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Rough Weather (A Spenser Mystery) Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847249590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847249593
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 542,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

If your taste is for tough, wise-cracking private eyes in the Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe vein, you should make the acquaintance of Spenser. Robert B Parker's durable detective has been at the centre of a long-running and accomplished series, with Rough Weather a strong new entry in the canon.

A rich woman client has handed Spenser a particularly strange job: he is to be present at her daughter's wedding as kind of ‘surrogate husband’. Spenser has said yes, aware that his long-term lover, the highly intelligent Susan Silverman, will be on the scene. Trouble, needless to say, ensues – and an old foe of Spenser’s, Rugar, The Gray Man, is involved.

Parker's tenacious private dick is still a favourite of the author’s admirers, despite his introduction of another series character (Jesse Stone, Chief of Police of Paradise, Massachusetts). But the sardonic Spenser remains Parker’s signature character, even when some of the entries in the long-running series are less than top-notch. Rough Weather, however, is the author on form: the dialogue and the evocation of locale here is as strong as in the best Parker. It’s no mean achievement to keep a form that many felt had been played out (the private eye novel) in such rude health – and Robert B Parker is to be applauded for his continuing success. --Barry Forshaw -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Review

'We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story' New York Times Book Review. (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Unless you feel that you must read every word that Robert B. Parker ever wrote about Spenser, you could skip Rough Weather and not miss a thing you need to know about the continuing characters. And you might like the series better if you did skip this book.

The good news is that Rough Weather has lots of humorous dialogue involving Spenser, Hawk, and Susan. Otherwise, the story would make you sea sick from its choppy plotting that combines a ridiculous crime scheme with ludicrous investigation methods. The bad news is that the dialogue opens little new ground for information or humor. As a result, many readers will have a hard time being sure this really is a new novel . . . rather than being a mélange of past novels stirred up to look like a tasty parfait, but containing ingredients that are not so delicious when combined.

What's it all about? In her late forties, Heidi Bradshaw has had three marriages to wealthy men and enjoys the lifestyle of a queen. Prior to an undefined special event on her private island, Tashtego, off the southern coast of Massachusetts, Heidi decides she needs a man around to make her feel better ("I want you to be the man I can turn to if I need something."). Spenser is the choice, and he agrees after Heidi agrees that Susan can attend.

Moving past the armed guards on the island for what turns out to be the wedding of Heidi's daughter, Spenser can't figure out what his role is . . . until he spots Rugar, the Grey Man who has been both an enemy and an ally, among the guests and wonders what's up. Rugar observes, "I hope we are not here in conflicting missions." Susan later comments, "It's as if Rugar has no soul.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not a Spenser fan mainly because I don't remember reading any previous novels. I probably have but they obviously made no lasting impression. Of course, I may be rather disingenuous about this but, in any event, I review this as a newcomer to the cause and pretty much enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it because it's easy to read, the dialogue is snappy - actually, it's too snappy. Nobody is quick witted enough to talk as Parker's characters do on a regular basis and frankly, if they did, they'd be exhausted. However, it makes for light reading. The story is rather basic and the denouement is not unexpected but there are no wasted words. There's action when needed and as the story unfolds, we meet more characters each with a quick wit and ready repartee. There's a high body count with a low moral ground for accumulating that total. It seems many of these people have been in the series several times but it doesn't lessen the enjoyment of this type of book. I'll look out for another Spenser book, not an earlier one for sure but they lighten up one's reading which is what books are all about on occasions.
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Format: Hardcover
The grey man, being the only one who has almost taken Spenser out, always has potential. His first appearance was terrific, his second was okay, this one is between the two. The moral dilemma is his decision to protect Susan and let the other (rich, not a lot of sympathy) people take their chances.
Maybe not a vintage Spenser (Valediction, etc) but I read this in two hours and am looking forward to reading it again as I type. Softback sure thing.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: If I rolled my chair back into the window bay behind my desk, I could look up past the office buildings and see the sky.

Spenser is hired by Heidi Bradshaw to "support" her at her daughter's wedding on a private island off Massachusetts. Shortly after he and Susan arrive, Rugar, the Gray Man, Spenser's nemesis from "Small Vices" appears. The wedding is that evening and is heralded by a tremendous storm and the violent kidnap of the bride, killing of the groom and several security guards by the Gray Man. Spenser questions the whole event as none of it seemed to make sense or be Rugar's normal style.

Parker never disappoints and I actually think this is one of the best he's written in a long time. What he does, he does extremely well--sense of place and dialogue. With sense of place, during a storm, you feel the wind, rain and mud; but also the sunny, crisp days. His dialogue is always sharp, crisp and wry.

I was particularly pleased with the plotting of this book. When the case looks rather absurd, it's because it deliberately is. How good is that? Was the whole thing improbable? Absolutely. Was it enormously run to read? You bet!

I do like his characters and feel he presents them well. All of them have tangible personalities. We have certainly come to know the recurring ones and even Susan annoyed me less than usual here.

Parker is now and, I imagine, always will be on my "must buy" list.
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By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is difficult to write. It feels like disloyalty from one who has been a Parker addict - and particularly a Spenser addict - for many years. But it has to be said that Rough Weather reads as though written on autopilot. Sure, there is again the smart dialogue (one of the reasons for being a Spenser addict) but where once it was the language that bound Spenser, Hawk and Susan together, in this book everyone gets clever lines. Which makes the characters homogenous.

And there is a resurrection of the Grey Man - he of no discernible line of business who admits on one page to fluctuating income but never 'great wealth' but is still able a few pages later to claim 'considerable access to covert activities.'

The plot is tosh. OK - but it needs, at least for an hour or two, to be half-believable tosh. This isn't.

Maybe Spenser has passed his sell-by date. Not an epitaph one ever expected to write.
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