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Publisher's Summary

Spenser has gone to London -- and not to see the Queen. He's gone to track down a bunch of bombers who've blown away his client's wife and kids. His job is to catch them. Or kill them. His client isn't choosy.

But there are nine killers to one Spenser -- long odds. Hawk helps balance the equation. The rest depends on a wild plan. Spenser will get one of the terrorists to play Judas Goat -- to lead him to others. Trouble is, he hasn't counted on her being very blond, very beautiful and very dangerous.

Crack another case with Spenser.
©1992 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Spenser is Boston's answer to James Bond...with a little Sam Spade and Nero Wolfe thrown in...Irreverent, witty, worldly...makes for fast, amusing reading." (Pittsburgh Press)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Spenser is not Sam Spade.

I have read or listened to all of the Spenser books and this book, although very dated in its language, has always been one of my favorites of the early mysteries. But the books are intended to be light and breezy - an easy read without too much seriousness. Joe Montagne, who narrates the later books, has the exactly right approach to the characters where the light-hearted banter between Spenser, Hawk, Vinnie and others sets the tone.

But Michael Prichard seems to think that Spenser is Sam Spade and narrates the book accordingly. There is almost no humor and he has completely lost the tone of the book. That is too bad since I would like to have bought more of the early Spenser books. Now I am stuck with The Judas Goat and, my personal favorite, A Catskill Eagle, and neither touches the upbeat and sprightly tone of the books themselves. I would willingly buy them again if Joe Montagne were to narrate them.

Good book. Poor narration. And a real disappointment.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

3 ½ stars. Some parts very good. Some parts ok.

Spenser is hired to find and capture or kill some terrorist bombers. I couldn’t imagine how he would do it. I enjoyed watching him do it. The previous book introduced Hawk. In this book Spenser hires Hawk to help. There were some good scenes with them together. As always, I like this author because of his wit.

The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

This is book #5 in the Spenser series.

Genre: PI mystery

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • thomas
  • United States
  • 09-06-12

THE PERFECT RECIPE...

ONCE AGAIN, I HAVE REVISITED ONE OF ROBERT PARKER'S EARLIER SPENSER NOVELS, AND THIS ONE IS A GEM. THE JUDAS GOAT BRINGS ALL THE ELEMENTS OF A GOOD SPENSER NOVEL TOGETHER IN A PERFECT RECIPE OF ACTION, SUSPENSE, HUMOR, AND HUMAN INSIGHT THAT HAVE MADE SPENSER SUCH A POPULAR CHARACTER FOR SO MANY YEARS. THE PLOT HERE INVOLVES SPENSER TRACKING DOWN TERRORISTS, AND TAKES HIM FROM THE UNITED STATES TO ENGLAND, AND ACROSS EUROPE. HIS LETHAL COMPANION HAWK JOINS UP WITH HIM HALF-WAY THROUGH THE STORY, AND THINGS REALLY TAKE OFF FROM THERE. THE PARTNERING OF SPENSER AND HAWK IS PERFECTLY WRITTEN, A RICH PATOIS OF HUMOROUS BANTERING AND THOUGHTFUL INSIGHT IS REVEALED THROUGH THESE TWO CHARACTERS THAT ARE AT ONCE ALIKE AND YET EXPONENTAILLY DIFFERENT. THEY ARE TWO SIDES TO A VERY DANGEROUS COIN. ROBERT PARKER'S WRITING SHINES IN THE EXPLORATION OF HIS MAIN CHARACTERS; AND HE MANAGES TO DO IT WITHOUT BEING HEAVY, OR WEIGHING THE STORY DOWN IN EXPOSITION. LIKE A GOOD STEW, YOU MAY NOT REALIZE ALL THE INGREDIENTS THAT HAVE GONE INTO MAKING IT, BUT IT TASTES GREAT JUST THE SAME. AND ONCE AGAIN, MICHAEL PRICHARD DOES A STELLAR JOB BRINGING PARKER'S WORDS TO LIFE. HIS PERFORMANCE OF THESE SPENSER NOVELS ARE BY FAR MY FAVORITE.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love Spenser Series

Each book I listen to gets better and better. The characters are really developing.
Can't wait for the next book in the series. "Looking for Rachel Wallace".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining

Spenser novels are not great literature, but they can be entertaining. I've always enjoyed narration by Michael Prichard and for me, there is a comfort in hearing his familiar voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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ANOTHER ENTERTAINING SPENSER STORY

Would you consider the audio edition of The Judas Goat to be better than the print version?

Yes - I think Michael Prichard did an excellent job. His narration was seamless. His interpretation of Hawk was a bit different than others I've heard.

What other book might you compare The Judas Goat to and why?

This book can be compared to any of the books in the Spenser series - and there were many. Spenser is a tough PI who loves Susan and has a best friend Hawk. Reading this books is almost comfort food for the soul.

Have you listened to any of Michael Prichard’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to Michael Prichard's narration of the Nero Wolf series. To me he is the voice of that series. He did a great job with Spenser.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It only made me sad - I miss Robert Parker. He entertained.

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  • AJ
  • 03-27-17

just the right level of intrepid

Fun detective story. First I've ever read or listened to though, so my opinion may be trained. Really great narration! My only criticism is that, it was occasionally more "raunchy" at times than I care for - it wasn't without purpose for the characters in question though.

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Judas Goat

I am coming to love the Robert B Parker books. This book, in the series of books has been very enjoyable to me. It's not the greatest story, but I really found it enjoyable and a good read. For me, the Spencer series is so good because of the relationship between Spencer and hawk. And I enjoy all the characters that get developed throughout the series.

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The Judas Goat

What disappointed you about The Judas Goat?

I normally love Robert B. Parker's stories; however, the reader was so bad I could not finish listening to the book. He uses one voice for every character so you are never sure who is talking. This may have been a good story, but the reader ruined it for me.

Would you recommend The Judas Goat to your friends? Why or why not?

See the above.

What didn’t you like about Michael Prichard’s performance?

As stated above, he voiced all the characters in the same dull voice. It was so bad, I couldn't finish the story.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As I said, it may have been a good story, but the reader was so bad I couldn't finish it.

Any additional comments?

I am sorry I wasted a credit on this book.

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Best one yet!

Love these books. They always keep me wanting the next one. Love the story taking the plot to England and Europe.