Synopses & Reviews
When Spenser's closest ally, Hawk, is brutally injured and left for dead while protecting bookie Luther Gillespie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his friend in body and soul. Hawk, always proud, has never been dependent on anyone. Now he is forced to make connections: to accept the medical technology that will ensure his physical recovery, and to reinforce the tenuous emotional ties he has to those around him.
Spenser quickly learns that the Ukrainian mob is responsible for the hit, but finding a way into their tightly knit circle is not nearly so simple. Their total control of the town of Marshport, from the bodegas to the police force to the mayor's office, isn't just a sign of rampant corruption it's a form of arrogance that only serves to ignite Hawk's desire to get even. As the body count rises, Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.
"Parker/Spenser fans will remember Small Vices (1997), wherein the Boston PI was shot nearly dead and his sidekick Hawk nursed him back to health. This strong new Spenser novel flips that scenario, with Hawk shot and Spenser helping him first to get better, then to take revenge. Their targets are Boots Podolak and his army of Ukrainian thugs who run the black/Hispanic Boston satellite city of Marshport. Their goal is more complicated than just vengeance, though. When Boots's henchmen shot Hawk, they also killed the man he was protecting a rival of Boots as well as the man's wife and two of his three children, and now Hawk wants not only to destroy Boots and his operation but to channel millions of Boots's money toward the surviving child. To get at Boots, Spenser and Hawk tap on several series regulars, most notably black gangster Tony Marcus, who is doing business with Boots, and the Gray Man, the assassin who nearly killed Spenser in Small Vices; meanwhile, Susan, Spenser's psychiatrist girlfriend, dispenses sage advice, but stays mostly in the background. The novel features a complicated plot, numerous tough guys and plenty of tension that builds to an (interestingly) off-page mano-à-mano shootout between Hawk and Boots. This isn't Parker's best, nor his best Spenser, and the novel has a slightly rushed quality, but it's sincere, visceral entertainment that will more than satisfy the author's fans. Agent, Helen Brann. (Mar. 3)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The series' best entries all feature a liberal dose of Hawk...and this one is a veritable Hawk showcase....When he's on his game and he's on it here Parker is capable of packing a Hemingway punch into a few brief words and the occasional grunt." Booklist (Starred Review)
"The testosterone-laced attitudinizing is sharp and often compelling, though no substitute for an honest attempt to surmount difficulties that melt away instead at a touch of Spenser and Hawk's magic hands." Kirkus Reviews
"[Parker] has got his act down so well that his books seem to be written in an elegant, abrupt, sardonic shorthand that moves with the speed of light....The novel unfolds with the grim inevitability of a Greek tragedy." Providence Journal
"[Parker] has got his act down so well that his books seem to be written in an elegant, abrupt, sardonic shorthand that moves with the speed of light....The novel unfolds with the grim inevitability of a Greek tragedy..." Providence Journal
Spenser "God's gift to the Boston crime scene" (Kirkus) and his redoubtable sidekick, Hawk, seek revenge on a cold-blooded killer. Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.
When his closest ally, Hawk, is beaten and left for dead while protecting a bookie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his best pal, body and soul. But that means infiltrating a ruthless mob—and redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance...
“Cold Service moves with the speed of light.”—Orlando Sentinel
About the Author
Robert B. Parker is the author of nearly fifty books.