We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Back Story Audiobook

Back Story

Regular Price:$21.27
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

4.1 (233 )
5 star
 (99)
4 star
 (81)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.3 (89 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.5 (92 )
5 star
 (62)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bob Seattle, WA, USA 05-08-03
    Bob Seattle, WA, USA 05-08-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    65
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "you know what you're gonna get"

    I think that I have listened to every "Spenser" novel that's available on Audible. It isn't so much that they are fantastic books... it's more that they are predictable in their high-quality. I tend to listen to these short Robert B. Parker novels between larger books... enjoying a mostly mindless story before undertaking another long listen.

    Joe Mantegna continues his entertaining portrayal as Spenser... one that he's also become known for in made-for-TV movies. As a side-note, the voices that he gives his female characters in his readings never fail to amuse me. I particularly enjoy when he attempts to pull off a rendition of a woman trying to seduce Spenser. Those laughs alone make the commute fly by quickly.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth 04-30-03
    Ruth 04-30-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    566
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "...he's Baa-a-ack!"

    okay: I haven't enjoyed a Parker novel in awhile, but this one, although not the most innovative, is fun and witty. His last few books have felt forced and written "just because..." Narrator is also excellent and gives each character a voice of his own.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob santa rosa , CA, USA 05-07-03
    Bob santa rosa , CA, USA 05-07-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Review of Back Story"

    This is my first story with this author. I like the straightforward language and the good, interesting story. I've been listening to other thriller/detective stories, and this is a good mix of straightforward writing, good, interesting plot, and understandable characters. It's engaging and complete without a lot of wasted words.

    He gets at meaningful interactions between characters without wasting words. The reader gets the picture without the author's having to waste words and time with a lot of description and dialogue. I suspect this kind of writing is tough to accomplish, and it's good to read.

    So it's 4 stars: good story, concise writing, interesting and tightly drawn characters, and that interesting dialogue: lots of tough guy lingo, and you can see the various characters sizing each other up and staring each other down. And shooting each other.

    Mantegna is a good listen, too.

    Bob

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 04-29-10
    bebe South Carolina 04-29-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    783
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1013
    521
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    47
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent Spencer story and production"

    I really loved this book. Spencer's "adopted" son, Paul, is in the story and I love Paul. He was introduced to us in the Spencer series book, "Early Autumn" . In my opinion, it would be good to have already read or listened to Early Autumn so that you know all about Paul before you listen to Back Story, but it is not necessary since this story can stand on its own. Hawk and Susan are in the story line of Back Story, which helps make it a great book. Also, Spencer meets Jesse Stone in this book. Stone appears in as the Police Chief of the town Paradise. At the first of this book It is revealed in the first of this book that Pearl the wonderdog has passed away - amazingly, Susan and Spencer get a puppy, the same breed as Pearl, to help get over the grief. To make things even more "fun", the story line brings back the memory of the hippie movement and free love. As you can see, in addition to the main story line of a 28 year old cold case murder which Spencer is attempting to solve, there is a lot going on! The reader, Joe Mantegna does his usual great job reading the book. I loves his interpretation of Spencer and of the reoccuring characgers of Susan, Hawk, Quirk, Belson, etc. I expecially love his interpretations of the very well written, witty conversations between Spencer and Hawk.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Grand Rapids, MI, USA 08-22-03
    Craig Grand Rapids, MI, USA 08-22-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    134
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Listen to Sample!!!"

    Kim & Lawrenc are right. Just listen to the sample. What a great way to ruin an audio book..."I said","I said","I said". I'm goin' for the paperback.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 05-05-15
    George 05-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    94
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Joe is Spenser"

    One of the better dramatizations of Parker's best detective and his erudite sidekick, Hawk (if only Avery Brooks could have voiced Hawk this would be perfect in every way).

    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
    FOLLOWERS
    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
    167
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    198
    63
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    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
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. L. DeWitt Jefferson City, MO United States 05-16-03
    A. L. DeWitt Jefferson City, MO United States 05-16-03 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    449
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    104
    78
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    51
    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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.