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A Savage Place

(Spenser #8)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,572 ratings  ·  227 reviews
TV reporter Candy Sloan has eyes the color of cornflowers and legs that stretch all the way to heaven. She also has somebody threatening to rearrange her lovely face if she keeps on snooping into charges of Hollywood racketeering.

Spenser's job is to keep Candy healthy until she breaks the biggest story of her career. But her star witness has just bowed out with three bulle
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 3rd 1992 by Dell (first published November 1st 1981)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  6,572 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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Bill Kerwin
May 14, 2007 rated it really liked it

One of the virtues of re-reading is that you may discover as much about your changing self as you do about your old friend the book. So it was with my recent reading of the Spenser mystery A Savage Place. When I read the book forty years ago, I disliked it. Spenser in L.A. seemed like a fish out of water: deprived of his Bostonian moral compass (and Susan), he makes self-serving and emotional decisions, both personal and professional, thereby precipitating a dramatic—and very public—end to his C
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it

As those young kids on The Internets would say: Spenser FAIL!

One of my complaints about the later Spenser books was that he stopped making mistakes somewhere along the line. Errors in judgment made him much more interesting, especially in how he dealt with the aftermath of life-and-death decisions that went sour on him. Re-reading the earlier books, I’ve been reminded how often Spenser screwed up, and in this one, he fucks up catastrophically on a couple of levels, professionally and personally.
Jason Koivu
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, crime, detective
A young female reporter is uncovering mob connections in the Los Angeles film industry and Spenser gets roped in.

It might seem a little odd that a Boston-based detective is needed to fly across the country to handle an affair that a local p.i. could manage, but Parker's compact and expedited reasoning at the start of the book is sufficient, especially if you've already read Looking for Rachel Wallace.

I particularly enjoyed A Savage Place, not because it's better than any other Spenser book, but
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(The word "maroon" appears only once in this novel)

I have very mixed feelings about this book in many ways.

As we know, Spenser is a deeply conflicted man, and possibly an expression of Parker's own inner baggage, in some ways. This book clearly shows Spenser failing his own rules several times, and in ways that detract from his heroic persona.

Spenser is not a hero in the way Harry Bosch is a hero. Spenser's too often selfish and cruel, with the emphasis on "too often". However he does have witti
Maureen DeLuca
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A solid 4 star read from the great Robert B. Parker- and I added another star for - well, Robert B. Parker! I'm sure I am only a few here on Goodreads who never finished the Spenser series- I am reading them in order - Yes, for the first time and enjoying them. Same goes for the Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall series as well.... Great stories (yes, time dated) but a good , solid , police procedure/detective, PI story if written correctly- is good , either in the 1980's , 1990's, 2000's - good is g ...more
joyce lynn
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ok, was well written, and kept me hanging on, like his other books. i have 2 complaints, tho. #1, i do NOT like how he take "charge" or guardianship over a 15 year old boy in the previous book, and then we do not hear about him again. so, is he ignorning the boy just like the boy's own parents do/did? #2, the main character's whole logic on what is and is not cheating, or is ok cheating, is total B.S. cheating is cheating, end of discussion, and NONE of it is NOT ok!!! ...more
Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. Not as interesting as others in the series. Not as much humor.

Spenser is hired as bodyguard for Candy, a TV news reporter. Some readers will not like Candy because she uses sex to get ahead. That didn’t bother me, it’s a character type. But the author using stupidity to move the plot does bother me. Candy did two stupid things I did not like. And the ending was not as good as I’d like.

Something else bothered me. Spenser and Susan are in a committed long term relationship. So why do
Evelyn Wilson
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spenser flew, first class, to L.A. Very busy with Candy Sloan out there in L.A. California. I am disappointed in Spenser at one spot in the book but I guess if Susan will get over it, I will.

Page 26 . . . Candy's MG was sitting there in the walkway near it. People skirted it to get into the market, shaking their heads; a man suggested to his wife that the driver was an asshole. I felt he'd made his judgment on insufficient evidence.
. . .

Page 174 . . . A little drama doesn't hurt. Brewster got
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
In this story, he gets away from a lot of the fixtures, and we get a plot and some feelings on several pages. It is funny, with superbly wise-ass dialogue.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Poole
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Savage Place brought Boston P.I. Spenser to early ‘80s Los Angeles.

Spenser accepts a bodyguard gig in LA, protecting reporter Candy Sloan. After Candy begins digging into organized crime infiltration of a major Hollywood studio, she becomes the target of intimidation and attacks. Spenser attempts to keep Candy safe, even as her story brings them up against a wall of silence and threats of retribution from some dangerous and powerful people.

A Savage Place was one of the outings where author Rob
Nov 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
This has got to be the worst private eye novel ever written.

Spenser is even more arrogant and conceited than ever. He tells the girl that nobody can kill him... Really?

Parker pretends to know L.A. I thought he messed up a bit by mentioning Marineland. My recollection was that Marineland had already gone bankrupt and been closed for several years in 1981, but apparently that was not the case, apparently they lasted until 1987. Parker describes some L.A. places like he visited once or twice, eve
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
This was probably my least favorite book of the Spenser
series. He was on location in Hollywood to protect a TV
reporter investigating corruption and racketeering in the
movie industry. I didn't like the reporter, Candy Sloan,
but thought Spenser liked her too much.
A classic Spenser line was "I'm a romantic. Agreements are
useless with romantics."
There was a good description of Los Angeles: "But L.A. was
like nothing I'd ever seen. I didn't know any place like it for sprall, for the apparently idosy
(# 8 of the Spenser series)-I did not like this one at all. It may be a pivotal book in the series but it did not impress me like some of the others. Spenser goes out to California to protect Candy, a news reporter. There is a scam going on (possibly involving the mob) that she has uncovered and she is trying to get more information so she can expose it thru the press. So there are guys after her. They kill her friend who is the only witness. Anyway, Spenser sleeps with her which pisses me off b ...more
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it
A very old Spenser that I had somehow missed. It was set in Los Angeles with Spenser 'protecting' a female TV Reporter investigating a big story from some bad doers. Spenser even in Los Angeles stays Spenser, but his cohorts are not around and he is a bit more macho that in later works. All in all, it was a nice discovery for me and fun reading. ...more
Joe  Noir
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Set in L.A., not Boston.

A somewhat interesting take on L.A. by Parker.

Not the best Spenser book, not the worst. Spenser is not quite himself in this novel.

I wonder if this book could have been written as a stand alone, and then Parker decided to make it a Spenser novel.

The best thing this book has going for it is that Parker did not choose the "Hollywood" ending.
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great as usual, but not my favorite Spenser novel. He has a little problem in this one (I won't mention what the problem is). No Hawk or Susan, so not the usual funny dialogue in this one. Still a great read though! ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't think it's actually the best Spenser book but this is Spenser like I'd never seen him before. Showing Spenser as fallible is why this merits five stars. ...more
Paula Dembeck
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The eighth novel in the Spenser series opens with a quote from the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem Kubla Khan. It is a symbol that marks an important change in the context of the Boston P.I’s next case. Spenser has received a referral from his former client Rachel Walling who tells him a woman named Candy Sloan, a reporter for KNBS-TV in Los Angeles, will be getting in touch with him. Candy is an investigative reporter hot on the tail of an important story about mob connections to the film industry ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I give "A Savage Place" 4 stars because, while being a rather bland entry in the Spenser series, there was one moment of stark reality that absolutely shocked me. This event just shows that Spenser is just a man, not superhuman and not a superhero. He is good at what he does and has his own code of ethics and morals, but even he has that moment when everything goes wrong and he is powerless to stop it. That aside, there is also a moment (an action, really) that just left me disappointed in Spens ...more
R Fontaine
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-intrigue
A 'tour de murder’ in Hollywood that is not only a guided tour to the elite Hotels, restaurants, but also thechi-chi streets and avenues: not as pristine as they appear.
It seems that there is always a dirty underbelly in Southern California that draws the sharpies, mob wannabes, andegotistical self-satisfied movie executives just under the surface.
In this installment of Spenser, he is a bodyguard for hire who could have done better, much better, with Hawk orSixkill as his companion.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
A sadder, darker tale than most, but vividly, realistically told. Reading his books I'm always so intrigued with Parker's mind, grappling with feminism, what it takes to be a good -- tough -- man, society's missed connections. The man was a communicator, making his books fun & rich.

Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Another fast paced, remarkably clever (if not slightly dated) novel in the Spenser series. Though this time the through line for the plot was a little congested and hard to follow, I still enjoyed the ride thoroughly.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spenser rules. R.B.Parker's books offer such satisfaction on a very simple and profound level. Devoid of baggage, quick of wit, supremely comfortable in his profession & in his skin, seemingly impervious to nervousness, squeamishness, intimidation, or any of the other ills of our "civilized" society, the Boston private eye is in many ways the perfect protagonist. Plug him into any situation, and he will distill it down to its most basic elements & do what needs doing with a minimum of emotional ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Parker's 8th book in the Spenser series was a mixed bag for me. I will start out with the positives (since I am a positive guy). Though many people didn't like the ending, I enjoyed it. This life is far from perfect and it is nice to see that even in Spenser's world things aren't good all the time. I also enjoyed (like always) Spenser's smart ass comments that are littered throughout. This book is also in Los Angeles which was a nice change from Boston.

Now the things I didn't like about the book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm an ardent fan of Robert B Parker's Spenser series and even a moderate fan of the rest of his oeuvre. And (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spenser
Spenser heads out to La-La land of L.A. & Hollywood, to help look after a TV news anchor. With the different scenery on the west coast, Parkers descriptions of dress styles of the early 80's are priceless. Even without Hawke in this case, there was even some body count. Spenser, with his witty remarks, that usually make matters worse, never get too old for me. ...more
Apr 04, 2014 added it
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!
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I had never read a book by this author but needed a real quick read and this fit. Well developed characters with just enough background of the series so the reader doesn't seem to be missing any information regarding Spenser the private eye. Also it didn't feel dated even though it is from the 1980's. ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover isn't quite correct 3 18 Apr 10, 2017 04:05AM  
Mansfield Public ...: The "A Savage Place" review by Suzanne Dowling 1 1 Aug 05, 2014 02:39PM  

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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.

Other books in the series

Spenser (1 - 10 of 48 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)
  • Ceremony (Spenser, #9)
  • The Widening Gyre (Spenser, #10)
  • Valediction (Spenser, #11)

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“Candy nodded absently.
“Okay,” she said. “What shall I wear?”
“A gun,” I said.”
“L.A. It was a big sunny buffoon of a city; corny and ornate and disorganized but kind of fun. The last hallucination, the dwindled fragment of—what had Fitzgerald called it?—“the last and greatest of all human dreams.” It was where we’d run out of room, where the dream had run up against the ocean, and human voices woke us. Los Angeles was the butt end, where we’d spat it out with our mouths tasting of ashes, but a genial failure of a place for all of that.” 1 likes
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