Promised Land (Spenser, #4)
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Promised Land (Spenser #4)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,736 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Acclaimed mystery author Robert B. Parker continues to win an even greater audience with each new Spenser novel. For all crime fiction lovers who discovered Parker through his latest bestsellers "Pastime" and "Double Deuce", his entire Dell backlist is now available in attractively repackaged editions.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1976)
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Kemper
“ ‘And Hawk beat you up.'

‘Yeah. Actually, he didn’t do it himself. He had two guys do it, and he, like, supervised.’

‘Hawk’s moving up. Executive level. He was always a comer.’

‘He said he just does the killing now, the sweaty work, he delegates.’”


Spenser has been hired by a real estate developer named Harvey Shepherd whose wife Pam has run off. Like most of Spenser's clients, Harvey is kind of a self-absorbed dumbass, but he does genuinely love his wife. Spenser quickly determines that Pam had fo...more
Melissa
I like it a lot more when Spenser just gets to do his thing without his lady friend tagging along, constantly asking him What It All Means. As squicky as it was when he was, say, sleeping with both the mother & daughter of his client, I sort of miss those days. Maybe I can read these books with one hand over my eye to cover Susan. But, hey, Hawk was here so I suppose it wasn't all bad.
Dan Schwent
Spenser gets hired to track down a business man's missing wife. His search for the wife leads him to a group of militant feminists and he quickly discovers the husband is in debt to a local loan shark, King Powers. Can Spenser get the couple back together without being gunned down by the King?

This is the fourth Spenser book I've read and my favorite so far. Spenser's inner nature is explored, his relationship with Susan Silverman progresses, he passes up some easy tail for once, and he runs into...more
Jane Stewart
It was good. I chuckled periodically. I like the way Spenser talks and thinks.

This was my first Parker book. It’s number 4 in the Spenser series. It’s typical first person private eye solving a typical mystery with a happy ending. It’s not a wow kind of book, but I enjoyed it. It has good characters and good dialogue. This author is different due to his sense of humor. He says unexpected things.

The ending was weak. In the spoiler I am not giving away the main mysteries.

(view spoiler)...more
Jen
In the fourth installment of the Spenser series, Spenser is hired to find a man's wife. When he finds her and discovers she doesn't want her husband to know where she is, Spenser obliges. But the case doesn't stop there. The husband is in trouble with a loan shark and the wife has taken up with some shady fanatical women. Spenser has to try to save them both. Hawk is introduced in this novel.

I absolutely LOVE Robert Parker's Spenser. He's a complex character with many conflicting characteristics...more
Mike
I’m from an generation for whom Avery Brooks is best known for playing Captain Sisco of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For another generation, and a different set of genre fans, he is perhaps better known for his 65 episode run as Hawk, PI Spenser’s sometime companion (who even had his own short lived series A Man Called Hawk), in the TV’s Spenser for Hire. Hawk, though present in Promised Land, makes a fairly limited (and first) appearance; though it is an appearance the certainly leaves an impres...more
Genie
The fourth book in Spenser is initially hired to find a runaway wife. He finds the woman who has become involved with a group of reactionaries and has no idea how to untangle herself. As Spenser is trying to come up with a way out for her, he ends up involved in bailing her husband out of a messy situation of his own. The main plot turns out to be a calculated maneuvering to allow the “killing two birds with one stone” principle to work. Aside from the case, we begin to see Spenser's relationshi...more
Craig Coleman
I first read many of the Spenser series over a decade ago. This time I went farther back in time to one of the first books. Susan Silverman is a guidance counselor -- in future books she gets her doctorate and becomes a psychologist.

The reason I read many of these books is due to their exploration of themes. Promised Land is set in the 1970s during the awakening of feminism, and looks at the phenomenon from various angles. This was always Robert B. Parker's strength; his detective novels were ne...more
Jeff Yoak
This series really comes into its own with Promised Land. It has the strongest plot I've seen in the series so far and was gripping from beginning to end. I've been impatiently waiting for the introduction of Hawk as a character, with vague recollections of his being one of the better parts of the TV show, Spenser for Hire. While the character at first seems quite different from my vague memories, he's a delightful character nonetheless. Further, the author is starting show some of the thought-p...more
Larry
On rereading, the fourth Spenser book proved to be what I remembered: a strong addition to the p.i. shelf. Spenser had a tougher edge then. Hawk was still a wary opponent,not a sidekick. Susan, newly arrived, was still engaged in figuring out who Spenser was, not in being an irritating voice for his softer side. (Her attempt to figure out the differences and similarities between Spenser and Hawk were still fresh, and meaningful.) Spenser's social observations were more biting. And the sense of a...more
Randy
Jul 08, 2014 Randy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Spenser is a wisecracking former boxer turned private investigator and he is just settling into his new office when enters Harv Shepard, a beleaguered businessman who is looking for someone to help locate his runaway wife. So begins Promised Land, the fourth novel by Robert Parker, that follows the exploits of his cerebral but tough character, detective Spenser. Why Harv Shepard's wife abandoned her family and exactly where she has gone comprise only half the intrigue in this story, though Spens...more
Patricia
For about ten seconds this book is a mystery. After that it becomes a low-tension thriller. But, for the most part, this Edgar-winning novel is an anecdotal treatment of the societal effects caused by the formal women’s liberation movement that began ten years prior to its publication.

It is a mystery to Harv Shepard that his wife is missing, bags and all, but no note. Harv is a fairly wealthy and successful real estate developer, living in Hyannis within sight of the ocean and a certain Presiden...more
Ensiform
The fourth Spenser novel. Spenser finds a missing wife and is caught between a militant feminist cult and a vicious mobster. The wittiest in the series yet; Spenser's erudite and self-deprecating humor is a real plus. But at times the tone's quite simplistic or preachy ("You man haters who don't understand the world..."). Worse, Spenser's too much of a super hero for me. He’s smart, he kicks everyone's ass, his stunning girlfriend eats lobster without getting butter on her lips, etc etc.
Lee
Spenser - the tough/well read/wisecracking P.I., is always an enjoyable quick read. The dialouge is simple, and Spenser working to solve the case, is always going out of his way to help out the poor souls that got in the jam. This being the fourth, is when we meet Hawk. Having read a couple later in the series, a great addition to the series.
Deborah
A good Spenser mystery. I do enjoy the smart aleck PI.
One thing I have noticed in his books, Parker is obsessed with food.
Other authors will say "They went to dinner at such and such a place" but Parker describes everything they eat and drink. I'd noticed it before, but it seemed like a lot of eating in this one, makes you hungry!
Ed
This is the second or third Spenser title for me, and they're generally a fun read. Descriptions of the Boston locale stands out since my wife's folks are from there. This plot felt a little dated with the women's libbers, but I liked the introduction of Hawk. As time allows, I'll read deeper into the Spenser series.
Emily
Spenser gets caught up in a tangled web of an unhappy family and their desperate measures. Not the best, a bit too fraught for me. I think there are definitely some cultural era things i struggled with, might have been more pertinent in the 70s but what can you do? still a great series
James Kiester
Dec 19, 2009 James Kiester rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spenser fans
This is a landmark book in the series, simply because it's the first time readers meet Hawk, who serves as Spenser's sidekick for most of the series. However, they begin as enemies who respect each other more than they respect their individual employers.
Doranna Durgin
This book covers a lot of new territory for the series--relationships, the introduction of Hawk (love me some Hawk!) It's a gleeful upping of the ante...and gives me reason to keep right on rereading an old favorite...
অনির্বান
I started reading Robert Crais��� Elvis Cole novels a few months back, and from the very onset I was hounded by reviews which complained Cole being a copy (albeit a poor one) of Robert Parker���s Spenser. The reviewers complained(or remarked) that the tongue-in-cheek dialogues coming out of Cole���s mouth were too much of a copy of those coming out of Spenser���s mouth, and they didn���t sound original. I was intrigued and by the second Elvis Cole novel I was tired of Cole, and his, what I consi...more
Jeff Miller
Never read on of the Spenser books before, but this one was free.

As the forth book in the series it read to me much like it was the first book in the series since it introduces the character Hawk. My only introduction to Spenser before was the TV series - which I really enjoyed.

This novel won the Edgar award in 1977, a fact I am not surprised at. Not a long book, but one that is gripping from beginning to end and not just for the suspense. Spenser goes to search for a wife who appeared to have j...more
Nathaniel
After hearing a couple of stories on NPR about noir/hardboiled detective fiction, I got started with Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. It was fantastic, but it took me a few months to try my second foray into the genre. With Promised Land (Robert Parker) I was *not* disappointed.

Whereas The Big Sleep is the authentic, 1940's era private eye (book was actually written in 1939) I could tell from the M-16 on the cover of Promised Land (the version I have, anyway) and the cover art that I was lookin...more
Johnny
Another Spenser novel? Did I really need to read another murder mystery? Actually, the beautiful part of the early Spenser novels is the fact that many of the mysteries have nothing to do with murder. To be sure, there are occasionally murders (or, at least, deaths) involved in the plots, but these aren’t the usual locked-door or overlapping alibi murder mysteries. Rather, one gets the sense that Robert Parker understands the variety of clients and situations with which a private investigator mi...more
Corinne Lee
Oh, Spenser.

That's the thought that crosses my mind every time I read a Spenser novel. I grin and shake my head and think Oh Spenser, you ass!

A lot of the fun of reading a Spenser novel is in experiencing Spenser himself. If you dislike the character, you probably won't enjoy the novels very whole-heartedly. And Spenser's character seems to develop and become a little more dynamic with each installment.

In Promised Land, Spenser is charged with the task of finding a runaway wife. As usual, thin...more
Nikki
Continuing my project of reading all the Edgar Best Novel winners, or in some cases re-reading them, I'm up to 1977. It's taken about a year to cover 23 years of books, but of course I've read other things as well.

It has been some time since I read any of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels, which I used to devour eagerly as soon as they appeared. I don't really know why I stopped reading them. But perhaps it's significant that, although I know I read PROMISED LAND soon after it appeared, I had no...more
Steve
re-re-re read Promised land 12-8-2013
same old comments - I still like it.


August 1, 2012
I have been re-reading Robert B. Parker throughout the year.
I've not been updating my GOODREADs this year, for the most part.
Instead, I have b een enjoying my list of authors, parker, Connelly, Kaminsky and some more fans.

Promised Land - turns out there is only ONE book in the entire LAPL system. It is quite popular and it took me 4 months to get it.
Since Promised Land was early in my Parker and Spencer readin...more
Kevin
This is the 4th in the Spenser series, written in 1976.

At first I thought of it as "Spenser versus the Straw (wo)Man", as he argues with radical feminists who don't make any sense and then turn out to be murderers and thieves. Parker is deeply concerned with re-writing the Machismo Code and the new Code is supposed to be completely un–sexist. Parker, and his Spenser character, loathe generalizations and bigotry and confining roles, but a lot of this novel reacts against academic feminism. What,...more
Chuck
53 out of 100 for 2010.

Probably most one of the most important novels in the Spenser series because it 1) begins the permanent relationship between Spenser and Susan; in addition to being his love interest, she is a psychologist, and conversations with her allow Spenser (and his creator, Parker) to explore the psyches of clients, victims, and criminals and 2) it introduces Hawk, who becomes Spenser's best friend and most valued ally.

Set in the mid Seventies, the novel deals with domestic terror...more
Djj
A bit of a disappointment. One of the charms in the early parts of the series is how deeply rooted the books are in the 1970s: the clothing, the politics, the casual sexism. It's a trip. In this instance, however, the charm wears off as Parker gets bogged down in discussions of the relationships, 70s style, and the women's liberation movement. All tacked onto a plot that is a bit contrived. A let down after the last one.
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!
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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
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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“I try to be honorable. I know that's embarrassing to hear. It's embarrassing to say. But I believe most of the nonsense that Thoreau was preaching. And I have spent a long time working on getting myself to where I could do it. Where I could live life largely on my own terms.” 1 likes
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