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Walking Shadow (Spenser Series #21)

Walking Shadow (Spenser Series #21)

4.5 8
by Robert B. Parker

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In a shabby waterfront town, an actor is shot dead onstage. Granted, the script left much to be desired. But there's more behind the scenes than an overzealous critic--and Spenser and Hawk are combing Port City's underworld to find it...


In a shabby waterfront town, an actor is shot dead onstage. Granted, the script left much to be desired. But there's more behind the scenes than an overzealous critic--and Spenser and Hawk are combing Port City's underworld to find it...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In fine form here, Parker's sardonic Boston PI Spenser, last seen in Paper Dolls , encounters danger, venality and plenty of comic material in this brisk tale spanning the worlds of experimental theater and illegal immigration. While he'd rather be at work renovating the old farmhouse that he and his lover, psychiatrist Susan, have bought in nearby Concord, Spenser agrees to find out who is following the Artistic Director of the Port City Theater Company, on whose board of directors Susan sits. The detective is utterly bored by a performance of the latest production in Port City, ``a town 50% Portuguese and 50% Chinese''--until one of the actors is fatally shot from the audience. The shooter gets away, leaving Spenser with murder to probe as well. After talking to one of the board members, Spenser is warned out of Port City by the woman's husband, an important member of a Boston tong. The threat prompts a call to his old pals Hawk and Vinnie, who, he notes, blend in to the theatrical scene ``like two coyotes at a poultry festival.'' As Spenser discovers that the influx of Chinese illegals into the area is being overlooked by the Port City Chief of Police, an actress in the company reports that she too is being followed. Another murder and a kidnapping occur before the mysteries are resolved and Spenser can get back to his sledgehammer. Although the detective lags in reaching a conclusion readers may have sussed out earlier, the expected pleasures of an adroit Spenser adventure are here in full supply. BOMC selection. (May)
Library Journal
The latest from the best-selling author of Paper Doll (Putnam, 1993) is a whodunit starring the redoubtable Spenser. According to the publicist, Parker breaks new ground with a truly ambitious plot.
Wes Lukowsky
There was a time when the only mystery in a Spenser novel was when our hero would shoot the bad guy and how often. Perhaps as a concession to his protagonist's advancing age, though, Parker has recently been letting Korean War-vet Spenser do as much sleuthing as shooting. Here he's hired by the Port City Theater company's board--longtime love Susan Silverman is a member--to find out who's shadowing the group's director. The stalking stops--if it ever existed--as soon as Spenser becomes involved. But ho-hums turn quickly to screams when an actor is killed onstage. As Spenser investigates, he runs afoul of Asian gangster Lonnie Wu, whose wife, Rikki, is a significant contributor to the Port City Theater. To cover his back, Spenser enlists the aid of both his inimitable friend Hawk and onetime nemesis Vinnie Morris. Into the mix toss a tough, former state cop named DeSpain, who is now Port City's crooked police chief. If Spenser lost his moral focus, he'd be a ringer for DeSpain; as is, the cop makes a formidable adversary. This is a tough, cleverly plotted novel in which each character's essence is revealed as Spenser sorts through the tangle of apparent motives. Toss in the usual Spenser-Susan-Hawk repartee, some fun with Pearl the wonder dog, and an intriguing new regular in Vinnie Morris for as strong an entry in the series as there's been in a long time. Spenser is definitely back.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Spenser Series , #21
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
430 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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

Brief Biography

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

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Walking Shadow 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The whole crowd Spencer, Susan, Hawk, and Vinnie up to the usual. The "who dunit" better than usual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
------------------------------------MAP-----------------------------------Res 1:Map. Res 2:Main Camp. Res 3:High Rock. Res 4:Medicen Den. Res 5:Nursery. Res 6:Leader Den. Res 7:Deputy Den. Res 8:Warriors Den. Res 9:Apprentices Den. Res 10:Sunning Rocks. Res 11:Hidden Cave holding rare plants for Medicen Den. Res 12:Forest. Res 13:River. Res 14:Meadow. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Bios are at 'shadow clan' only res...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iam2cool More than 1 year ago
I can never get enough Spenser
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RL11 More than 1 year ago
Once again, Spenser must dispense justice the only way he knows; morally. Good reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I read this book through, and it did not take me long, I was a bit disappointed, so much was promised as one crime lead to another. Stalking, murder and people smuggling being the three main ones. The solving of the crimes which took up to the last chapter seemed obvious, I think the clues were too generous. We know who the villains are early in the book and Walker does not surprise us at the end. Well perhaps just a little.