The Professional (Spenser #38)
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Once upon a time there was a crime writer named Robert B. Parker, and in the early ‘70s, he started a line of books about a P.I. named Spenser. The books were good and the critics loved him and deemed him the heir to Raymond Chandler. He wrote about a dozen of these books and everything was great for him and his readers.
Then disaster struck. His wife...more
I picked up one by Robert B. Park, the author I'd heard of but had never read before. I tried Parker's The Professional (a Spenser mystery). After reading only a couple of pages, I was hooked.
The setup is a common one in classic American detective fiction. The opening scene as an ex-cop turned private eye, Spenser, sitting in his office waiting for someone to come in and lay a case on his desk. It happens right away, and the action moves q...more
Spenser gets hired by a group of women that are all married to older rich men and they all had a sexual relation with the same man. This man decided to blackmail them and they all cannot have their nice lives ruined by their lover.
As expected all is not as black and white as one would expect. And Spenser starts his...more
Even after finishing the book, I'm not sure who the title The Professional refers to. The story is a bit of a mess but there was the standard cast of characters.
What starts out as a blackmail scheme (as per the back of the book) gets resolve...more
Of course Susan Silverman is there to help Spenser understand some of the psychological problems involved. Hawk shows up but unfortunately he doesn't have much to do in...more
Spenser swings into action, along with the usual cast of...more
Eisenhower. They are all married to older men in prominent positions who know nothing about their extra curricular activities. The affairs are about to be revealed because Eisenhower is blackmailing them and the huge amount of money in payoffs can not be kept secret much longer. Gary has been making audio and video tapes of their t...more
This may be his last case, as the author died a week ago today. I hope not; I hope one or more two are still in the pipe . . . 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. This tale finds Spenser helping a group of women, each of whom are bein...more
A knock on Spenser's office door can only mean one thing: a new case. This time the visitor is a local lawyer with an interesting story. Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law fir...more
A local lawyer hires Spencer to meet with four of her clients. These four women are each married to an older, wealthy man. They have also each been having an affair with, and are now being blackmailed by the same man, Gary Eisenhower, and they want Spencer to end the threat. Or do they? One woman’s husband is n...more
I think with this one, however, I am through with Spenser and Parker. This is the second bad story in a row.
In a very odd tale that has Spenser working for no money or client, we find him standing with the offender: a serial user of women married to much older, wea...more
I think I want my Spencer to be single, killing bad guys, and bedding hot babes than talking to his girl friend about how sex and love are inseparable to long lasting happiness and satisfaction. I don't need to read about my...more
Parker writes in the style of Chandler and as a matter of fact, even completed one of Chandlers unfinished novels, Poodle Springs. A friend of mine criticizes me for reading this light fluffy stuff and says I need to read serious literature. Well I have read quite a lot of se...more
The usual snappy TV dialogue reminiscent of the old Spenser for Hire show coupled with a much more introspective Spenser. I'll always hear Robert Urich and Avery Brooks doing the dialogue. A fast read, thanks to larger print and lots of white space; finished in less than 12 hours of reading time.
A storyline that seemed to drag itself out, as if it didn't want to end; much like the "case" Spenser worked on with a lot of free time on his hands. A little too much Susan and not enough of the smart,...more
Parker has written over 50 books, perhaps half of which feature Spenser et al. While Parker seems to becoming ever more economical as a writer -- the book must be published in 20 point f...more
Others on this site have summarized the plot. I'll restrict my comments to the structure and writing.
The book (hardcover) was printed in large font, with quite a bit of space. I wonder what the word count was. I read the book in two afternoon sittings.
I enjoyed going along with Spenser to the familiar haunts and seeing the l...more
This is a book that amazes me with a fairly complex story that is told mostly through simple, quick spurts of dialogue. That method of story-telling proved to be incredibly effective in this case. It is too bad that my first exposure to Robert Parker is after his deat...more
There has been a sense in recent years of Parker writing on autopilot but even then sustaining his status among the best of his particular trade. The Professional may not be the best of the...more
It's not a great story.
Susan, Spenser's longtime girlfriend, is annoying as ever. I've never liked her character. There is too much dialogue between Susan and Spenser that has nothing to do with the story. And what was the point of them going to NYC?
Though I enjoy Spenser's sarcasm and Parker's writing style, it seems like Parker is getting tired of this character. Marry Spenser...more
The thing was Spenser when he found Eisenhower he actually liked the man. He wouldn't stop, he liked the money and unencumbered women, and said if he was beaten up, he'd blow the whistle on the three women.
Then the bodies started turning up. One of the husbands, Eisenhower's girl friend, his part...more
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