Thin Air (Spenser Series #22)

( 9 )

Overview

Her name is Lisa St. Claire. Her husband's a cop. Her whereabouts are unknown. Spenser thought he could help a friend find his missing wife. Until he learned the nasty truth about Lisa St. Claire. For starters, it's not her real name...

Her name is Lisa St. Claire. Her husband is a cop. Her whereabouts are unknown. Spenser thought he could help a friend find a missing wife. Until he learned the nasty truth about Lisa St. Claire. For starters, it's not her real name....

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Thin Air (Spenser Series #22)

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Overview

Her name is Lisa St. Claire. Her husband's a cop. Her whereabouts are unknown. Spenser thought he could help a friend find his missing wife. Until he learned the nasty truth about Lisa St. Claire. For starters, it's not her real name...

Her name is Lisa St. Claire. Her husband is a cop. Her whereabouts are unknown. Spenser thought he could help a friend find a missing wife. Until he learned the nasty truth about Lisa St. Claire. For starters, it's not her real name. This New York Times bestseller is a Mystery Guild selection and a LG alternate selection.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the famed Boston PI's 22nd case, an oddly sympathetic villain and a resolute heroine draw Spenser into a barrio enclave in a depressed Massachusetts factory town. Readers know that Lisa St. Clair, a radio deejay newly married to a Boston police detective, has been kidnapped and imprisoned in a Proctor, Mass. tenement by Rico, her former lover. The cop, who knows only that his wife has disappeared, is shot and seriously injured just after he asks Spenser to investigate. Chapters alternate between the room where Lisa is kept under guard and constantly running video cameras and Spenser's gradual assembling of clues. The PI discovers Lisa's former name and occupation; he thinks up a way to penetrate Proctor's divided and desperate Hispanic community, ruled by Rico and a rival. Lots of atmosphere and even suspense-Will Lisa resist Rico's demands? Can Spenser discover a way to rescue her?-are built up in short sentences and one-line paragraphs. Spenser's pal Hawk is away (his place taken briefly by the sharp L.A. crook, Chollo), and his lover, Susan, and dog Pearl are kept mostly backstage during a slightly stretched out story that, nevertheless, packs a lot of punch. Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild alternate. (May)
Library Journal
Spenser, Parker's most popular creation, here searches for a mysterious woman.
From Barnes & Noble
The wily sleuth Spenser gets tangled in another mystery when a beautiful woman vanishes, leaving him to investigate her checkered past. On the Spenser thrillers: " ...one of the great series in the history of the American detective story."-- N.Y. Times Book Review.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425152904
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: Spenser Series , #22
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 204,247
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    Sorry,Denise. I disagree.

    As a reader of Parker, who has recently re-read most of his books I had read throughout the 80's, I'd have to say this was one of his best! Anyone who hasn't yet read Parker, is missing out on a load of fun, and Thin Air is a fine place to start!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    How About That!

    Robert B. Parker did it again, good content, interesting, funny quirps in Thin Air. It moves right along keeping you on the edge of you seat. Highly recommed Thin Air by Parker and narrated by David Dukes to everyone. Kit

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Elders den

    Foxtail deputy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    Retread and Shame

    Shame on Parker for this book. Anyone of us who are fans could have written this book: it is just a retread of conversations had in almost every book. I love Parker's novels and read them repeatedly: this is why this is such a shame and a waste of his time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2003

    Read for senseless fun.

    This book was a little hard to follow for me because you don¿t really get to know the characters in-depth. Now that I write this review I found out that there are many other books written by Robert B. Parker that are prequels to this novel. If you like detective thrillers then you may like this book. The reason I said may, is because there isn¿t much thought involved even when it comes to the evidence, you can almost ¿predict¿ what is going to happen before it does. The story begins with a mans wife disappearing not too over dramatic but decent story line so far. She is kidnapped by some people in a van, the husband calls Spencer (a private detective) to track her down and bring her back. Soon after Frank (the husband) talks to Spencer he is shot three times. Spencer hears about this and gets on the trail as soon as he can. While on the trail he finds out that Franks wife Lisa St. Claire isn¿t even her real name, he finds out that she has a past that even her husband didn¿t even know about. For me it wasn¿t very appealing but that is in part to I haven¿t read other works written by Robert B. Parker. But for the people who have read his other books this could be a fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

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    Posted November 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

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