Small Vices (Spenser Series #24)

( 11 )

Overview

Ellis Alves is no angel. But his lawyer says he was framed for the murder of college student Melissa Henderson...and asks Spenser for help.

From Boston's back streets to Manhattan's elite, Spenser and Hawk search for suspects, including Melissa's rich-kid, tennis-star boyfriend. But when a man with a .22 puts Spenser in a coma, the hope for justice may die with him...

Spenser dies--and lives to tell the tale--in Parker's stunning ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$9.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (99) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $5.49   
  • Used (89) from $1.99   
Small Vices (Spenser Series #24)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

Ellis Alves is no angel. But his lawyer says he was framed for the murder of college student Melissa Henderson...and asks Spenser for help.

From Boston's back streets to Manhattan's elite, Spenser and Hawk search for suspects, including Melissa's rich-kid, tennis-star boyfriend. But when a man with a .22 puts Spenser in a coma, the hope for justice may die with him...

Spenser dies--and lives to tell the tale--in Parker's stunning new mystery novel. In an attempt to smoke out a killer, Spenser plays dead after he barely survives a master assassin's bullet. For it is only then that he can see justice done--and let the shooter know that it's payback time. BOMC Main Selection. 320 pp. 150,000 print.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
April 1997

Spenser is back. In Small Vices, his 24th adventure, we find the private eye working on a case of wrongful incarceration — a case that reopens the murder of a Boston coed. Spenser's cynical and pushy nature gets him what he wants, when he wants it, but it gets under people's skin. Despite being threatened, he doesn't drop the case; Spenser is a man of principle and a man set in his ways. Suddenly we see Spenser as we have never seen him before: near death, having taken three bullets from a hired assassin. Most men would give up, but who ever said that Spenser was like most men?

Spenser embarks on the long, hard road of rehabilitation with his friend, Hawk, and his lover, Susan, by his side. And from the start his mind is set on one thing: regaining the strength and skill to take on the would-be assassin face to face, man to man, until justice is done. Spenser has never come up against something quite like this — a professional killer who just might be his equal...and then some.

From the Publisher
"In Small Vices Mr. Parker not only brings his hero to the point of death but challenges him to confront his own mortality in a way that he hasn't since Valediction."—The New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spenser returns in top form (his 24th adventure, following Chance) to clear a man wrongly imprisoned for murdering a woman college student. Ellis Alves, a black man with sexual assaults on his record, was convicted easily when two witnesses said they saw him kidnap the victim. Former prosecutor Rita Fiore suspects a frame-up, however, and hires old pal Spenser to investigate. "You gonna get buried," Alves warns Spenser and his sidekick Hawk. Sure enough, reopening the case pits them against the victim's influential parents, her hostile tennis-star boyfriend and his wealthy family, and the state cop who arrested Alves. Four Boston thugs can't force Spenser off the case, but an imported hit man pours several bullets into him. Barely surviving, Spenser emerges from a coma with his gun hand useless. Parker writes a powerful, affecting description of Spenser's painful rehab. The sharp, densely compacted dialogue, a hallmark of this series, exceeds itself here. Even psychologist Susan Silverman's discourse, as she shrink-raps on Spenser's motivation, has a lower than usual pretense quotient. Susan wants to adopt a child with Spenser, but he is determined to risk another clash with the hit man. Spenser, still thoroughly convincing as the tough and decent PI, seeks bits of justice where he can. Even after 23 years on the job (The Godwulf Manuscript, Spenser's first appearance, was published in 1974), nobody does it better. BOMC selection (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Peerless shamus Spenser's 24th case (Chance, 1996, etc.) is almost his last, thanks to an assassin who's a lot more like him than he'd like to acknowledge.

Cone, Oakes and Baldwin, Boston's largest law firm, doesn't like loose ends, and when Rita Fiore and Marcy Vance, the former prosecutor who put Ellis Alves away for murder and the former public defender who couldn't save him from the big house, meet in the firm's tony corridors and share doubts about the case, they end up hiring Spenser to make sure the evidence is solid. Nobody, including Alves, a career criminal with an attitude about white folks, wants to talk to Spenser, but it isn't long before he smells several rats anyway. Why didn't the upscale couple (since married) who said they saw Alves drag Pemberton College coed Melissa Henderson into his car call the police till after Melissa was dead? Why would a lowlife like Alves have dumped her body on the well-tended Pemberton campus? Why do the parents of Melissa's boyfriend, tennis hopeful Clint, deny that they ever knew Melissa? Interesting questions—interesting enough to get Spenser the obligatory string of warnings by local thugs and crooked cops and a dead-eyed killer in a gray suit. But Spenser won't lay off, even though his personal shrink Susan Richman, avid to adopt a baby, switches to reminders that Ellis Alves undoubtedly belongs in jail for something. So the Gray Man comes after Spenser with his trademark .22, short-circuiting every surprise (hey, this isn't Nicolas Freeling) except the question of how Spenser's going to recover and nail his would-be executioner and the people who hired him—and then live with himself afterwards.

It's a tribute to Parker's professionalism that he takes a device as old as Sherlock Holmes—the death and rebirth of the detective—and infuses it with renewed urgency and moral weight, showing the thoroughbred form that put him and Boston on the p.i. map in the first place.

From Barnes & Noble
The intrepid Spenser returns in a search for suspects in the murder of a college student--a list that includes the victim's tennis-star boyfriend. Plumbing the depths of the seamy side of life, they encounter a no-man's-land of twisted cops and spoiled rich kids with peculiar private proclivities. When a man with a .22 puts Spenser in a coma, the hope for justice may die along with the detective. Full of the galvanizing action and suspense that legions of Spenser fans recognize and appreciate. Running Time: Approximately 8 hours.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425162484
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Series: Spenser Series, #24
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 182,091
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert B.  Parker

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Read More Show Less
    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:

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

Before the live bn.com chat, Robert B. Parker agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q:  What's your favorite takeout meal?

A:  My favorite takeout meal is Chinese food.

Q:  Describe one thing in life that you have done but are glad you never have to do again.

A:  I'd rather not read Paradise Lost again.

Q:  What is the first line of poetry that comes to mind?

A:  "Earth's the best place for love, I know nowhere it's likely to get better" -- Robert Frost, "Swinging Birches"

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    This is one of my favorite R B Parker books. Highly recommended.

    This is one of my favorite R B Parker books. Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Echosong

    Name: Echosong or Echo Age: 13 moond Description: a black she cat with silver "music notes" through out her fur and brown eyes Scars: she has a twisted paw Mate: nope Kits: nada Crush: no Family: unknown History: will only tell Gingerstar Apprentice: none yet

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Fleetkit

    NAME Fleetkit AGE 5 moons APPEARANCE bunny-sized baby blue shekit with wings PERSONALITY fast, cool, moderate

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Darkeyes bio

    Name:Darkeyes. Age:19moons. Rank:assitant deputy. Mate:Gingerstar. Kits: None. Apperance: Eletric blue eyes black with a line of red on hes white tail tip sharp claws a large slim cat. Type o' cat: athltic. Persoality: smart fast understanding funny sometimes strict and very protective

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Zap and reaper bio

    Strikingly handsom twin black toms with red swirl on their backs. Zap with his electric golden eyes. Is mischevious of the two. He speaks for reaper,who is shy. Reaper has light blue eyes lined with gold both are single... their mother is nebula. Fathe is clearstone. Sister is crystal.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Mistyclaw

    Cruse reaper she cat grey fur matw none kits none deputy apprentice moonpaw

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Gingerstar bio

    Mate: Darkeyes. Kits: none. (Yet) Apprenses: ginger with white patches. Persnality: funy caring kind loving and active. She grew up in Grassclan but then started her own clan.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Fatalstrikes Bio

    Extremely beautiful athletic skilled and mateless with a black and white sleek pelt and green eyes with red tinges. Kind and wishes to someday have kits she is a warrior of only fifteen years with a nickname Fatal which is used by only close friends.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2000

    first spenser novel read

    I have never read a novel by this author. In school I had to read this book and I loved it. It was very easy to read and understand. I would like to give my approval of this book, and recommend it to other readers

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)