Customer Reviews

26
4.4 out of 5 stars
Sixkill (A Spenser Mystery) (Spenser 40)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£7.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2011
Before he died in January last year, Parker announced: "I am currently writing a book with the working title Sixkill in which a new character joins Spenser's world." Well, this is the book - published posthumously, it sadly is his very last and final Spenserian adventure: I feel like crying, sort of anyway. I've enjoyed Parker's novels for more than three decades and it's like leaving a very dear friend: his Spenser series, begun with The Godwulf Manuscript in 1973, has brightened my readings with its humour, its great dialogues and clever plots. What crime thrillers am I going to read now, so much rubbish flooding the bookshelves?

This last Spenser is great indeed, and I believe Parker's introduction of a new character (a former football-playing Native American named Zebulon Sixkill, from which the homonymous title) was a novelty he was going to develop further in future episodes. Too bad: we just have to enjoy this one and make the best of it.

Briefly, the story goes that a nasty actor is accused of rape and murder, and Spenser is called in by the Boston PD to investigate the case. Enter the actor's bodyguard Sixkill, and to be sure things get complicated, with dark secrets and strange alliances gradually unravelling. Will our hero overcome all odds to successfully resolve this last assignment?

You bet.
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2011
"Sixkill" is a final treat for fans of Robert B Parker and of the Spenser series in particular. It is Parker's fourth book to be published posthumously and while his literary estate has reportedly decided to engage other writers to continue the Spenser and Jesse Stone series, this is definitely the last from the master's pen.

When I was a child, my father recounted the same bedtime story to me every night. Despite its predictability, I looked forward to its every word. There was something magically pleasurable and deeply comforting in its familiarity. So too it has become with Parker's books. The plots, the characters and the dialogue are all utterly predictable but yet they are a pleasure to read, comforting too.

"Sixkill" conforms to this pattern. As usual, Spenser gets fired by his intolerable client (in this book, a horribly obese but popular movie star) early in the case but decides to investigate anyway. The case involves the death of a college age girl with a dysfunctional family background. Spenser's probing comes close to exposing the secrets of evil men. They decide to eliminate him. They fail. Many of the usual characters make their bow: Lieutenant Quirk, Rita Fiore, Henry Cimino, Tony Marcus and various hit-men from earlier books. Spenser has the usual self-definitional dialogue with Susan, who, despite her doctorate in psychology from Harvard (how do you know someone went to Harvard? They tell you) pretends not to have figured out the Big Man - but we know by now that this is merely part of their courtship dance. Hawk is not present; he is still off on some hazardous mission in the Former Soviet Union - or East Bumf*** as Quirk prefers to put it.

Spenser is a marvellous creation, a modern knight. This is hardly a coincidence. Early in his career, Parker was a professor of literature specializing in classic detective fiction. As he signals in this book with his references to "Le Morte d'Arthur," he very much sees the Chandlerian detective as the modern equivalent of the mediaeval knight. The Detective is defined by what he does and acts according to a code of chivalry that is his very essence. It is impossible to conceive of him doing anything else or behaving outside the code.

Throughout his work, Parker explores his idea of the Detective by introducing types of Spenser, other warriors who are similarly self defined but who follow a variant of the code. Hawk is an example. In this book we have Z. Sixkill. Z is a failed college football player and - following an encounter with Spenser - a failed bodyguard. As with many of Parker's characters he comes from a minority: he is a Cree Indian. Spenser sees, according to Susan, something of his younger self in the depressed brave and adopts him, teaching him to get fit, to box and to shoot, and to think, to interpret the code and to talk like, well, Spenser. Perhaps had Parker lived he would have created a series for Z.

Spenser's closing line in "Sixkill" is "I got into my car and drove west." Into the sunset. We shall miss him.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen." -- Matthew 20:16 (NKJV)

Think of all the fictional detectives you've ever read about. How many of them feel like friends you would like to have had? I'm sure most people would take Spenser over Sherlock Holmes and Harry Bosch any day.

The jacket copy says that this is the last Spenser novel completed by Robert B. Parker. Does that mean there are uncompleted ones that might be produced someday? Or perhaps that someone else will be selected to continue the character. The results of such efforts have often been disappointing. Time will tell what's to come next with Spenser.

The good news is that Sixkill is an unusually good Spenser novel, enriched by the addition of a new character, Zebulon Sixkill who is a younger version of Spenser . . . with a different life story. We see Spenser in the role of mentor here, an infrequent . . . but powerful . . . element of the series.

There's sexual ugliness in this story, but it serves to create light rather than darkness by pointing out the importance of doing the right thing . . . even if it means mucking around in a sewer of human depravity.

Thank you, Mr. Parker! You've been very good to us, and we love you.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2012
Robert B Parker was a prolific writer in his time and no more so than with the Spenser series of PI novels. `Sixkill' closely follows the basic pattern of so many of the books that it is both a blessing and a curse. Spenser is hired to look into the death of a young women found strangled in a hotel room after spending the night with a notorious and chubby Hollywood actor. During the case Spenser comes up against the Mafia, but also Sixkill, a Native American former football player turned alcoholic bodyguard. The book mostly follows the case itself, but on occasion it reflects back on Sixkill's life and how he ended up where he has.

It is these moments of pathos that the book is at its best. Spenser and Sixkill form a bond that is highly enjoyable to read - they can quip with the best of them. Unfortunately, there is more to the book than just this buddy comedy. A murder needs to be investigated and it follows almost the exact same pattern as so many of Parker's other books. There is also far too much Spenser and his girlfriend moments that were cute 10 years ago, but have now become incredibly tiresome for me. Get married already.

Fans of Parker's work and the Spenser novels will no doubt enjoy this quick read, I know I did. It's just that it lacks any depth or uniqueness when compared to so many in the series already written.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2011
Without giving too much away the last line " I got in my car and drove west" serves as a fitting obituary for Robert B Parker whose death leaves crime fiction much poorer for his passing BUT he goes out on a high note.I always rated the earlier Spenser as the best of the bunch but Sixkill is pretty damm good. Z has so much potential in so many ways. Thanks Bobby
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 16 July 2012
The last Spenser. Somehow one had never considered the author's mortality. Wouldn't he go on recreating his unsurpassed corner of Boston criminality, and always with a grin, never losing the facility for smart dialogue? Alas, Parker is dead and the series ends with Sixkill.

Is this a worthy finale? Sadly not. Better than work by the huge majority of his competitors, but just not the very best when judged by his own high standards. In the later novels there seemed to be too many passages written on auto-pilot, notably in the dialogue. Read enough and it is easy to imitate.

"Killing people,: said Susan. "It's what you do."

"Only when I have to."

"But not often."

"It's important not to be over-enthusiastic."

"Only when you have to."

"There are many bad people," I said.

"And you protect me from them," said Susan.

"You know that."

"I do."

Sixkill has a great deal of dialogue, making it an easy read (and perhaps an easy write). But at least Parker leaves us with a new character. There is no Hawk (he is away in Africa - shame). Instead there is Z - Zebulon Sixkill, a Cree Indian. Z fullfils the Hawk role, both physically and in laconic humour. Parker fans may be disappointed, but only a little. This is, after all, Spenser 40; we can always revisit and re-read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2012
This is a long way from one of the better Spenser books. There is a feeling (amazingly for the first time) that Parker is losing interest in his characters. The rehabilitation of SIXkill provides most of the interest and, as a whole, this would be a good solid read if it were by most authors. It is just rather disappointing because you expect better from Parker.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 1 March 2013
I waited and waited to read this - its the last RB Parker Spenser novel but the series now continues via a new writer.

The stories probably haven't been brilliant for a few years - but they are still very enjoyable and I'll miss them, very sad though that this book really builds a new charatcter into the series - Mr Sixkill - who maybe now won't be seen again.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 5 July 2014
I love the Spenser series, and this is a decent one. Very sad that RBP isn't around to write more. The action, plot and dialogue bounces along in the usual way. There's a bit too much of Spenser and Susan navel-gazing about their relationship, and Sixkill speaks suspiciously like the absent Hawk, but if you get past that it's another fast paced read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 14 October 2013
I was,sad to read the last Spenser novel. Invade read them all and enjoyed them . I am happy to say that this s didn't disappoint. I liked the character of Sixsmith : if is a shame that we won't see more of him or Spenser,Hawk and the rest of the cast. Thank you
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Painted Ladies (A Spenser Mystery) (Spenser 39)
Painted Ladies (A Spenser Mystery) (Spenser 39) by Robert B. Parker (Paperback - 7 July 2011)
£7.99

Silent Night (Spenser Novel)
Silent Night (Spenser Novel) by Robert B Parker (Paperback - 23 Oct. 2014)
£8.99

Sudden Mischief
Sudden Mischief by Robert B. Parker (Hardcover - Mar. 1998)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.