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Publisher's Summary

When Spenser accepts a job as a "bodyguard" for a beautiful young woman, he gets in way over his head.
Crack another case with Spenser.
©1987 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

Spenser is..."The sassiest, funniest, most-enjoyable-to-read-about private eye around today...the legitimate heir to the Hammett-Chandler-Macdonald tradition." (The Cincinnati Post)
"Spenser is...Tougher, stronger, better educated, and far more amusing than Sam Spade, Phil Marlowe, or Lewis Archer...Spenser gives the connoisseur of that rare combination of good detective fiction and good literature a chance to indulge himself." (The Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • bebe
  • South Carolina
  • 04-17-10

very good

The only reason I did not give this a 5 is because Hawk is not in the story line. I like Spencer novels best when Spencer, Hawk and Susan Silverman are all involved. However, this is a really good book. It has a great story line and Spencer is his usual funny, cocky and loveable self. The reader is good and make listening to this book a pleasure.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Spenser is a pleasure

Rachel Wallace is a lesbian feminist who writes books and names names, and gets vilified for speaking her mind. Her publisher hires Spenser to be her bodyguard, as she has received death threats for her views. She is personally reluctant to hire such a macho guy, but she needs him. I don't want to say too much about the plot, but I will say a little. I don't know how long ago this book was published, but Parker speaks to issues that are so current and so controversial that they could be in the news now. Rachel is kidnapped by some loony "Ritz crackers," in Spenser's words, but these people are very far off at the extreme right wing of this country, deeply bigoted and intolerant to their bones. The resistance to same sex marriage in the current news is essentially predicted by Parker here. The relationship between Spenser and Susan is once again so tender that you feel deeply for both of them. Spenser may be a tough guy on the outside and a cream puff inside, but the cream puff is available to us in a very guarded and controlled way. Rachel fires Spenser because he is too violent in one scene, a corporate setting in which he manhandles a couple of corporate goofballs. Spenser admits that "she might be right" about this. He uses his connections in the Boston Police Department, Belson and Quirk, to look for her in ways that the police cannot. He is endangered by the loonies and their lackies, but he finds a way out, despite being severely beaten in one scene. Parker was so prolific in his life (he died in 2010) that you should read most of his stuff, and stay away from the pretenders. I recommend him without reservation. I've read over 800 audiobooks, and Parker continues to entertain me, make me laugh, and make me think. What more could I want?

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Spenser Makes A New Friend

The militant lesbian author Rachel Wallace is being threatened and needs protection; do you see where we're heading here? That's right Spenser to the rescue; he becomes her shadow and hilarity ensues. In actuality the initial portion of the book is mostly humorous with Rachel and Spenser arguing patriarchal nomenclature and gender politics. The tone of the book changes when Rachel is kidnapped and Spenser loses much of his sense of humor.
There had been an earlier confrontation with an anti-gay protester in front of one venue where Rachel was speaking. When a connection is established between a woman Rachel had a one-night stand with and the protester, well you just know there will soon be a solution unveiled.
This is one of the better Spenser novels along with Early Autumn and the Godwulf Manuscript the best of Parker is exhibited. Obviously this book is one that I recommend highly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • thomas
  • United States
  • 09-06-12

ANOTHER GREAT SPENSER, ANOTHER GREAT LISTEN

LISTENING TO THESE EARLY SPENSER NOVELS HAS BEEN A REAL TREAT. LIKE GETTING REAQUAINTED WITH AN OLD FRIEND. YOU JUST HAVE TO PLACE SOME OF THE OFFERINGS IN THEIR RIGHT FRAME OF REFERENCE. IN LOOKING FOR RACHEL WALLACE, SPENSER IS HIRED TO PROTECT AN OUTSPOKEN FEMINIST WRITER FROM THREATS AGAINST HER PERSON, AND SOME OF THE ATTITUDES TOWARDS WOMEN, AND LESBIANS MIGHT COME ACROSS DATED TO LISTENERS WITH A MORE MODERN APPROACH. BUT PLACING MACHO SPENSER TO TAKE CARE OF AN OUTSPOKEN FEMINIST AND LESBIAN IS A GREAT PLOT DEVICE FOR PARKER TO EXPLORE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN, ESPECIALLY IN HOW THE TWO SEXES DIFFER IN APPROACHING LIFE ISSUES, AND DEALING WITH THE PRESSURE OF HATE CRIMES. RACHEL WALLACE IS A PROPONENT OF NON-VIOLENCE IN THE FACE OF IGNORANT ABUSE. SPENSER WOULD JUST AS SOON PUNCH A BIGOT IN THE NOSE. THIS JUXTAPOSITION OF ATTITUDES MAKES FOR SOME INSIGHTFUL MOMENTS BETWEEN THE TWO, AND ADD IN SPENSER'S GAL PAL, SUSAN SILVERMAN, AND NOW THE DISCUSSION OF WHAT IT IS TO BE A MAN'S MAN, AND THE PERCEPTION OF WHAT IS A MODERN WOMAN HAS REALLY JUST BEGUN. AND NONE OF THIS TAKES AWAY FROM THE RAPID FIRE PACING OF THE PLOT. THAT IS THE GLORY OF ROBERT PARKER'S WRITING; IT'S WEIGHTY STUFF, BUT NEVER FEELS HEAVY HANDED.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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always lisrening; psychologist, English lit degree

the wry attitude of the narrator makes this story. I can't imagine actually reading this after listening to Prichard. will be interesting to hear how he handles another story. he does well with the female characters. the transition between characters does not break the rhythm of the story. Enjoyed this book to want to walk my dog longer so I could keep listening. hope Robert Parker ' s other books are as entertaining. The only problem was how often Rachel had to announce she was a lesbian. sadly this mad her a flat character because we don't find out how she deals with anything accept through her self definition of lesbian.

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Worth every second

Great story great reading. Into it the whole story. Worth listening to again in a while for fourth time. Good.

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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 08-02-13

Not bad.

Nothing really special, but I enjoyed it because of the author’s wit.

About once a chapter he says something that makes me chuckle. For example: Spenser is talking to a guy who is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. “I heard you were regional manager or grand high imperial alligator or whatever from Massachusetts.”

Rachel Wallace is a women’s activist author who is a lesbian. She does not like Spenser’s macho abilities. She needs him, but she doesn’t like needing him.

The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

This is book #6 in the Spenser series.

Genre: PI mystery.

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Everybody Counts

What made the experience of listening to Looking for Rachel Wallace the most enjoyable?

Good story line. Rachel was very honest even though severe at times. Seemed true to life.

If you’ve listened to books by Robert B. Parker before, how does this one compare?

Wow! The topic is bold , like Parker. One of his best.

What about Michael Prichard’s performance did you like?

He read clearly and at the right pace. Sometimes he even got into character!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Everybody Counts!

Any additional comments?

I know Robert B Parker has passed on and I don't know the date of this book but somebody is doing a D..... good job with his work.

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  • Louanne
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 10-29-12

This Series never disappoints me.

I don't have any fancy things to say. I just really like the humor and skill of Robert Parker. His writing is strait forward and his characters border on cliche, but that never bothers me. I always am attracted to his position on morality. His stories are always interesting. The larger than life Spencer, is charming to me because Parker does not write in a pretentious style. That always puts me off, a writer trying to prove he is "gifted", or tries to me believe something that is not believable within the context of the form. Finally I like the format of mysteries without exploitation of graphic grizzly descriptions. I can listen to any of these books at night in bed without being stressed. I LOVE the writing of James Burke, but his stories are often too harsh for my comfort zone. I am a light weight when it comes to human anguish and suffering. And I am a champion of strong personal morality that transcends social rules or religious programming, which was particularly strong in the Appaloosa Series - my favorite. These books are my cup of tea. Easy, satisfying, strait forward.

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Not one of the better Spencer books

This story line shows Spenser as being very sappy and way too sensitive.
Glad the book was short .