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Publisher's Summary

Kinjo Heywood is one of the New England Patriots’ marquee players - a hard-nosed linebacker who’s earned his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the league. When off-field violence repeatedly lands Heywood in the news, his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client. 

Heywood’s troubles seem to be tied to a nightclub shooting from two years earlier. But when Heywood’s nine-year-old son, Akira, is kidnapped, ransom demands are given, and a winding trail through Boston’s underworld begins, Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs. It will take both Hawk and Spenser’s protégé, Zebulon Sixkill, to watch Spenser’s back and return the child to the football star’s sprawling Chestnut Hill mansion. A controversial decision from Heywood only ups the ante as the clock winds down on Akira’s future.

©2014 Ace Atkins (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Spenser is as tough and funny as ever, and Atkins has become a worthy successor.” (Booklist)

“Assured... Atkins’s gift for mimicking the late Robert B. Parker could lead to a long run, the the delight of Spenser devotees.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A well-conceived adventure that balances Spenser and friends’ experience with Akira’s innocence while drawing on Atkins’ own Auburn football days.” (Crimespree Magazine)

What listeners say about Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

More of the same but lacking interesting moments

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story line seemed to be dragged out a bit. Not much of a reason for this as it turned out. I like these books most of the time but this one was a disappointment.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ace Atkins again?

I probably will because I like the caracters but I will be hoping for a much more interesting story. I will look more closely at the reveiws.

Did Joe Mantegna do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I think he is one of the best at doing just that, differentiating. I like his pace and delivery. He lets you know who the carracters are without too much he said she said. It is always well done.

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

Diappointment as I said before. I was hoping for more. I thought about not finishing this book but I kept hoping it would get better! It was still better than listing to the radio.

Any additional comments?

I just want to get a better book next time.. I was talking to some people in a book store in Solvang the other day and we all agreed that it would be tough driving home or to work without the books on tape. Probably the best cure for road rage in the LA area!!!

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Standard Stuff

Any additional comments?

This is the standard pusedo-Parker - maybe tries a little too hard to be brash and clever. But is an easy listen filled with familiar characters behaving in expected manner - filled about three lonely evenings after work.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I thought I had lost Spenser

If you could sum up Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, witty, nice

What other book might you compare Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot to and why?

I really can't make a comparison because this is Ace's first attempt.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene with Hawk.

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

?

Any additional comments?

I thought that after Robert B. Parker's death that was the end of Spenser. However, Ace Atkins has done a formidable job of carrying on the Spenser tradition. He has adequately gotten the nuances of Spenser's psyche and has accurately portrayed the supporting characters. I would suggest to continue with Joe Mantegna's narrating the series. He also gets the characters. I've listened to other narrators of the Spenser books and there is NO comparison to Joe M.

4 people found this helpful

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

way below standard.

very disappointing. too many characters, and a confusing plot. Don't waste a credit on this

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Love Spenser, even if Atkins hits only 70%

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Sure, if you are a Spenser fan, well, here is a Spenser book.

If you’ve listened to books by Ace Atkins before, how does this one compare?

Mr Atkins has done Spenser ok, his sense of humor, his quirky and yet still aloof and cool style. Most of the other regular characters seem to be missing. I suppose this is a good thing though, here is why: Let's start with Susan. Mr Parker was brilliant as penning her, smart, fun, and interesting, unusual and a quick match for Spenser. Susan is her own person and their relationship is unique. Unfortunately, Mr Atkins lacks the same skill and nuance to write Susan. General females are written a bit trite and more often than not he only describes their physical appearance than who they are, their qualities and interesting quirks. Whats more interesting, or sad, is that he does this well in describing any male character introduced or described.

What about Joe Mantegna’s performance did you like?

Lovely as always. One of my favorite narrators.
Female get voiced a bit too breathy and often sound like hair heads.

Do you think Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Always, cant say good by to Spenser, and never to Parker. I miss him very much.

1 person found this helpful

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

Loved this story

I really enjoyed this story and Joe Mantegna's voice is perfect for the character he plays.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story!!

I thought it started off a little slow but the wait was definitely worth it!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

where is halk?

where is hawk? all the books you've written for the Parker for Spencer you have no hawk. is it you don't like black men.? what's wrong with your character of hawk.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's okay

This isn't the best Robert B. Parker book I have ever heard. it is good though. plenty of Spencer and Hawk action. Read it and judge for yourself.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A nice way to pass the time

Seemed pretty faithful to Parker's style, and I like the addition of Sixkill. Joe Mantegna does excellent work, and the removal of all the "he said"s makes it much more listenable.