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Walking Shadow (Spenser #21)

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,520 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Spenser stars in a backstage drama to die for.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Audio Literature
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cathy DuPont
I haven't read a Spenser/Hawk series in a few months since I was getting weary of him and Susan, but this fun merry-go-round story put a spark back for me. (Never would I get weary of Hawk for heaven's sake.)

The story kind of went nowhere and Spenser and Hawk said so and that's what I liked about it. Spenser and Hawk both acknowledged that they were on a wild goose chase always coming up with zero answers in trying to find the shooter of an actor who was on stage performing when killed. There w
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Kemper
You know Spenser’s in real trouble when he thinks that Hawk isn’t enough back-up.

A theater manager is being stalked by a mysterious figure and asks Spenser to help. Before he can start investigating, an actor is shot and killed on stage during a performance. An actress also complains of being followed. While he’s trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, Spenser gets threatened by the leader of the local Chinese gangs. After surviving a hail of bullets, Spenser and Hawk turn to gunman and ga
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Cm Perkins
I am reading everything Robert B. Parker wrote and down to my last few books. Just finished this one today and when I first started it I thought "OH NO - a dull book". But once I got past the set-up it once again was such a fun ride with Spencer-Hawk-Susan interaction, and throw in Vinnie for more laughs. Did not figure things out until close to the end - really good twists and turns. Once again - I highly recommend all his books!!!
Phyllis


A theater manager is being stalked by a mysterious figure and asks Spenser to help. Before he can start investigating, an actor is shot and killed on stage during a performance. An actress also complains of being followed. While he’s trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, Spenser gets threatened by the leader of the local Chinese gangs. After surviving a hail of bullets, Spenser and Hawk turn to gunman and gangster Vinnie Morris for assistance.

My Review:

Robert Parker is a new author for m
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Michael
It was an enjoyable book. However I feel the ending wasn't complete. There was a lot of talk throughout the book about how Spenser shouldn't be investigating 'Chinese business' but in the end we never figure out what the 'Chinese business' is about?

The ending was a bit unfair to Despain's character. I liked him. I would have liked to see what happened to Jocelyn in the end too..

All-in-all it was a good book. It had a fair amount of action and when there wasn't action it made up for it with grea
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Scott
Robert B. Parker was recommended by a friend. I don't mind writers like James Paterson and Lee Child, and I really enjoyed Parker's Jesse Stone movies (with Tom Selleck as the lead) so I decided to try him in print. I started with The Godwulf Manuscript--the very first in the Spenser Series--and I was hooked. This one is my favorite so far. Spenser is an unlikely combination of a private detective, scholar, and social critic, and his acerbic wit is a constant through the series, but in this one ...more
Mary
AUDIO VERSION sucks. Spenser is not gay, so listening to a narrator with a sweet lisp is rather distracting. Hawk speaking like he's gay just isn't right. There are gay characters in this book. They sound real.

Daniel Parker also narrated another Parker novel Chasing the Bear, which was a young adult novel aimed at 8th & 9th graders. Daniel Parker (is he related to Robert Parker?) sounds very young - too young to be Spenser or Hawk. Right voice for a young Spenser but not a mature Spenser.
Chuck Briggs
I don't read a lot of detective fiction, but had been wanting to try Robert Parker for awhile now. I saw the old Robert Urich series "Spenser for Hire" years ago and thought it was okay but knew the books had to be better. As a Parker was a bit of a Raymond Chandler disciple, I knew that most of the magic must be in Parker's style and the way he tells a story.

That's not quite right. Chandler's use of language is missing here. That's a good thing, because nobody wants to be a pale imitation. Robe
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Caroline
I can easily see why the Spenser novels have been filmed. At times, Walking Shadow, seems to have been written for the screen (silver or small). The characters are hip, and spout clever one and two-liners. The settings are colorful (Chinatown, seedy fishing villages, socialite mansions). The plot is relatively easy to follow, the bad guys are clearly bad. Everybody gets what he or she deserves. These are not censures, mind, but merely observations.
Spenser (the detective) is attending a play wi
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LJ
WALKING SHADOWS - VG
Parker, Robert B. - 21st in series

Boston PI Spenser would rather be at work renovating the old farmhouse that he and his lover, psychiatrist Susan, have bought in nearby Concord. Instead Spenser agrees to find out who is following the Artistic Director of the Port City Theater Company, on whose board of directors Susan sits.

The detective is utterly bored by a performance of the latest production in Port City, "a town 50% Portuguese and 50% Chinese"--until one of the actors i
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Genie
Susan is on the board of directors of the Port City Theater Company. When the Artistic Director complains about a stalker, Susan asks Spenser to accompany her to the theater to check out the situation.
After talking to the Director, Spenser agrees to take on the case and he and Susan attend the play. In the middle of the production, an actor is shot and killed and so a homicide investigation begins.
Spenser decides to interview each board member. This straight forward process turns complicated whe
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Tracy
You can't go wrong with a good Spenser book. And all Spenser books are good (so far, at least).

What started out as an investigation of a murder turned into a story involving stalking, kidnapping, gang activity, smuggling, intimidation and mental illness (I'm sure I've left something out).

The problem with this unabridged audio book was the reader. It's not that the reader read badly, but his voice was inappropriate for this book and character. While Spenser is written as a 6'1", 215 (or so) poun
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Eliana
What can you say about a writer who can conjure up the likes of Spenser as well as Hawk. Their repartee is the hook and the plots and additional characters reel you in. Anyone who has lived in Boston will particularly enjoy the settings and characters. I am trying to finish up reading every single one of the Spenser series. Almost done!
Metagion
Spencer is what you'd call a "man's man"...likes beer, sports, guns, the ladies (except he's got Susan now, so none of that) but theater? Not so much. But when Susan is called to be a part of Port City's Theater's Board of Directors, he figues he'd get some culture...

A long, boring, rambling play is cut short when the lead actor is shot dead with a .22, and it can only get worse from there! Action takes you to Boston's Chinatown, Port City, Concord, and back again, with more twists then the lemo
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Cathy Cusson
I am enjoying my trip through all the Spenser books, but this was not my favorite. I am not sure why exactly, it just wasn't. It was an interesting case - liked the appearance of Vinnie, but it didn't have as much Susan and Hawk as I like. Or perhaps what it did have I felt was weaker than usual.
Doug
I've only a few Robert B. Parker book left before I've read them all. These books are good fun, can be read in an evening or two and are better than most of the drivel on tv. I think the Chinatown element in this one added some interest.
Randy

In a shabby waterfront town, an actor is shot dead onstage. Granted, the script left much to be desired. But there's more behind the scenes than an overzealous critic—and Spenser and Hawk are combing Port City's underworld to find it...

In a shabby waterfront town, an actor is shot dead onstage. As Spenser combs Port City's underworld for answers, he encounters an unpredictable cast of lovers, liars, killers and clowns--whose multiple motives constitute a master class in distinguishing reality

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Colleen
About a 3.2/5*. Didn't make me chuckle at any point so couldn't give the usual 3.5 for Parkers. Murder, stalking, Chinese illegals... for Spencer to deal with this time.
Barbara ★
I own a few Robert Parker novels but this is the first I've read (well listened too actually). Fortunately it was the abridged version because I don't think I could have sat through the unabridged version. I'm not into the arts and Chinese gangs are so not my thing. Luckily once the plot got past the theater aspects, the story picked up and got exciting. I particularly liked Spenser, Hawk and Pearl (the dog who had such personality and presence). The mystery was strange but well presented and I ...more
David Reynolds
Gotta like these Spenser books..the wit gets me every time!!
Bill
Pretty good for my first book of his. I'll read another.
Lori
Ok, all I can say is-you either love Sepnser or you don't. And soemtimes, you just wish Susan would choke on her delicate nibbles of food!!

Anyway, I read this in the summer of '97. This was my first Sepnser book. That summer, my family had a memebership to our town's waterpark and this was my "beach read". I still have this copy and it smells like Hawaiian Tropic sunblock:)

I love the Spenser series. It's fun, smart, fast paced, and easy to read for times you only have a lunch hour and need to re
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David Ward
Walking Shadow (Spenser#21) by Robert B. Parker (G.P. Putnam's Sons 1994)(Fiction - Mystery) is another of the well-done novels in the Spenser series. Spenser attends a local theater production with Susan; an actor is shot and killed on stage. Spenser's investigation leads him into the world of Chinese criminal gangs. One of the book's best subplots was lifted straight from (and credited to) Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." Very enjoyable! My rating: 7/10, finished 3/8/11. ...more
Jeff Yoak
This is one of the more complex messes that Spenser gets involved in as he takes on Chinatown gangs and psychos. The mystery is deeper and harder to penetrate than usual and Spenser decides the danger is sufficiently severe that even Hawk isn't sufficient backup.

It sounds like it should have been good, but it fell a little flat. It felt like Parker was reaching on this one, trying to create a more complex plot. It was fine as stories go, but not Spenser at his best.
Rhod
Really always enjoy Spenser novels. Sadly only 2or3 to go.
Yeva
Even though some of the characters felt stereotypical, the story was full of action and great fun. I would have liked for Susan to have been more involved in the solution of the case, because her presence in Port City instigated the action, not the murder, but Spenser's part in it. The dialogue between Spenser, Hawk and Vinnie was wonderful Another good book by Mr. Parker.
RunRachelRun
Rikki Wu - the name kept on reminding me of James Herriot's legendary character of Tricki Wu, the Pekinese with impeccable taste, who sends him crates of scotch for Christmas. Other than experiencing that brain twist every time her name appeared, completely enjoyed the story and I do really like the characters. I'm simple like that.
Tom
Another really fun outing by Spenser and company. I like the idea of Spenser going after a corrupt sheriff. And a new love interest for Hawk? Coolness. Plus, Vinnie's come through shots in the end was greatness. I think Parker was trying to keep some things fresh by adding these new characters in. And for the most part, it works.
Connie N.
As always, Spenser entertains me with his clever dialog and interesting stories. This one involves a local theater company and a confusing series of incidents (stalking, an obvious murder on stage, the local Chinese "mafia"). Hawk, Vinnie Morris, and Susan are prominent in this story (a good thing).
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database named Robert B. Parker.
Robert Brown Parker was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the late 1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced.
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More about Robert B. Parker...
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1) Sixkill (Spenser, #39) Chance (Spenser, #23) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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