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Valediction: A Spenser Novel | [Robert B. Parker]

Valediction: A Spenser Novel

The most dangerous man to cross is one who isn't afraid to die. But the most deadly is one who doesn't want to live. And Spenser has just lost the woman who made life his number-one priority. So when a religious sect kidnaps a pretty young dancer, no death threat can make Spenser cut and run. Now a hit man's bullet is wearing Spenser's name. But Boston's big boys don't know Spenser's ready and willing to meet death more than halfway.
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Publisher's Summary

The most dangerous man to cross is one who isn't afraid to die. But the most deadly is one who doesn't want to live. And Spenser has just lost the woman who made life his number-one priority.

So when a religious sect kidnaps a pretty young dancer, no death threat can make Spenser cut and run. Now a hit man's bullet is wearing Spenser's name. But Boston's big boys don't know Spenser's ready and willing to meet death more than halfway.

Crack another case with Spenser.

©1992 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Tough, wisecracking, unafraid and unexpectedly literate - in many respects the very exemplar of the species." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (51 )
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4.2 (32 )
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4.4 (33 )
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  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 09-02-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 09-02-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the best Parker, but still pretty good."

    Robert B. Parker wrote a number of Spenser novels, in which Spenser's best friend was a black guy named Hawk, and his girlfriend was a woman named Susan Silverman. In this book he essentially subtracts Susan. Frankly, I think it is a loss, but I understand the need to shake things up a little, particularly for a writer as prolific as Parker. The plot concerns a church which is a front for something else (I won't spoil it for you) and some gangsters who seem somehow to be involved with the church. Michael Prichard does his usual terrific job of narrating the book. Spenser comes very close to dying at the end, which is a twist, as he and Hawk are usually possessed of ultra-masculinity and powers that few other men could even dream of. There is a love interest, a woman named Linda, but she comes off as weak and colorless, compared to the erudite Susan. Spenser's devotion to Susan is almost comical, if it weren't so utterly pure. If you haven't read any of the Spenser books, I would not start here. The earlier books are absolutely terrific. This one is not. There is way too much plot exposition at the end. Spenser lives, but as Hawk says, "You ain't the man you was." Ain't it the truth.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Ham Lake, MN, United States 10-31-10
    Deborah Ham Lake, MN, United States 10-31-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Narrator not very good"

    I like the Spenser novels, but this narrator is not very good, he's rather monotone, and the sound quality is poor as well. I think it's an older one or something, because I have heard Spenser books read with a different narrator who is much better.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rick PURLEAR, NC, United States 05-01-14
    rick PURLEAR, NC, United States 05-01-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A Single Dream Exacts a Terrible Price"

    The headline is something of a paraphrase from The Great Gatsby.Susan Silverman is involved with another man and rather than coming back to Boston she's moving to San Francisco. So Spenser dives into a depression, he dates, and he courts death by taking on a heroin ring to rescue a girl and give her an opportunity to reunite with her boyfriend. Still Spenser keeps the faith. In himself, in Susan, in Hawk. A darker work than the usual Spenser novel it works as a change of pace from the normal Parker take on his alter ego.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-06-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weak 3 stars."

    Not as interesting as others in the series. Plot and characters were ok, but nothing special.

    At the end we learn about a surprise bad guy. Not enough was said about that person’s motives and actions.

    I’m reading the series because I like the author’s witty lines, but they have been less frequent in later books. There was one good line in this book. Spenser tells someone Hawk will guard him. The guy says “Can he guard me alone?” Spenser says “Hawk could guard Yugoslavia alone.”

    You don’t need to read the prior books, but it was handy to have read book 8 before this (A Savage Place). In this book Spenser has a dream about finding a woman dead which happened in book 8.

    Spenser and Susan have been in love and in a committed relationship in prior books. In this book Susan left him, moved away, and wants alone time. Although Spenser is suffering, he dates and has sex with Linda.

    The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

    Genre: PI mystery

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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