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The Professional (Spenser Series #37)

The Professional (Spenser Series #37)

3.8 118
by Robert B. Parker

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The wives of Boston's wealthiest men have a mutual secret: they all had an affair with the same cad who's blackmailing them, and Spenser's been hired to stop him. But when the wives start dying one by one, Spenser's new case becomes murder.


The wives of Boston's wealthiest men have a mutual secret: they all had an affair with the same cad who's blackmailing them, and Spenser's been hired to stop him. But when the wives start dying one by one, Spenser's new case becomes murder.

Editorial Reviews

This case begins, as they often do, with a relatively simple assignment. Apparently, a lothario named Gary Eisenhower has been romancing and then blackmailing the wives of several very wealthy Bostonians. Spenser's job, if he chooses to accept it, is to persuade this lowlife conniver to cease and desist. When blackmail turns to murder, however, everything suddenly becomes more complicated and much more dangerous. Robert B. Parker's 38th Spenser novel shows that the master is still at the top of his game.
Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Parker makes producing snappy banter look easy in his 37th Spenser novel (after Rough Weather). He also manages to draw new readers into the Boston PI's major personal relationships—with love interest Susan Silverman and friend/ally/bodyguard Hawk—without shoveling on the backstory. Spenser agrees to help a quartet of married women fend off extortion demands from stud Gary Eisenhower, with whom each has had an affair. Meanwhile, the husband of one of the women under blackmail threat hires some thugs to deal with the matter. The action takes its time getting to a dead body, but, as usual, the smooth, entertaining prose more than compensates for any deficiencies of plot. The absence of major personal developments for Spenser or his associates marks this as a less memorable entry than others in this iconic series, but it remains a solid, enjoyable contemporary detective novel. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Not even Spenser's formidable gifts are equal to the problems posed by a charming blackmailer who kisses and threatens to tell. At least four women-Abigail Larson, Beth Jackson, Regina Hartley and Nancy Sinclair-have been photographed and tape-recorded trysting with Gary Eisenhower. Their only regret is that if he doesn't get $25,000 a month from each of them, he'll go to their older, wealthier husbands. While they're fretting about their limited options and Spenser is tracking the lover they shared to Pinnacle Fitness, one of the husbands, tough-guy financier Chester Jackson, gets wind of Spenser's inquiries and takes matters into his own hands, sending a pair of goons after Boston's favorite detective. Spenser can deal with the goons, at least at first, but he can't deal with Eisenhower, who blandly admits that he likes sleeping with married women, lots of them, and likes raising money from his amours even better. At length Spenser succeeds in orchestrating the kind of pressure necessary to make Eisenhower back down. But by then the case has already started to spiral, like so many of the PI's recent outings (Rough Weather, 2008, etc.), into something darker and more violent, something Spenser doesn't know any better how to deal with. Even after three characters have died and he's certain who killed them, he still can't figure out how "to make everything come out okay."Though Parker's flagship sleuth doesn't distinguish himself as either a detective or a problem-solver, his bewildered uncertainty is more touching and revealing than his customary machismo.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Spenser Series , #37
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)
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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The Professional (Spenser Series #37) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
actorsaudio More than 1 year ago
A few days after I finished reading "The Professional", Robert Parker passed away. I was shocked and felt like a lost many close friends. As soon as I closed the book, I was ready for the next one, but sady this may have been the last of the series. So, I was glad that this was a really good Spenser mystery. It was especially interesting because it makes a comment on the times. Four women who are married to older, wealthy, powerful men hire Spenser to investigate a man who they all have sex with because he is trying to blackmail them. But, the catch is they all continue to have sex with this man; they all like him; they just don't want their husbands to find out about him or pay him. Sounds like something out of the headlines in politics or professional sports. This is a novel about marrying money, overindulgence, lack of common sense, and not wanting to deal with reality. The scenes between Spencer and Susan are particularly good because they reveal answers to a lot of questions about their relationship. Spenser and Susan explore the subjects of love and sex as Spenser investigates the man who services all four women with sex. Spenser finds the man both likeable and strangely interesting, and there is no animosity between them. In fact, the man co-operates with Spenser and tries to help him. The Man likes all four women but needs their money to continue his unusual business. So it is a very odd mystery indeed. As Spenser searches for answers the dialogue sparkles like it does in all the Spenser novels. I have read and collected almost every Robert Parker book. For decades, I have looked forward to reading a new one to read every few months. I will really miss Spenser, Hawk, Susan, Vinnie, Sunny Randall, Jesse Stone, and all the rest of Robert Parker's fictional friends. I found them all to be tough, likeable, and fun. I will also miss their canine friends who are every bit as interesting as their owners. Thanks to Robert Parker for writing so many interesting adventures filled with some of the greatest characters in mystery fiction. He will be missed.
Kaci_Kostalot More than 1 year ago
I was so sad to learn of his sudden passing. I understand there are a few books still to be released. I loved his writing, some better than others, but always an enjoyable way to spend a relaxing afternoon. I will miss him and Jesse Stone, Spencer, Sunny Randall, Hawk and Susan. My condolences to his family.
mysterywomannc More than 1 year ago
I've always been a huge fan of the Spenser books and of any book with Boston in the background. This is an unusual book with 4 women hiring Spenser to stop a blackmailer from revealing their sexual indiscretions with him. What I liked about the book was the uncertainty of the true villain's identity. It kept me wondering about how this book was going to turn out. Of course, Joe Mantegna has the perfect tone for Spenser's somewhat sarcastic retorts!
tricia18 More than 1 year ago
As any Robert Parker story this Spenser novel is likely the last one I will read because Robert Parker has since passed away. I am an avid reader of Spenser novels and I feel like part of my life died with Robert Parker. Its amazing how an author can have such an effect on a person, but its hard to think I will no longer be reading about Spenser and the love of his life, Susan and all the other thugs that hang around Spenser that I have been reading about for many many years. I bought the CD this time so I could listen on my 5 CD radio in my truck driving back & forth to work. Takes about an hour each way, so every day for about 3 1/2 days I had an enjoyable ride to and from Boston. Sometimes I would be laughing and wonder if anyone in cars next to me was watching as I was listening to Spenser and his escapades. I will miss Robert Parker and Spenser. He has been a part of my fantasy life for a very long time. Good Bye Mr Parker.
cactygirl More than 1 year ago
As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this latest Spenser novel. An interesting concept and I can't say more than that without spoiling the fun!
quills More than 1 year ago
As usual, Parker's muscular writing style kept me immersed in the story from start to finish. I love his characters, love their banter, love the devotion of Spencer and Susan for each other, the respect and loyalty of Hawk and the recurring characters like Vinnie and Quirk. Parker can say more in fewer words than any author I can think of. I know this is about Spenser, but he and Jesse Stone are my heroes. Also Sunny Randall. I look forward to each new release. Keep 'em coming, Parker!
Alla_S More than 1 year ago
In Robert B. Parker's latest thriller "The Professional," private detective Spenser is asked to assist four women who cheated on their rich husbands with the same lover who, having recorded their trysts, comes back to blackmail them-Gary Eisenhower. Matters are further complicated by the private situation of each victim: Regina is married to a homosexual politician who's terrified that Gary's revelations will wreak havoc on his career. Nancy's hiding her sex addiction and living in fear that her husband would leave her if he found out. Beth's husband, Chester Jackson, is obsessed with his wife and hires two men called Zell and Boo to spy on Spenser and destroy Gary. Abigail has a drinking problem that ultimately propels her into the arms of Spenser. The mutual bond this women harbor is their shared experience with Gary and their wish to get the whole situation over with. However, things are never what they seem. As Spenser tracks down Eisenhower, he learns that Gary is not operating alone and at least one of his female clients is continuing a relationship with him, despite the blackmail. Along with his beautiful psychologist girlfriend Susan, Spenser then locates a female college associate who previously had an affair with Eisenhower, following which he was briefly in jail, to attempt to understand what exactly attracts these women to him. As events take a terrifying turn, several murders take place in the second part of the book-including the husband of one of Spenser's clients. I found the book to be a quick and entertaining read, with a good sense of conflict and tension towards the end. The writing is straight-to-the point, the characters stand out, and the by the time the story ends everything has been neatly explained-something that isn't always easy to do with a thriller. Overall, I found this book to be an engaging and enjoyable read.
edofarrell More than 1 year ago
Spenser has been wooing his sweetie pie Susan and vanquishing the bad guys for 37 books now and in the hands of a master story teller it never gets old. In fact this is one of the best of the series. A nicely twisting plot with strong characters, crisp dialog and believable situations. If you've never read a Spenser novel you're in for a treat. If you're already a fan, this offering is going to make you want to go back and reread the series. Excellent work and well worth the money.
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would recommend this book to anyone
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