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 146 reviews
This entry falls a little flat. Having read the previous two books featuring April Kyle, I found her actions at the end out of character. Hawk and Teddy Sapp were more boadly drawn than usualk, descending into stereotype and adding little to the story except some standard butt-kicking moments. And Tony Marcus and Ty-Bop were more of the same. That said, Susan and Spenser's often eye-rolling verbal affirmations of how special and unique they are was toned down a little for this book, though their discussions about pornography and prostitution were more than a little akward and superficial with some ridiculous psuedo analysis that amounted to little more than the usual 'ain't it great to be us' and 'other people sure are messed up'.

But even a lackluster Spenser book is better than no Spenser book.
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on December 5, 2006
you won't feel as bad about spending $6.99 as you would if you paid for the hardback. The first part of this book is just plain boring. I really don't have to know exactly what every person in the book is wearing or the exact position Pearl the Wonderdog is lying in on whoever's sofa (there's a "chapter" of just Spenser and Pearl sitting on the sofa)or the play by play of Spenser looking out the window ; and the conversations between Spenser and Susan were dull and rather unnecessary. The story picks up a little at the end but it is disappointing overall. And I still have a real problem with how Parker "writes" Hawk's dialog, I cringe when I read it. He still sounds like he just came off the plantation. Surely Mr. Parker could find someone in Boston that he could use as an example of the current slang and speech patterns of the streets. He should listen to a hip-hop record or something. (Although frankly I would be more frightened if Hawk spoke perfect English while he was pointing a gun at my head.) It's just time that Hawk stop playing Stepin Fetchit to Spenser. And could we PLEASE have some "conflict" between characters! Everyone understands each other so well it can get dull. Susan and Spenser have the same conversations in every book lately and they're always so perfectly accepting and happy with each other, it would be nice to make them more realistic - for goodness sake could they have a fight or something??? Everytime a new Spenser book comes out I hope it will be more like the old ones and less like a formulaic, overlong, short story. Once again I was wrong. I think I'll take my own advice next time.
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on April 16, 2017
Amazing of the stories and predicaments Spenser Nd Hawk get themselves into, plus coming up and smelling like a rose.
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on April 17, 2017
Great book.
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on March 9, 2007
I love Spenser as a character. Always have. I love his quick humor. I love his confidence. I love the way he loves people. I love that he feels he has to save people from themselves more often than he saves them from other people trying to harm them.

I probably won't ever dislike Spenser or want to stop reading about him.

But there's the deal: sometimes now, I want more from him. I want more than the dialogue. I want more than the predictable conversations he has with Susan and Hawk. I want. . .what? Not change, precisely. I just want more added to the usual.

In this book, Parker did his usual good job with continuity. That is to say, he didn't write anything that makes Spenser or any other character deviate from his/her norm. Spenser is charged with once again helping a woman he "saved" before, and there's a little tension there because she isn't someone who's easy to save (or even to like).

But overall--the dialogue is remarkably similar to dialogue in previous Spenser novels. There's the same lack of question marks when characters are presumably asking questions. The same quick banter that makes the pages fly but sometimes also leaves the reader wanting. . .well, more.

So, for me, this book was the equivalent of a nice little catch-up with Spenser and his circle. What it didn't do for me was leave me feeling that I knew him any better or had explored much in the way of new, exciting issues.

A little spice would have been nice, Mr. Parker. That said, a ho-hum "Spenser" beats the average crime novel/mystery pretty much any day.
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on November 25, 2006
O.k. - starting off with this one in the Spenser series might leave you a bit helpless at the beginning. April Kyle returns, a prostitute once "saved" by Spenser. Hawk, Susan of course, and Pearl the wonder-dog. Also several of the more shady characters Parker created make a welcome come-back.

Things start off quite easily, with the greatest dialogue keeping you both on the edge of your seat and laughing your head off. That's where Parker is best. It's also why he doesn't need much space for descriptions. The characters jump into your face by what he makes them say.

As the story unfolds, things get darker, not just because of Hawk.

I won't go much into the story-line. As always it's fast-paced. Just a few words so you get the feeling. April is now a Madam, more or less managing her own house. The more-or-less is where the trouble starts. Others want a part of her success. But since there are quite a few bastards on her trail, she asks Spenser for help. Of course he solves the case in the end, just not the way April expected him to.

So, when you know Spenser, get this one, it's one of the best. If you don't, get it too - and the other ones, starting with "Ceremony" and "Taming A Sea-Horse", the two other books with April Kyle.
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on November 26, 2006
Perhaps with your background, you could have explained to the reader why a girl like this would have suddenly started to murder people. This does not seem real. Yes, she was a messed up young woman, but murder? I find this hard to believe. The dialog with Hawk was boring, the relationship with Susan was boring. I hope you get it right next time. I want to read a book that includes Hawk, Susan, Pearl and Spencer. Janet Evanovich has been able to give equal time to her new series. I think you are spreading yourself thinly.

I used to be a big fan, I'm losing it...
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on November 10, 2006
April Kyle, the young girl Spenser saved from a vicious prostitution ring only to move her up to a top-of-the-line prostitution ring, is back and once more needs to be saved. Only this time she's a full-grown woman running an independent sex operation of her own. When she shows up in Spenser's office, he doesn't at first recognize her. Then, after he does, she talks about how thugs are menacing her operation, trying to cut in on her business. Spenser takes up her defense and soon finds himself enmeshed against a local thug working for a high-rolling predator.

Robert B. Parker is the bestselling author of the Spenser, Jesse Stone, and Sunny Randall series as well as several independent works like WILDERNESS, LOVE & GLORY, and APPALOOSA. A television show, SPENSER: FOR HIRE, was based on his novels, as well as several made-for-TV movies. His Jesse Stone series has become a series of made-for-TV movies starring Tom Selleck.

Parker's writing, as always, is elegant and smooth, whipping by in a blur as a seasoned reader slips comfortably back into the familiar world the author's been writing about for the last 30 years. April Kyle's story is a familiar one: she's in trouble and Spenser has to ride to the rescue. The violence and action develops well, and even the psychological profiling that Susan does fits the story in a satisfying manner. Hawk is present, riding backup as he usually does, and even Teddy Sapp, Frank Belson, and Martin Quirk put in appearances.

I would have liked a little more history developed on April Kyle. In particular, why she left her family in the first place back in CEREMONY. That character development seemed to be missing in this book.

As always, Parker's fans have been waiting on this novel. Knowing that it would be about April Kyle has made the wait even more intolerable. But it's here now, and long-time readers will enjoy the excursion with Spenser. I really suggest new readers pick up copies of CEREMONY and TAMING A SEA-HORSE before reading this one. That way more emotional context will be present for them.
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on February 17, 2016
Fairly good story, much the same type of plot as in his earlier books. He gets hired to investigate a problem, few details found, and for the next 75% of the book, the hero hasn't a clue as to who done it. Then, in the last 10 pages, he gets a hint, solves the problem with a happy ending.
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on January 9, 2007
The story revisits old Spenser characters. I've read them all and this one still keeps the interest.
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