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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a runaway truck down a hill, its unstoppable!
As usual Spenser preambles with the best of them, his wit and maturity shine through but when he is met with a town that needs cleaning up, but at the same time hides both a dark secret and a murderer, well can he sit still? NO!
The story just rides fast with enjoyment as the characters come to life, old and new. Hawk and Spenser run like a swiss clock added with...
Published on 14 Oct 2001

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Magnificent Seven
A pretty widow walks into the office of our hero, PI Spenser, and engages him to clean up the Desert town of Potshot, where a gang of violent thugs have the Law in their pockets and the good folk of the town cowed. She explains that these men, led by the evil "Preacher", have killed her husband and she wants Spenser to prove their guilt.

So, in a strong opening...
Published on 19 Aug 2008 by Rotgut


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a runaway truck down a hill, its unstoppable!, 14 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Potshot (A Spenser novel) (Hardcover)
As usual Spenser preambles with the best of them, his wit and maturity shine through but when he is met with a town that needs cleaning up, but at the same time hides both a dark secret and a murderer, well can he sit still? NO!
The story just rides fast with enjoyment as the characters come to life, old and new. Hawk and Spenser run like a swiss clock added with characters from previous novels that Robert Parker describes so well you know its a winner. For all thriller and Spenser enthusiasts this book has a knock on effect. You can imagine yourself in that town with Spenser and Hawk walking up the street waiting for the bad guys to come out and stand up. You suspect everyone and trust no one.
Parker brings back old characters that have both helped and hindered him in the past like Vinnie Morris, Chollo and Bernard J. Fortunato just for starters. This story doesn't drag its feet like a few previous ones like mortal stakes but gathers speed with every page like a runaway truck.
Read this book and you will laugh with Spenser and Hawk as they witfully play havoc with their conversations and feel invigorated with the teeth wrenching face offs.
This is both an incredible thriller, detective and action novel in one. Thumbs up all the way, may Robert Parkers pen never run out of ink. One of his best for Spenser, a prince among thieves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spenser's back, 20 Aug 2002
By 
Mr. Warren M. Fisher (East Grinstead, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Potshot (Paperback)
This is among the best of the Spenser novels, funny as hell and as tough-hewn as ever. Spenser gets into deep trouble out west and recruits his own magnificent seven of desperados. Hawk, Vinnie and assorted hardcases from past novels hook up with the PI to kick some outlaw ass. The Spenser novels may only be diverting entertainments, but when they are executed this well and with such wit and intelligence, they are raised to an art form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS READING HITS THE TARGET, 28 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Few books are as eagerly awaited as a new Spenser thriller, and here it is read by the inimitable Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna.
The West becomes even wilder when Boston based P.I. Spenser heads in that direction - to Potshot, Arizona, a defunct mining town reborn as a mecca for the rich, a playground for California's bored wealthy.
Problem is such overt wealth attracts thieves like flies to honey. Headed by a fiery type known only as The Preacher, a band of homegrown hoodlums soon threatens the residents' gold plated existence. The police are powerless.
It falls to Spenser to thwart the gang and build a police force capable of keeping crime at bay.
Whichever part he plays Joe Mantegna renders a stellar performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spenser with an all-star cast of thugs, 5 Mar 2003
By 
Neal Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Potshot (Paperback)
This is an adequate Spenser novel, but I do get the idea that the series is near its natural end. The roundup of characters from previous books gives me the idea. And a strong similarity between this and the previous Spenser book seems like a bit of lazy writing. My reaction when I realized where the plot was going was a resigned, "What, again?"
Spenser's hired to find the killer of a young woman's husband, but it's been established by her and the sherrif that the killer must be one of a gang headed by "The Preacher". After a bit of investigation, Spenser isn't so sure that the gang is responsible, but figuring the town would be far better without it agrees to being hired also to get rid of the gang. But he realizes that he alone or even with Hawk's help doesn't stand much of a chance against a gang of 40, so he enlists characters from the previous books.
All in all, this is fun, but I personally have the feeling that author Parker and character Spenser are both tiring of the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Witty Dialogue, an All-Star Cast, and a Showdown, 25 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Potshot (Paperback)
Potshot is an improvement the Spenser novels that immediately preceded Potshot. There's more mystery here, the dialogue is in top form, and many characters you haven't read about in years are brought together. I particularly liked the way that Mr. Parker arranged the plot so that Spenser's strong feelings about the right way to do things would be apparent in a new way. My only complaint (why the book got four stars instead of five) is that the last two pages of the ending made no sense to me . . . except as an extreme form of irony. Surely, Mr. Parker isn't as ironic as this seems. Or is he? You'll have to see what you think. Those pages remind me of the ending of The Maltese Falcon in some ways.
Spenser is comfortably encased in his office in Boston when a new client enters, from Potshot, Arizona. The attractive Ms. Mary Lou Buckman has been recently widowed. Her husband was shot after having been threatened by a mysterious gang leader called The Preacher, who runs a protection racket. "They killed my husband." "He wouldn't pay the Dell any money." The local police are making no headway, and a mutual friend from the L.A.P.D., Lieutenant Samuelson, has recommended Spenser.
Arriving in Potshot (a cross between a refurbished ghost town for yuppies and biker heaven in the weeds), everyone praises the late Mr. Buckman, agrees that The Preacher had him killed, and offers no hard evidence. A woman in town begins vamping Spenser, and he gets a sense that some things are not as portrayed. During an interview with The Preacher, he becomes convinced that someone other than the gang killed Buckman.
Taking Susan for a West Coast swing to check things out, Spenser finds that the case is even hotter than he imagined.
Soon, he is assembling the ultimate A-Team of shooters to take on the 40 bad guys in the Dell (The Preacher's gang). You will find Vinnie Morris, Bobby Horse, Chollo, Bernard J. Fortunato, Tedy Sapp, and Hawk on the team. This section is a little briefer than would have been ideal, but there's good fun here.
The mystery and its resolution fit nicely into a typical small town Western plot.
Overall, the book has quite a range. Some sections are like shoot-outs in old Westerns while other parts have funny French and literary plays on words. As a result, this book has something for almost everyone and should be quite popular.
After you finish, ask yourself the question of how you can spot situations where there are more red herrings than real clues to the motives of those you are dealing with. How can you get past the red herrings? What questions should you ask? Mr. Parker's answer is that character will out. I suspect he's right. Look for character clues. If you can't find any, set up the situation to develop some. That's what Spenser's approach to sticking out his neck is all about.
Bang! Who's dead now?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Witty Dialogue, an All-Star Cast, and a Showdown, 25 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Potshot (Hardcover)
Potshot is an improvement the Spenser novels that immediately preceded Potshot. There's more mystery here, the dialogue is in top form, and many characters you haven't read about in years are brought together. I particularly liked the way that Mr. Parker arranged the plot so that Spenser's strong feelings about the right way to do things would be apparent in a new way. My only complaint (why the book got four stars instead of five) is that the last two pages of the ending made no sense to me . . . except as an extreme form of irony. Surely, Mr. Parker isn't as ironic as this seems. Or is he? You'll have to see what you think. Those pages remind me of the ending of The Maltese Falcon in some ways.
Spenser is comfortably encased in his office in Boston when a new client enters, from Potshot, Arizona. The attractive Ms. Mary Lou Buckman has been recently widowed. Her husband was shot after having been threatened by a mysterious gang leader called The Preacher, who runs a protection racket. "They killed my husband." "He wouldn't pay the Dell any money." The local police are making no headway, and a mutual friend from the L.A.P.D., Lieutenant Samuelson, has recommended Spenser.
Arriving in Potshot (a cross between a refurbished ghost town for yuppies and biker heaven in the weeds), everyone praises the late Mr. Buckman, agrees that The Preacher had him killed, and offers no hard evidence. A woman in town begins vamping Spenser, and he gets a sense that some things are not as portrayed. During an interview with The Preacher, he becomes convinced that someone other than the gang killed Buckman.
Taking Susan for a West Coast swing to check things out, Spenser finds that the case is even hotter than he imagined.
Soon, he is assembling the ultimate A-Team of shooters to take on the 40 bad guys in the Dell (The Preacher's gang). You will find Vinnie Morris, Bobby Horse, Chollo, Bernard J. Fortunato, Tedy Sapp, and Hawk on the team. This section is a little briefer than would have been ideal, but there's good fun here.
The mystery and its resolution fit nicely into a typical small town Western plot.
Overall, the book has quite a range. Some sections are like shoot-outs in old Westerns while other parts have funny French and literary plays on words. As a result, this book has something for almost everyone and should be quite popular.
After you finish, ask yourself the question of how you can spot situations where there are more red herrings than real clues to the motives of those you are dealing with. How can you get past the red herrings? What questions should you ask? Mr. Parker's answer is that character will out. I suspect he's right. Look for character clues. If you can't find any, set up the situation to develop some. That's what Spenser's approach to sticking out his neck is all about.
Bang! Who's dead now?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Magnificent Seven, 19 Aug 2008
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Potshot (Paperback)
A pretty widow walks into the office of our hero, PI Spenser, and engages him to clean up the Desert town of Potshot, where a gang of violent thugs have the Law in their pockets and the good folk of the town cowed. She explains that these men, led by the evil "Preacher", have killed her husband and she wants Spenser to prove their guilt.

So, in a strong opening scene, Parker sets up one of the archetypal scenarios in American fiction, the sole good man set against overwhelming odds. The incorruptible sheriff facing a gang of lawless bandits.

Or rather, he doesn't.

Spenser takes the pragmatic, if slightly less heroic, route of hiring some worse killers and criminals than the Preacher has at his disposal, and wiping the outlaws of Potshot off the face of the planet.

There is some extremely tenuous argument made about how this is a moral thing to do, since Spenser forces the Preacher's men into firing the first shots, but this seems weak; It would be little different, surely, from a moral standpoint, if Spenser would have joined Potshot's bad guys to take out the big city criminals Spenser hires himself.

The detective work involved in uncovering what happend to the widow's husband is well handled, but, again, is fatally undermined by Spenser's apparently arbitrary decision not to punish the guilty.

An all action story, but if there is no real difference between "good" and "evil" , there seems little point in describing them clashing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bullseye!, 20 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Potshot (Hardcover)
Spenser heads west on a quest for the murderer of a dazzlingly pretty & fresh widow's husband. In Potshot, Arizona he encounters the intense desert heat, a yuppie western town, a horde of preying mountain men & a mystery that defies gravity.
Yes, Spenser is back with the beloved Susan nibbling her way deep into his heart & Hawk, dark & humorous, in the background.
Robert B. Parker doesn't write world-altering stories, that's not his intention. He does, however, write engagingly & Potshot is a bullseye!
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Spenser Series, 1 July 2014
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Sorry, not my style of reading at all. Does not mean it is rubbish, just not to my taste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 18 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love The Spenser Series. Keeps you turning the pages and keeps you guessing.Will appeal to readers who love a suspense.
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Potshot (A Spenser novel)
Potshot (A Spenser novel) by R B Parke (Hardcover - 5 April 2001)
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