Rough Weather (Spenser Series #36)

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Overview

Hired as a bodyguard at an exclusive society wedding, Spenser witnesses an unexpected crime: the kidnapping of the young bride, which opens the door for murder, family secrets, and the reappearance of an old nemesis.

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Rough Weather (Spenser Series #36)

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Overview

Hired as a bodyguard at an exclusive society wedding, Spenser witnesses an unexpected crime: the kidnapping of the young bride, which opens the door for murder, family secrets, and the reappearance of an old nemesis.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Spenser, the redoubtable Boston PI, struts his stuff in this 36th entry in the series, but may leave some readers wondering if his ethics will bear even casual examination. When Heidi Bradshaw hires Spenser to "support" her at her daughter's wedding on Tashtego Island in Buzzards Bay, Mass., an old nemesis of Spenser's, the Gray Man, who almost killed Spenser in Small Vices(1977), also shows up on the island. Spenser is unable to prevent the kidnapping of the bride or the deaths that attend it. Assisted by a cadre of familiar players, Spenser persists in trying to find the missing bride in spite of warnings from the Gray Man. The trademark banter and snappy dialogue may seem more forced than natural. Spenser displays his machismo in dealing with a muscle builder and his detective skills in figuring out the Gray Man's connections to the case. A troubling conclusion produces one resolution and the promise of further consequences in the next installment. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410408419
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 10/21/2008
  • Series: Spenser Series, #36
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 329
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker is the author of more than fifty books. He lives in Boston

Biography

Robert B. Parker began as a student of hard-boiled crime writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but when he became a crime writer himself, he was one of the rare contemporary authors to be considered on par with his predecessors. The Spenser series, featuring a Boston-based ex-boxer and ex-cop, is one of the genre's most respected and popular fixtures.

Noted for their sharp dialogue and fine character development, the Spenser books carry on a tradition while updating it, particularly in giving its hero two strong alter egos in Hawk, a black friend and right-hand man; and Susan Silverman, Spenser's psychologist love interest. Parker's inclusion of other races and sexual persuasions (several of his novels feature gay characters, a sensibility strengthened in Parker through his sons, both of whom are gay) give a more modern feel to the cases coming into Spenser's office.

The Spenser series, which began with 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript, has an element of toughness that suits its Boston milieu; but it delves just as often into the complex relationship between Silverman and Spenser, and the interplay between the P.I. and Hawk.

By the late ‘80s, Parker had acquired such a reputation that the agent for Raymond Chandler's estate tapped him to finish the legend's last book, Poodle Springs. It was a thankless mission bound to earn criticism, but Parker carried off the task well, thanks to his gift for to-the-point writing and deft plotting. "Parker isn't, even here, the writer Chandler was, but he's not a sentimentalist, and he darkens and deepens Marlowe," the Atlantic concluded. In 1991, Parker took a second crack at Chandler with the Big Sleep sequel Perchance to Dream.

Parker took other detours from Spenser over the years. In 1999, Family Honor introduced Sunny Randall, a female Boston private eye Parker created with actress Helen Hunt in mind. Two years earlier, he introduced L.A.-to-New England cop transplant Jesse Stone in Night Passage. He also authored four bestselling Westerns featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, a few young adult books, as well as several stand-alone novels that were well-received by his many fans.

Parker died suddenly in January 2010 while at home at his desk, working on a book. The cause was a heart attack. He was seventy-seven.

Good To Know

Parker's thesis in graduate school was a study of the private eye in literature that centered on Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross MacDonald. Critics would later put him in the same category as those authors.

Parker's main hero is named for Edmund Spenser, the 16th-century author of The Faerie Queene.

Parker had a hand in writing the scripts for some television adaptations of Spenser books starring Robert Urich, who also played Spenser in the ABC series from 1985-88. Urich suffered a battle with cancer and passed away in 2002, but adaptations continue to be made for A&E, starring Joe Mantegna. Parker approved of the new actor, telling the New York Times: ''I looked at Joe and I saw Spenser."

According to a profile in the New York Times, Parker met his wife Joan when the two were toddlers at a birthday party. The two reconnected as freshmen at Colby College and eventually had two sons. They credit the survival of their marriage to a house split into separate living spaces, so that the two can enjoy more independent lives than your average husband and wife.

Parker told fans in a 1999 Barnes & Noble.com chat that he thought his non-series historical novel All Our Yesterdays was "the best thing I've ever written."

Parker had a small speaking part in the 1997 A&E adaptation of Small Vices. How does he have time to write his Spenser books, plus the other series and the adaptation stuff? "Keep in mind, it takes me four or five months to write a novel, which leaves me a lot of time the rest of the year," he told Book magazine. "I don't like to hang around."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 17, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      January 18, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    I'm going to miss Spenser

    It's hard to believe we won't be able to follow Spenser with a new book every year or so. The Spenser-Hawk-Susan trio became such a fictional icon -- always interesting and witty and they all seemed to have the perfect comeback for any situation. I don't agree with those who have panned this book because of its plot. Most of the Spenser series is less about the mystery itself and more about the relationship among these people and whatever characters they are dealing with. Spenser's ethic of righteousness causes him to take on all sorts of evil people and we love that part of him. You don't have to read all 36 books to get to know Spenser, but any of them are worth reading. Mr. Parker and all his characters will be greatly missed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    There's only one way to get through this -- remember Tom Selleck in the lead!

    Wanted to make it all the way through one of his Spenser novels after seeing Tom Selleck play the role. After getting past the HUNDREDS of "he said" comments in his very short dialogues and "she said" right in the same vein -- the book goes quick. For me, doesn't get interesting until the last 1/4 of a book -- but I'll wait for screen versions on his future books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    not his best

    Usually like Parker, but this is not my favorite.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    way too fast paced

    when i buy a novel i have the expectation of a few hours of entertainment - doesn't work here as, other than contrived dialog, there is nothing to this book. (except about 30 minutes of waaaaay too fast reading) Parker's books used to have witty dialog, lots of action and great plots. There's action in a few paragraphs (hard to tell how many pages, as the published has substituted huge print, very wide margins and space between the lines for normal page set-up. The old witty dialog used to back up conversations that made sense. All that is left are examples of 2 word one-liners. Don't waste your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2008

    Another lightweight book

    The Spenser series is about as lightweight as it gets -- like the Hardy Boys without the suspense. In fact, Parker's writing is so non-existent he makes the Hardy Boys look like War and Peace. Look at the books: paper so thick that it's almost lumber; large type face; lots of spacing between the sentences; and lots of blank pages that are numbered. What does it add up to? A publisher trying to convince us that a long short story, that wastes lots of time with Spenser's narcissistic girlfriend and his stove, is worthy paying $27 for. Only a sucker keeps buying into this series. Spenser is so "whipped" by his girlfriend that he's a joke to hard-boiled PI fans everywhere.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2008

    great suspenseful mystery

    Wealthy, almost famous for her marriages, Heidi Bradshaw hires Boston based private investigator Spenser to be her escort on her privately owned island, Tashtego. The occasion is her daughter Adelaide¿s wedding. Spenser gets the impression his client wants a bodyguard he takes the job and brings his lover Susan Silverman with him. The bride and groom exchange vows only to have gunmen arrive led by Rugar the Gray Man and they abduct Adelaide. ---- Spenser does not try to protect Heidi as his first concern is Susan¿s safety. The kidnappers and the bride reach a helicopter but not before Rugar kills the groom and the minister. Spenser is shocked as the scenario is not Rugar¿s precise efficient MO and no ransom note is sent. As the Boston sleuth begins closing in on the truth, Rugar sends assassins to kill him, but they fail. He vows to rescue Adelaide and learn why Rugar is behaving out of character. ---- ROUGH WEATHER is Robert B. Parker at his very best with a great suspenseful mystery enhanced by the hero¿s even greater love for Susan her safety comes first before his client or himself. Susan accepts Spenser for who he is and tries not to change her beloved into a more ¿acceptable¿ boyfriend fitting in her circle. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the Gray Man arrives in a shockingly fumbled caper, but it is the dry witted Spenser who turns the tale into a thriller¿s thriller. ---- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    RECOMMEND

    FAST READING--MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Good buy

    Good book

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    Milking the Franchise

    When he's "on," Robert B. Parker can write spectacularly about Spenser, Hawk, and Susan, and he hits the target more often than not. This book is a miss, however.

    All the familiar faces and situations are present, tied together with a fairly superficial "closed room murder," even involving a familiar adversary. However, the situation is even less plausible than usual, and the resolution is a "what??" moment for the reader.

    The paperback edition is also irritatingly published in the tall, narrow, wide-margin style that, in the more normal paperback format, would belie its brevity.

    My advice: Skip this one, and spend your money on Michael McConnelly's latest.

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  • Posted July 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Rainy Day Reading

    This is an average book by an author who can do much better. The Spencer series has slipped into a very comfortable formula. If you are looking to renew your acquaintance with Spencer and Hawk, then you will enjoy this tale of a twisted kidnapping. If you are looking for a fresh suspense tale or private eye novel then you should follow the trail to the next likely suspect.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Spenser mellows with age, but still stays sharp and interesting.

    This is Parker in his original and true form. The Spenser and Hawk characters have become somewhat less overtly violent over time, but the potential is always there, juat underthe surface. "Rough Weather" has an interesting plot with enough of a twist to keep the reader guessing in suspense until near the end. Best of all, Spenser and Hawk continue to mature their relationship of mutual respect and trust. Parker has maximized the partnership and ties between Spenser and Hawk, while still keeping them as individuals and very different characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Rough Weather by Robert Parker

    Robert Parker's books are always a fast reed. I especially like Spenser, Susan and Hswk.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Below par compared to past Spencer novels

    I have always enjoyed the past Spencer novels. They have been declining a bit of late, but Rough Weather ended with Spencer doing something he would never, ever have condoned before: He would never let someone off for killing several totally innocent people. I guess Mr. Parker has partaken of the liberal kool-aid so prevailent in Massachusetts. It's a shame.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Spenser does it again

    I have read all the Spenser series. I have enjoyed them all. But this story is a little far fetch. It seems quote a divorced woman,unquote, hires Spenser to be her bodyguard for her daughter's wedding. After the wedding, a nemesis of Spenser's, enters and proceeds to kill the minister and the groom. He also kidnaps the bride and escapes. Now it is Spenser's job to find them and why. with Hawks help, Captain Healy, Boston's finest, they begin to unravel the murky answers to why the groom was killed and the bride was kidnapped.<BR/><BR/>I would recommend it to readers who want a little adventure to erase some of today's problems. Unfornutely, we all have to come back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2009

    TOTALLY GREAT!!!

    Once again Parker brings us another riviting Spenser novel -- this one perhaps even sharper and with more wit than we are by now accustomed to! The story NEVER drags and is possibility one of THE best Spensers ever. Of course if you are a Spenser fan you will want to run and get this one and if you never heard of Spenser -- don't read it unless you want to be totally 100% hooked and looking for the other 35 books.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Waste of time and money.

    When I bought this book I didn't realize it was part of an ongoing series so was lost when it came to The Gray Man, etc. From other crime and mystery books I thought the bad guy was always put down, but Spenser seems to go by his own rules. This book could have been a more than superficial read if the paper wasn't so thick, the print wasn't so huge and the multiple spaces had been closed in. I won't be buying another Spenser mystery.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    At last, a good read

    Finally, Parker seems to be back in his form. Good plot, action, and narrative. The past few books were thin in all of the above. This was a book I hated to put down. Although still widely spaced between the lines so as to seem like a really thick book, I did enjoy it. I have been a Spenser fan for many years!

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    Tired and Worn

    I loved the Spencer books but the last couple ended up, well, boring. Spencer and Hawk seemed to be getting old. And, Spencer or Parker seems to be changing. Spencer always had his own morality and code of conduct but in this book, he lets a mass murder go free simply because the murder's daughter loves him and would end up a drug addict without him. The Spencer of the earlier books wouldn't have given the guy a pass. So, this is my last Spencer book or for that matter any other Parker books (Jess Stone, Sunny Randall)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    plot outline only

    Parker's latest book, in a series i used to love, is a bare outline overlaid with one word stilted dialog. "tallyho??" It's as though he wrote an outline in sentence form, wrote some "witty" dialog and submitted the proposal to his publisher. Maybe they were confused when they actually printed this outline. Without the thick paper, huge margins and large font, it would barely fill 20 pages. NOTHING happens in the book except an opening premise and a concluding four paragraph explanation. Surely the whole middle of the book was mistakenly omitted. This is my last Parker book. (and I was once proud to say I read them all)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2008

    Parker Does it Again

    Another great, fast-paced read with Parker's usual suspects and sarcastic wit. He always makes the commute home bearable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

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