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God Save the Child: A Spenser Novel | [Robert B. Parker]

God Save the Child: A Spenser Novel

Appie Knoll is the kind of suburb where kids grow up right. But something is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he's run away -- until the comic strip ransom note arrives. It doesn't take Spenser long to get the picture -- an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends...friends like Vic Harroway, body builder. Mr. Muscle is Spenser's only lead and he isn't talking...except with his fists
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Publisher's Summary

Appie Knoll is the kind of suburb where kids grow up right. But something is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he's run away -- until the comic strip ransom note arrives.

It doesn't take Spenser long to get the picture -- an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends...friends like Vic Harroway, body builder. Mr. Muscle is Spenser's only lead and he isn't talking...except with his fists. But when push comes to shove, when a boy's life is on the line, Spenser can speak that language too.

Crack another case with Spenser.

©1987 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Spenser is everyman's fantasy: social critic, gourmet cook, physically fit, sculptor, and of course, unabashed participant in a non-destructive sexual relationship. Parker has taken his place beside Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald." (The Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (110 )
5 star
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4.3 (75 )
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4.2 (74 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 11-17-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 11-17-12 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Early Parker, like Early Autumn. Very engaging."

    Parker was so prolific for so long that it is sometimes hard to tell one book from another. I may have confused my review of Early Autumn with this one. If so, forgive me. At 63. whatever, the memory begins to fade...perhaps some of you are familiar with this phenomenon.
    In any case, this is the book in which Spenser and Susan Silverman meet, and it presages a long, passionate affair in which the two never live together, but maintain their love and commitment to each other. The plot involves a kidnapping of a fifteen-year-old boy for $50,000, money his parents have to borrow. The parents have very serious problems. Spenser is drawn into a spider's web of iniquity and evil-doing, the likes of which the title of the book would never even hint at. Everyone is corrupt, and Spenser is like a dog with a bone: he is so determined that he never lets go. Susan helps him as a consultant, but we soon realize that the work she does is parallel: her clinical work involves her solving the nexus of her patients' lives, just as Spenser's work draws him into the dark side of their lives.
    Spenser is so funny that you often can't stop giggling long enough to take him seriously.
    This book is also pre-Hawk. Spenser is without his wing-man, and has to ride to the rescue with only his resources. Fortunately, these are considerable. The team of Spenser and Susan is a winner, and will survive decades of very satisfying work. Enjoy this. Few writers can approach Parker in talent, humor, plot or character development.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 01-11-10
    bebe South Carolina 01-11-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Have listened to this twice"

    I listened to this a few months ago before I had gotten hooked on Spencer. After 10 books, I am now really hooked. The books I previously enjoyed were not in sequence so I decided to start from the first and go through the series in order. This includes relistening/rereading books previously enjoyed. The first book is Godwulf Manuscript, which I read (because Burt Reynolds is the reader of the Audible.com version and he is awful). Godwulf is great. I think I learned that Spencer's first name is Jim (which I never knew before), but I may be wrong. Possibly I will verify his first name in a later book.

    Then I relistened to God Save the Child (the second book) and enjoyed it even more the second time. In this book Spencer is looking for a missing boy. He meets Susan Silverman for the first time. She is a guidance councelor at the missing boy's school. Parker says her eyes are black/brown. I seem to remember in later books that her eyes are blue, but I may be wrong. I can't wait to keep going through the series to see if her eyes stay black/brown! Robert Parker did a good job drawing all the characters - I really like the father and sister of the missing boy - and disliked his mother. Quirk and Belson of the Boston Police Dept show up again (they were introduced in the first book). Also Healy of the Dist Atty's office shows up. I can't remember if he was in the first book, but I know that he, Quirk and Belson show up in many of the following books. Robert Parker seems to enjoy writing about Spencer and developing his character. He does a splendid job in this book and throughout the series. Michael Prithard is the reader and he is good. He, Montegna and Davis are excellent Spencer series readers and protray him the way I have him pictured from reading the books. I love the Spencer world and highly recommend that you get into it too.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Columbia, Seychelles 03-31-10
    William Columbia, Seychelles 03-31-10
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    "A great follow up!"

    Yes it's not the most inventive story but it's very entertaining. Spenser's charm is what keeps a sub par plot from sinking. I liked the book but if this wasn't a Spenser novel it would of felt bland. I wonder how readers felt back in the 70's when this was release? Maybe a weak follow up? I disagree. It keeps things interesting with small mystery but as said before...all because of Spenser. The reader is great and you can tell he understands Spenser's humor. Check it out!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas United States 12-24-11
    thomas United States 12-24-11 Member Since 2011

    FORTY SOMETHING THUG FOR HIRE WHO ENJOYS A GOOD BOOK.

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    "SAY HELLO TO CLASSIC SPENSER"

    THOUGHT I WOULD REVISIT SPENCER'S ORIGINS THROUGH AUDIBLE OFFERINGS, AND AM PLEASED I DID. THIS IS CLASSIC SPENCER: TOUGH, WITTY, AND SENSITIVE TO BOOT. THE PLOT IS NICE, AND LIKE MOST SPENCER PLOTS ITS NOT REALLY ABOUT THE MYSTERY, ITS MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE. ROBERT PARKER'S EYE FOR THE LITTLE DETAILS IS WHAT CARRIES THESE STORIES. ALTHOUGH PARKER HAS WRITTEN SOME PHILIP MARLOW/ RAYMOND CHANDLER STORIES, HIS STYLE IS MORE SUITED TO THE STARK OBSERVANCES OF HAMMETTE,S CONTINENTAL OP, THAN IT IS TO THE PURPLE PROSE OF CHANDLER'S MARLOW. ITS GREAT STUFF NO MATTER HOW YOU COMPARE IT. PARKER IS ONE OF THE GREATS, AND HAD TAKEN THE CLASSIC PRIVATE EYE INTO THE NEXT CENTURY, MAKING HIS CHARACTER OF SPENCER INTO THE IDEAL FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND AMERICAN MACHISMO. IT IS A REAL TREAT TO START AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS IMPORTANT SERIES AND WORK MY WAY THROUGH IT AGAIN, TO SEE HOW SPENSER HAS GROWN OVER THE YEARS. ALL THE SPENSER NOVELS ARE GREAT ENTERTAINMENT. AND AUDIBLE HAS DONE A FINE JOB MAKING THEM AVAILABLE TO A LISTENING AUDIENCE. IF I HAVE ANY NEGATIVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS AUDIBLE OFFERING IS THAT NARRATOR MICHAEL PRICHARD SOMETIMES SOUNDS MORE LIKE HE SHOULD BE PITCHING MOTEL EIGHT TO LEAVE THE LIGHT ON FOR YOU, RATHER THAN CHEWING THE MORDANT TOUGH GUY TALK OF A PRIVATE EYE. BUT OVER ALL THIS IS A GREAT LISTEN.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda Lineville, AL, United States 05-07-11
    Wanda Lineville, AL, United States 05-07-11
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    "Spenser meets Susan"

    This novel introduces Susan into Spenser's life. I had read a couple of the last few Spenser novels written before Mr. Parker died. I wanted to start with the first Spenser novel and come forward. God Save the Child is the 2nd novel in the Spenser series.....he meets Susan while on a case...................this is a great Spenser novel !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-20-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Weak 3 stars. Just ok."

    My mind wandered at times. Other books in the series are better.

    The plot was not well developed. I wanted a better understanding of the son’s motivations and why certain bad guys were working together. Someone is killed in the end. I wanted more details about that. And I was annoyed with the ending. It was incomplete.

    This is book 2 in the series. Here Spenser meets Susan Sullivan who is a high school guidance counselor. Susan continues as Spenser’s love interest in future books.

    The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

    Genre: PI mystery

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 04-26-13
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 04-26-13 Member Since 2005

    I have purchased over 400 books. I have high standards for writing and content, but indulge in "travel trash" or fairly good entertainment.

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    "A PURE HEART"

    I have read many of the Spencer novels. I continue to buy and listen and dread the day I have completed the series twice. I never mind listening more than once. I can't say this is great literature, great writing, or epic stories etc. But for me they are GREAT entertainment. I don't enjoy the over the top Reacher type, spare me, these are like super hero action comics. Nor do I like exploitive violence and brutality which are often not necessary. I do enjoy the Spencer character, I love the humor, the "tongue and cheek" Mr. Thin Man repartee, (can't spell that) from the thirties and forties. AND, I especially value the consistency of his moral integrity transcending the law or the norm. What's not to like. Moral superiority does it for me every time. GO SPENCE. LOVE HAWK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    diana mcdonald Carneys Point, NJ, US 06-11-12
    diana mcdonald Carneys Point, NJ, US 06-11-12
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    "Oldie but a Goodie"

    I am a big Robert B Parker fan. I also am a big Spenser series fan.
    I am just now starting from the beginning with his Spenser Books.
    This 2nd book is getting to know Spenser and I am liking it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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