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Walking Shadow (Spenser #21)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  3,509 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Spenser stars in a backstage drama to die for.
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Audio Literature (first published May 1994)
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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
Cathy DuPont
Feb 28, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 25, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Shadow” is another typical entry in Parker’s lengthy 39-book Spenser series – this one a middle outing at #21. Susan is on the board of a struggling small theater group in run-down coastal town Port City. While she and Spenser are attending a play, the leading man is shot dead from the back of the auditorium, so naturally our hero is recruited to find the perp. Clues are so slow to surface that both the characters and we readers are rather frustrated. Finally Spenser’s usual poking and prodding ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Nov 13, 2016 Brent Soderstrum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Parker's 21st book from the Spenser series four words come to mind, "The girl be crazy".

The book starts out with Spenser going to the local Port City theatre to see a very bizarre play. In the middle of it one of the actors is shot to death right in front of the audience. Susan gets Spenser to help the theatre find the killer and a stalker who has been stalking members of the production crew prior to the killing.

The Chinese mob is involved and illegal immigration is examined. It comes down t
Mar 11, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#21 in the Spenser series.

Spenser novel - Susan engages Spenser to find out who is stalking the artistic director of a theater group in a waterfront town north of Boston and then who killed an actor during a performance. The local leader of a Chinese tong tries to discourage him

Nov 12, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was back to the old Spenser! Hawk and Spenser take on the world...who can stop them!!!
Henry McLaughlin
I thought I had read all of the Spenser novels. Somehow, I missed this one.
Both a refreshing and exciting read. Refreshing to be back in Parker's mesmerizing style with succinct descriptions that bring his settings and his characters to life. And to enjoy anew one of the best masters of dialogue I've ever read.
Parker adds an exciting plot with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the final reveal. The end was a satisfying surprise.
And along the way, I got to spend time with Sp
Cm Perkins
Feb 18, 2011 Cm Perkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Aug 20, 2015 Mei rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This one started off a little slowly (for a Spenser) but picked up its usual pace about one third of the way through. It wasn't the most enjoyable of the Spenser books (can it be in finally feeling a little jaded after about 7 in a row) but it certainly did the trick. Nothing like a damaged maiden in distress. Mainly self-harm, though.
Oct 29, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in "Bob's Used Books" several years ago looking for a new series to start, and the owner asked if I'd ever read Spenser. Nope but I'll try it. This book was actually my first entry in the novels even though it's #21. I started back at the beginning and worked my way through and here I am again.
I enjoy the characters, especially Spenser and Hawk, and their sarcastic bantering. I've seen several reviewers who detest poor Susan, but to date, the primal and intellectual bond between her and S
Feb 02, 2017 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spenser never disappoints. In this story, he innocently goes to a play with Susan and one of the characters is murdered on stage. For real. Spenser starts to dig and unravels several nefarious plots that eventually come together with a satisfying explanation. Very entertaining, if a little frightening.
Feb 22, 2017 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2016 Merry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a little more slow paced than the usual Parker books.
Jul 25, 2014 Shuriu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched her accept the fact that she was alone with me, and watched as her persona adjusted to the fact. She smiled at me. There was a touch of conspiratorial intimacy in the smile. Rikki Wu was sex. I was pretty sure she was spoiled and self-centered and shallow. Maybe cruel. Certainly careless about other people. But she was sex. She would like sex, she would need it, she would want more of it than most people were prepared to give her, and she would be totally self-absorbed during it. I'd s ...more
Chuck Briggs
Oct 19, 2013 Chuck Briggs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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

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
Barbara Pontecorvo
The uhh usual s p e n Ser plot, l e aid n g you down o n e p bath but solving the puzzle another h err way.......always Nino Nino ::) n m..buY n/ mhm n buy n Milo;; b:// mOo n :/ bY g:// :/v by :) g bhai// v v:: n j n n? N// v g v v v c c F2f t. B/ v v v v v v v v v v y n. Nn n. N/ . Nunn bhai///// bio n/////////////:/:::/ g g vulnerability v v v v/n

Chui Wii.
Hmmmm Hmmmm monk in jnjnjjjjjjjjjjjkkmmmnnnnnmnmmmmmmmkkkkkmmmmmmmm / b b b b. B. Bob. B b bobbin b. BBC bbbnnbbbnb :/ :-/:/ buy uhh n hm
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
Boulder Boulderson
One of the Spenser novels wherein he takes an unpaying job and somehow inveigles his usually highly paid and often somewhat illegal colleagues/enemies to assist him. It's a bit longer than the last few I've read, and the better for it.

The situation largely escapes Spenser's grasp but he perseveres with his usual witticisms, charm, ability to annoy people and tendency to punch them in the face and/or shoot them.
Mar 06, 2011 Genie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 05, 2008 Tracy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Okay, so the book wasn't "amazing," but Parker does such a GREAT job with this series, and personally, I think of lot of his Spenser books are a 4.5, so giving this one a 5-star rating to make up for all the ones I gave a 4-star. :) And "Walking Shadow" has a number of complexities to it that highlight Parker's easy grace with the English language, his in-depth knowledge of the Arts, his familiarity with Love (and detecting,) the social issues of the day (remarkably identical to many we're exper ...more
The first thing that I noticed about this book other than it was a detective novel was the mistake that kept rearing its ugly head throughout the entire novel. So often a question was worded as a statement. eg: "What's the name of the book," Vinnie said. Where is the question mark? Missing in action. And shouldn't it be "What's the name of the book?" Vinnie asked or Vinnie inquired. In this book it is always said even when it is a simple statement. The author should use more than the word "said. ...more
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
Jan 27, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Only 3.5 stars. Parker is great with descriptions and characterizations. But this was a gloomy gloomy setting and even the weather was miserable. Other books have been a lot more fun. The most amusing conversation was when he asked Susan about a mentally disturbed actress, and Susan replied, "She's nuts." So Spencer said that was too technical and wanted it more in layman's terms and she gave him her psychologist insights.

I bought the book, but it's going to end up at Little Free Library. I thin
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.
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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.
More about Robert B. Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Spenser (1 - 10 of 45 books)
  • The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1)
  • God Save The Child (Spenser, #2)
  • Mortal Stakes (Spenser, #3)
  • Promised Land (Spenser, #4)
  • The Judas Goat (Spenser, #5)
  • Looking For Rachel Wallace (Spenser, #6)
  • Early Autumn (Spenser, #7)
  • A Savage Place (Spenser, #8)
  • Ceremony (Spenser, #9)
  • The Widening Gyre (Spenser, #10)

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“Vinnie and Hawk lounged in the theater lobby, blending in to the theatrical scene like two coyotes at a poultry festival.” 1 likes
“smiled at me again, a smile perfectly capable of launching a thousand ships and very likely to burn the topless towers of Ilium. We” 0 likes
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