It’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street. But it’s not a simple case of intimidation - Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well.
Unfinished at the time of his death, Silent Night was completed by Parker’s longtime agent, whose decades-long association with Parker’s work gives her unique insight and perspective to his voice and storytelling style. Her contribution also speaks volumes about their enduring friendship.
This was nothing like a Spencer novel; it was a touchy-feely, warm and fuzzy story, completely unlike the Spencer novels of old. The author took the characters and tried to make them something they weren't. She tried to turn Spencer into Father Flanagan who carries a .44 and give Hawk a social conscious. There was hardly any action and no mystery whatsoever. 100% do not recommend this novel. Please bring back Ace Atkins.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I have always loved Robert Parkers Spencer detective series. I listen to many of these as audiobooks narrated by Joe Mantegna in the 90s. This book follows in that wonderful tradition. It’s a good story, not too sentimental, and with all the hallmarks of a traditional Spencer story. Joe Mantegna is wonderful as narrator.
I enjoyed the characters "Slide" and "Carmen" and enjoyed the lack of blood and guts.
This author has the general idea of Spencer and Hawk but does not quite have all of Robert Parker's the net. The characters are not as holistic and deep as Parkers.
Would you consider the audio edition of Silent Night to be better than the print version?
Yes. Joe Mantegna is the perfect voice for Spenser, Hawk and the rest of the gang.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Silent Night?
I always love the banter between Spenser and Hawk.
What does Joe Mantegna bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Joe Mantegna brings out the smart ass in Spenser. When I read Spenser novels, I read it with Joe's voice in my head.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I didn't have any extreme reaction to Silent Night. It wasn't my favorite Spenser novel, but, like the others that I've read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was sad to see the "time remaining" indicator on my audiobook tick down to the end.
Any additional comments?
I've read or listened to every Spenser novel that there is and consider myself a big fan of Robert B. Parker and especially of the Spenser Novels. Silent Night is no exception. Like Ace Atkins, I think that Helen Brann has done a great job bringing us another Spenser story. I look forward to more in the future.