Crimson Joy (Spenser, #15)
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Crimson Joy (Spenser #15)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,307 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A serial killer is on the loose in Beantown and the cops can't catch him. But when the killer leaves his red rose calling card for Spenser's own Susan Silverman, he gets all the attention that Spenser and Hawk can give.

Spenser plays against time while he tracks the Red Rose killer from Boston's Combat Zone to the suburbs. His trap is both daring and brave, and gives the st...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 2nd 2009 by Dell (first published 1988)
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Kemper
Serial killers are the cockroaches of crime fiction. No matter how many you see, there’s always a million more. Even Robert B. Parker doing his updated version of old school detective novels with Spenser couldn’t escape the siren call of doing a book about a wacko murderer back in the ‘80s when the serial-killer-as-villain took over the genre.

A psycho has been killing black women and leaving a red rose with the bodies. Spenser’s police buddy, Quirk, gets a letter from the killer claiming that he...more
Gerald Sinstadt
Robert Parker is always seeking to extend the boundaries of the conventional private eye story. Susan Silverman is present for more than just grown-up love interest. Susan is a psychologist and Parker is clearly interested in psychology.

Crimson Joy is not a mystery for many chapters. Instead, Parker makes the killer a central character, his mental make-up and motivation gradually exposed and explored.

Hawk is a presence, humour and smart dialogue play their part but this is essentially a serious...more
Eric_W
Someone is killing black women using the same MO: duck tape, shot with the same gun, a rose, and leaving evidence of masturbation. He also claims, in a note to the homicide detective in charge, to be a cop. Lt. Quinn asks Spenser to help from outside the department. Soon they are forced to deal with a copycat who has confessed. And then the real bad guy. Predictable.

OK story with the usual humorous banter, but I do get annoyed with the therapeutic babbling indulged in by Susan and Spenser. In th...more
Metagion
Dr. Susan Silverman, Spenser's girl, deals with folks from every walk of life from her office in Boston. A licensed psychotherapist, she listens and helps people deal with everything from trauma to the everyday kind of problem that needs resolution; but what do you do when one of your patients is a killer? Four black women are tied up and murdered in their homes, with a signature: a single red rose is left at the scene. Can Spenser stop this madman before Susan becomes his next target? Find out...more
Andrew
As far as I can tell this is the first Spenser novel to feature a non-Spenser POV chapter. That sums up what's wrong with this novel. Those chapters are jarring, unnecessary, and, not to speak ill of Parker, were probably written to pad the novel.

The first Spenser novel that I've felt so-so about. One out of fifteen's not too bad.
Chuck
61 out of 100 for 2010

I would have to say that this is in the top tier of the Spenser novels. In it, Parker experiments with point of view (not all of the novel is in the traditional first person point of view most characteristic of the Spenser series) and stream of consciousness. It's also the first novel in the series in which Spenser assembles a "team" of men for a common cause--in this case, Spenser, Hawk, Quirk, and Belsen to protect Susan.

It's also more of a traditional police procedural;...more
Mark
When the fourth victim of the press-named Red Rose Killer is found dead, with no seeming pattern other than they’re all black females, Spenser is called in by Lt. Quirk to help out with the investigation. The killer has left a note, saying he’s a cop and Quirk needs someone - beyond Belson - that he can trust. When another victim is found and her husband confesses all, the powers-that-be want the case closed but new suspicions are raised when it appears that Susan might have the killer as a clie...more
Yeva
I really liked this book. It is number 15 in the Spenser series, and I must say I like Spenser in the early books. He is more raw, more deliberate, but still maintains his philosophy and ethics. As many folks know, I am a die-hard Robert B. Parker fan, and I hang out with several other Parker fans--a motley crew if there ever was. Still, the bad guy in this book is great to hate, and that makes the reading so much fun.
Joyce
This is another old Parker that I rediscovered. Women are being brutally murdered by the Red Rose Killer. Quirk calls Spenser in to help him investigate because they suspect the killer may be a Police Officer. All the protagonists a Spenser fan expects are part of the plot, as is a killer whose methodology and obvious psychosis calls for Susan's expertise. All in all, a quick and satisfying read.
Lee
Spenser is asked to help find the "Red Rose Killer", a sicko brutally murdering women. Not as much "action" in this one, a "lot" about Susan :) Sometimes I wish Spenser didn't love her as much as he does.
But, with the banter between him and Hawke, I'll give it 3.5 stars.
joyce lynn
not one of THE best of his, but i'll admit, one of the BETTER ones in this series. i liked how Susan got more involved this time, and can understand the conflict she felt both as a dr, and as a woman.
Yeva
This is the first Robert B. Parker novel I've read in a long time. As soon as I started the book, I realized how much I've missed Spenser and Hawk, and of course Susan. Crimson Joy was off the chain! Spenser and Hawk had an interesting dilemma...a serial killer was one of Susan's clients. This put the relationship between Spenser and Susan into a brief turmoil, but those two were so in love that this hiccup just made their relationship better. I love this series.
Cathy Cusson
This book was hard to put down. I loved the banter between Hawk, Susan and Spenser. I enjoyed seeing more of Quirk and Belson. It was just an enjoyable read. The end was . . . . unexpected. I thought the book was over, turned the page to see more two more pages from the killer's point of view - and a confession I was wondering about but still had not expected. Then the book was over and I was left to think oops, they missed a bad guy.
Rebecca
I like Spenser and I like Hawk which is what makes these books work for me. I like the quips and the sarcasm. Unfortunately I think there was less of that in this one. A lot of the book took place between Spenser and Susan. There is a lot of them working out why their relationship works so well and how they can both can do their jobs, even when they happen to intersect, and still keep their personal relationship strong. At times it seemed to be the focus of the book even more than the serial kil...more
Eric
Since there is probably a Spenser book or two I haven't read (like this one) I'll be picking one up from time to time. Usually with a Spenser novel, you know who the protagonist is right from the start but not in this case which is a little refreshing although rooting out the serial killer doesn't seem to take too much effort because fortunately the killer is being treated by Spenser's girlfriend. That leads to some disagreement as their professions clash.
Stephanie Smith
I love Spenser. I particularly love it when Spenser and Susan work together and examine the psychology of a killer as they do in this book, number 15 in the Spenser series. My only complaint about this one from mid-way through Parker's Spenser tales is the lack of much of the Hawk/Susan/Spenser interplay that I crave and have come to expect from this series.
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!
John
This book is an example of why I like Parker's Spenser books so much. It made me wonder if, in a future book, Hawk intentionally decides to talk like a ghetto black man whose words were written by an old white guy, in this book his dialogue is so much more adequate and tolerable than in later ones.
Allison
Spenser, Hawk, Susan, Belson and Quirk hunt down a psychopath killer who has mom issues. Serious mom issues. But, Parker has a point "the thing about monsters is, you want to kill them until you meet them, and when you meet them they don't seem monstrous, and killing them begins to seem unkind." And he has another good point too (about love) "all the received truths of popular culture presume that successful love is rooted in shared interests. Dating services computerize preferences, hobbies, va...more
Shirley Worley
Spenser, Hawk, Quirk, and Belson join forces to catch a serial killer. His targets are all 40-ish black women, bound, gagged, and shot. A single red rose left on each body earns him the title Red Rose Killer. After seeking professional advice from psychologist Dr. Susan Silverman, it is soon evident that the killer is one of her patients. When it seems his next target may very well be Susan, the significant other of Spenser, the course of action pits Spenser's and Susan's professional ethics aga...more
Kellie
I always enjoy the Spenser mysteries. This one was one of the better ones. A serial killer (Red Rose Killer) is loose in Boston and he could possibly be a patient of Susan’s. Susan and Spenser have gone thru quite a transformation in their relationship. I respect Parker’s effort in setting a great example of what a very close and intimate relationship can be like. Communication is key and Parker nailed it. I felt like Susan and Spenser became closer in this book. Their jobs became interlinked an...more
Barbara Woodford
It was certainly different. I always enjoy the teasing between the main characters. I didn't like the ending.
Sue Robinson
Not my most favourite Parker novel but readable.
Francisco
Regular run of the mill serial killer story.
Tiina
This is one of the earlier Spenser novels, with much less of the witty dialogue that is so typical of the later books. Here was a real mystery, and very little of Spenser's showing off his fighting skills. Having read this book, I can understand some readers' disgust of Spenser's lady friend, Susan. There was soooo much description of how he feels about her, it is really not that interesting. However, I do enjoy a Spenser novel any time.

Criticism: this book is extremely quick to read, so the enj...more
Leslie Jem
Susan is stalked by a serial killer.
Rhod
Good to be back to Parker, but only 7 left I haven't read. Good mystery and Spencer wisecracking his way toward the solution.
Bexa
I love Robert Parker. They're always such a quick read, but are also always so full of insightful thought and make me think. I enjoyed the way this book was written because it was so focused on the relationship between Spenser and Susan, and you get more information because he writes in thoughts from the serial killer. I think I'm about halfway through the Spenser novels, and I'm so sad that RBP died, because it means that it will end, regardless of the fact they got a ghostwriter for him.
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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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