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Back Story | [Robert B. Parker]

Back Story

In 1974, a revolutionary group calling itself the Dread Scott Brigade held up the old Shawmut Bank in Boston's Audubon Circle. Money was stolen. And a woman named Emily Gordon, a visitor in town cashing traveler's checks, was shot and killed. No one saw who shot her. Despite security camera photos and a letter from the group claiming responsibility, the perpetrators have remained at large for nearly three decades. Now it's up to Spenser to solve her murder.
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Publisher's Summary

Spenser tries to solve a 30-year-old murder as a favor to an old friend in the brilliant new mystery from the Grand Master.

In 1974, a revolutionary group calling itself the Dread Scott Brigade held up the old Shawmut Bank in Boston's Audubon Circle. Money was stolen. And a woman named Emily Gordon, a visitor in town cashing traveler's checks, was shot and killed. No one saw who shot her. Despite security camera photos and a letter from the group claiming responsibility, the perpetrators have remained at large for nearly three decades.

Enter Paul Giacomin, the closest thing to a son Spenser has. Twice before, Spenser has come to the young man's assistance, and now that Paul is in his 30s, his troubled past is behind him. When Paul's friend Daryl Gordon -daughter of the long-gone Emily - decides she needs closure about the matter of her mother's death, it's Spenser she turns to. The lack of clues and the fact that an FBI intelligence report is missing force Spenser to reach out in every direction - to Daryl's estranged hippie father; to Vinnie Morris and the mob; to the mysterious Ives - and test his resourcefulness and courage.

©2003 Robert B. Parker; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Series fans will be satisfied." (Booklist)
"Bernhardt keeps his foot flat on the accelerator, producing action at every turn." (Orlando Sentinel)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (190 )
5 star
 (68)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (51 )
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Story
4.3 (52 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Leslie Virginia Beach, VA, United States 12-25-07
    Leslie Virginia Beach, VA, United States 12-25-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Worthy"

    This is a quick story, but one that shows a lot of personality in the characters. The dialogue is entertaining, snappy yet realistic. The characters are fun to listen to and the performance is very well done. Definitely worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Aurora, CO, USA 01-25-06
    Colin Aurora, CO, USA 01-25-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Robert B. Parker does it again"

    What can I say but another great book from Mr. Parker. As always, he puts you right there on the street with his characters. The research he does is incredible. If you were from the city he puts his characters in and were familiar with that part of the city he's using as background, you'd know exactly where you are in your mind's eye. Mr. Parker doesn't just write, he paints a mental canvas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 12-26-04
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 12-26-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    357
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    245
    107
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    5
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    Overall
    "another winner for Robert Parker"

    I've listened to most of Parker's books as I'm unable to use my eyes, and never even noticed the "he said, she said" thing until this other reviewer mentioned it. It still isn't a problem. On the contrary, I think it's part of the rythym of his repartee. But, it might not be to everyone's taste. It's very, very dry. Brut supreme and supreme writing, IMHO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Plantation, FL, USA 08-05-03
    Jackie Plantation, FL, USA 08-05-03 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "I said, he said, she said - YUCK!"

    I was sorry that I had not read Kim's review prior to obtaining this book. I didn't even make it through the first disc! I thoroughly enjoy Joe Mantegna as an actor but felt that if I heard one more "I said" or "he said" I would scream.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Jefferson City, MO, United States 05-16-03
    Anthony Jefferson City, MO, United States 05-16-03 Member Since 2011

    I am an attorney and author in Jefferson City, MO.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    301
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    68
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    FOLLOWING
    42
    0
    Overall
    "Intersecting Characters"

    I found it funny that the Spenser characters have now begun to intersect and interact with the characters from Parker's Paradise novels. Jesse Stone makes an appearance in this new Spenser novel, and we find that Spenser and Stone get along pretty well.

    Like most of the Spenser novels, Parker keeps us guessing most of the way, and we can almost forget that when this series started Spenser was a Korean War veteran who by now ought to be lunching on Ensure rather than fancy meals at fancy restaurants. The stories and dialog crackle and the rapport between Hawk and Spenser is worth the price of the book alone.

    Violence happens, but it isn't glorified, and it isn't described as something to take glory in. Spenser is a human with real emotions and a deep philosophical side. Reading these novels you get the idea that you'd like to have lunch with Parker some day, and maybe go shooting with him.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharlene Pembroke Pines, FL, USA 08-15-03
    Sharlene Pembroke Pines, FL, USA 08-15-03 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    7
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    "Delightful"

    This detective mystery had several strong points. The length was just right. The narrator imitated well a Northeastern cop, making the story believable from the beginning. The book was intriguing from the beginning up to the surprise ending. The only negative comment I have is that I don't like profanity, even though I realize it is part of some characters' personalities.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bessel A van der Kolk 05-26-03 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    131
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "no character"

    This is an extremely poorly written detective novel with no character development, stereotyped characters and a plot that does not make sense.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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