Double Deuce

A Spenser Novel
Narrated by: David Dukes
Series: Spenser, Book 19
Length: 4 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Spenser is forced by loyalty into an alien world where violence is a way of lie and outsiders enter at a lethal risk. When Spenser's cohort, Hawk, is hired by the tenants of a gang-plagued Boston housing project known as "Double Deuce", he enlists his friend's aid.

A friend's girl and her infant daughter have been gunned down. Though the act at first appears to be an accidental drive-by shooting, it soon becomes clear that it was premeditated murder. Before they can solve the crime, Spenser and Hawk must take on an adolescent band of hardened urban warriors. As bullets fly and the brutality escalates, Spenser learns more than he ever dreamed about a generation imprisoned in a hell of poverty and hopelessness where muscle is the ticket to survival, and the surest way out is in a body bag.

Pulsing with moral complexity, Double Deuce is the kind of no-holds-barred action thriller only Robert B. Parker can create.

Crack another case with Spenser.
©2009 Robert B. Parker (P)2009 Phoenix

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, mediocre narrator

Spenser is one of my guilty pleasures. I read them in print as they came out, up to this one and a little beyond, and listened to a few of the later ones. Lately I’ve started listening to the entire series in order. This is one of my favorites. Hawk and his new girlfriend (!) take Spenser to the ghetto to seek justice for the murder of a teenaged girl and her baby. Spenser novels are always very “talky” and here the talk is mostly about the role of gangs in the ghetto. Then there is all the usual action, gun play, instinctive reaction to extreme danger, etc, formulaic, but entertaining for people who like this kind of stuff.

Robert B. Parker wrote old fashioned macho detective stories in the style that made film noir so much fun. The irrestible middle-aged tough guy with the brilliant beautiful lover (more than girlfriend, not quite wife), written by a middle-aged wanna-be tough guy is self-indulgent and sometimes tedious. Spenser’s relationship with Hawk is more interesting. Neither is the other’s sidekick, they are equals who back each other up as the situation requires. In Double Deuce, it’s Hawk in the lead. As usual, the plot is secondary to dialogue, but the story here is more intriguing than some of Parker’s books.

The narrator is just wrong. I didn’t much care for Michael Prichard in the first 18 books, but David Dukes is far worse. His faux-“accents” are awful - “accents” in quotes because none of them sounds like anyone I’ve ever heard in actual speech. White guys doing black voices is always tricky, and with Hawk you have a white guy doing a black guy who sometimes speaks like a sophisticated intellectual and sometimes does a mean imitation of David Niven. Not easy, but Dukes always just sounds like a white guy trying to mimic a black guy. Of course any of us who ever watched an episode of Spenser: For Hire will always expect Hawk to sound like Avery Brooks, but I seem to remember liking the later narrators (Burt Reynolds and the very fine Joe Montegna) just fine.

Once you identify the main players, you could read the books out of order, but there is some character development along the way. In order is best if you can get past the less than brilliant narration. If not, just skip ahead to the later books.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible reading

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No. The reader, David Duke, is beyond horrible. One of the things I appreciate about a good reader is how he handles Hawk. Duke makes him sound like a skinny, little guy. He also did a horrible job with Belsen.

What did you like best about this story?

A pretty good storyline

How could the performance have been better?

A good reader

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Lousy reader

It was difficult to continue listening to this story because of the reader. His idea of voices for the black characters was embarassing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Good story, terrible reading

The Spenser series that include Hawk are usually the best, but the reading of this one is horrible. Susan is channelling Scarlet O'Hara and Hawk is read as Stephen Fetchit. Normally a good reader, but obviously unaware of the characters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worst Narration Ever

Great Parker as usual, maybe better than most. Unfortunately, it was absolutely the worst narration EVER!!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

It's frustrating when you've listened to 10 books of the same series and have gotten used to the style of the narrator and tone of the characters, then a new narrator comes in and feels the need to give his fresh new take. David Duke's interpretation of Hawk is terrible, as well his Belson and Susan.

The general narration is also overdone. Duke reads everything so dramatically, including when Spenser is cooking or working out.

I won't listen to another Spenser novel with this narrator.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

White Narrator Doing Worst 'Black' Dialogue Ever

Robert Parker writes like a guy who has never heard a black person speak in his life. Then add in this awful narrator and the result isn't just bad...it's offensive. Had to stop after 1/3 of the book. Also, why is Susan suddenly Southern? Unlistenable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, but very poor voice interpretations

This narrator obviously knows nothing about the characters nor their voice/personality characteristics, but...great story nevertheless.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story

Love Spencer books. This one has some personal insights that added to the story. Did not like the narrator’s version at all.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Avoid this narrator

Would have enjoyed this a lot more if anyone, and I mean ANYONE, else would have narrated. The characters voices were affected, and the ethnic attempts were insulting. There was a good yarn here, but it was totally obscured by the extremly bad performance.

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Profile Image for Mrs W.
  • Mrs W.
  • 03-21-16

David Dukes is wrong for this

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I love this book, its one of my favourites of RBP but David Dukes delivery of Hawk is terrible, i only managed about 6 minutes before I had enough. Hawk is a tough talking, strong african American male yet in this David Dukes makes him sound like a 12 year old girl. TERRIBLE, dont waste your money on any RBP Books that he narrates.

What didn’t you like about David Dukes’s performance?

Poor delivery and interpretation of characters

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed completely