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Promised Land (The Spenser Series Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Robert B. Parker
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Spenser is a wisecracking former boxer turned private investigator and he is just settling into his new office when enters Harv Shepard, a beleaguered businessman who is looking for someone to help locate his runaway wife. So begins Promised Land, the fourth novel by Robert Parker, that follows the exploits of his cerebral but tough character, detective Spenser. Why Harv Shepard's wife abandoned her family and exactly where she has gone comprise only half the intrigue in this story, though Spenser soon discovers that Harv is a man in deep trouble, involved with a crooked loan shark and tangled in an ailing business venture.

The real reason we keep turning the pages of Promised Land is because of the compelling figure cut by detective Spenser. The way in which he gets the information he gets about the case from police detectives, bartenders, and local thugs—Spenser’s unique bracing blend of irony and sincerity that almost never encourages the people he encounters to really like him--is as interesting as the information he gets.

Spenser is clever, often hilarious and his quips have something more than self-amusement as their end. Beneath the air of insouciant detachment and irony is a quixotic concern, as witnessed by his often self-sacrificing actions. The people Spenser meets often made predictable mistakes, falling into the same traps he has seen countless others fall into, and out of which they are mistakenly sure they can get out. Although he is weary of watching this pageant of human weakness and failure time and again, Spenser cannot help but become emotionally entangled in his cases, no matter how numbingly predictable they may be.


Robert B. Parker was one of contemporary fiction's most popular and respected detective writers. Best known for his portrayal of the tough but erudite investigator Spenser, Parker wrote over twenty-five novels over the course of his career, which began in 1973. Parker's acclaim and his thorough background in classic detective literature helped earn him the somewhat unusual commission of completing a Philip Marlowe novel that the great Raymond Chandler had left unfinished.

Promised Land and the other Spenser novels spawned the movie Spenser: For Hire and a string of made-for-TV movies.


From classic book to classic film, RosettaBooks has gathered some of most memorable books into film available. The selection is broad ranging and far reaching, with books from classic genre to cult classic to science fiction and horror and a blend of the two creating whole new genres like Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man. Classic works from Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, meet with E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. Whether the work is centered in the here and now, in the past, or in some distant and almost unimaginable future, each work is lasting and memorable and award-winning.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 525 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (July 1 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XVYL9E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,269 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ya gotta have moaning melancholy ... and ... and ... thoughtful, teaching t'ings.

For me, this # 4 in Parker's Spenser series was a key novel, a turning point for honing purpose and direction for future offerings. With PROMISED LAND, the baseline ingredients were set. It almost seemed to me as if, in writing the early parts of this plot, Parker had scrambled to the top of a mountain and surveyed the territory he had acquired in his first three books. "I've clearly opened something successfully long-term here," he might have concluded. "What do I want to do with it. Where do I want to take it."

A third into the plot of PROMISED LAND, a short paragraph from Spenser's narrative soured a trumped-up deal, like flat beer worn down:

>> Living around Boston for a long time you tend to think of Cape Cod as promised land. Sea, sun, sky, health, ease, boisterous camaraderie, a kind of real-life beer commercial. Since I'd arrived no one had liked me, and several people had told me to go away. Two had assaulted me. You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod. <<

Of course Hawk's arrival to the series, as many reviews have eloquently heralded, was highly effective and welcome, though I had anticipated a "love at first sight" First Meeting between Spenser and Hawk. As I thought about it, though, I was impressed with the thematic effect of Hawk being introduced as someone not yet integrated, but long significant in Spenser's life. As Spenser explained more than once here:

"I've known him a long time."

Yet, it wasn't until "now" that the relationship between these two machismo (in the detoxified, good sense of the term) males seeded and began growing into ... a black-and-white-Knight ... chess set ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Introduction of Hawk July 11 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Spenser and Susan are moving into his new office when a man comes by, wanting to find his wife. He lives out on the Cape with his kids; his wife has run off to New Bedford. It's the first time Hawk shows up in a book - he's just leaving (on a "visit") when Spenser arrives to talk the next day in Hyannis. He's working for Powers, a loan shark.
Turns out both the guy and his wife are in trouble; Spenser cooks up an elaborate plot to entrap the bad guys on each side and rescue the couple. He helps out Hawk, and Hawk helps out him, but they're very "adversarial" although friendly. The couple is very clueless and you have to wonder if they're worth saving -grin-.
My Notes: OK, so Spenser starts out talking deeply with Susan, but says he was on the Cape with "Brenda Loring" (what's with these full names?) a few months ago! He ogles the 16 yr old kid of his client. Hawk is a little too "jive" to be cool. But it's interesting to hear he fought along with Hawk 20 years ago and had met in gyms and such since them. They have "mutual respect". Note that if Spenser is therefore around 40 in this book, that makes him approaching 70 in current stories ... I suppose he has James Bond's immortal powers.
Spenser's growing towards suavehood, but isn't quite there yet. I mean, he talks about throwing the kid through the window for being surly! He's not exactly understanding of the women he meets. This is not the Spenser I love -grin-. He at LEAST is drinking Amstel Lights and Heinekens now.
Susan's more annoying than helpful; his comments about her are that she told him to sip his beer and such. She still guzzles food and drink. At the end he proposes marriage and she goes "Oh, jeez, I don't think so now. I just wanted you to ask".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A promise kept April 4 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Promised Land is one of the earliest Spenser novels. It's set and written in the 1970s, and the bad guys wear leisure suits. Susan Silverman is working as a high school guidance counselor. Much more clearly than in later novels, Hawk is bad: working as an enforcer, a creature from the dark side. He does some things which a good person would not do. Plus, everyone is a lot younger. They drink and eat more, they exercise harder, and they try to do the right thing. Well, okay, some of them try to do the wrong thing. But that's why they're the bad guys!
This is a novel of relationships: Spenser and Susan (just getting started in 1976), Spenser and Hawk (same), the woman Spenser is hired to find and her over-loving husband. The relationships are live, in constant action, and filled with risk. The characters think constantly. They talk about why they think the way they do. They explore each others' lives and try to come to terms with the kind of people they all are, or were, or might become. The wise-ass repartee is tremendously appealing; it's hilarious; it couldn't be better.
If you've never read one of Robert B. Parker's novels, this might be the best one to start with. If you've read them all, this is a great one to read again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Early yet timeless Spenser Nov. 19 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you aren't familiar with the Spenser series, this is the fourth book. Not that you have to read them in any particular order--but it is interesting to follow the development of the series chronologically. In this tale, Spenser ends up involved in finding a runaway wife--and bailing out her husband from his own mess too. This being an earlier Spenser book gives us a glimpse at how Spenser's relationship with Susan Silverman evolves and a foreshadowing of events to come in the relationship's future. Most notable is the introduction of Hawk to the series (not necessarily as an ally!). Parker's excellent characterization of Spenser through the character's musings, witty remarks, and ethical action are as strong in this novel as any of the other Spenser books I've read thus far. The plot itself has an entertaining build up and even better conclusion--I'd definitely recommend Promised Land to anyone curious about the series.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 months ago by richard fornwald
5.0 out of 5 stars great
This is a classic Spenser book, introducing Hawk and the fascinating relationship he has with Spenser and by extent, Susan.
Published 17 months ago by Michael Howie
4.0 out of 5 stars Spenser is getting more likeable
This book is a turning point for Spenser. He is in love, the caring side of Spenser is really starting to show. In this book, Hawk is introduced. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by Kel
2.0 out of 5 stars First Hawk-- but doesn't offer much else
We finally meet the delightful Hawk... and that's about all the fun there is to be had in this fourth outing in the series. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2003 by Aaron Neptune
2.0 out of 5 stars A dated, smug Spenser
This book is more than 20 years old, and it hasn't aged well. Spenser is flip and condescending as he deals with women in search of themselves in the long-ago days of Phil Donahue,... Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars KEEPING ITS PROMISE
Robert B. Parker's THE PROMISED LAND lives up to its promise. In this novel, Spenser finally hits his bestselling stride. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2001 by Dame Aggie
3.0 out of 5 stars I read this book about a thousand times during Saturday...
...detention when i was in high school.It was one of three books that i owned(the other two were Cujo and Brian Bosworth's autobiography)and my library privileges had been... Read more
Published on May 14 2000 by Jerimie
2.0 out of 5 stars PROMISED LAND holds no promise
I am just extremely! glad that I didn't start off my long road with SPENCER reading this book, because it would have been the last.
I was not impressed. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2000 by George
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