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Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Robert B. Parker , Helen Brann , Joe Mantegna
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 29 2013 Spenser Holiday Novels
It’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide.  Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost.  Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street.  But it’s not a simple case of intimidation – Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well. 
 
Unfinished at the time of his death, Silent Night was completed by Parker’s longtime agent, whose decades-long association with Parker’s work gives her unique insight and perspective to his voice and storytelling style.  Her contribution also speaks volumes about their enduring friendship.

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Review

Praise for SILENT NIGHT
“This is the perfect holiday treat for crime readers needing another Spenser fix”
Library Journal
 
“Brann does a seamless job…Diehard Parker fans will be delighted.”
Publishers Weekly


Praise for Robert B. Parker
“Is there a more promising opening in contemporary crime fiction than Boston PI Spenser opening  his office door to a new client? Instantly we get Spenser’s clear-eyed view of the client, what his or her dress and stature have to say, and the rat-a-tat-tat of Spenser’s wise-guy answers to the client’s queries…a series of unflagging excellence…Great plotting, clever dialogue, and Spenser’s mouthwatering cooking all make for a fantastic time.”
Booklist (starred)

 
Parker’s dialogue, clever to a fault, moves his tales along at a natural, human pace as his characters square off, verbs and nouns used like switchblades.”
The Chicago Sun Times

 
“A fast and fun outing…Parker was a true stylist. His strength was in his sparseness and Painted Ladies shows him in fine form.”
The Boston Globe

 
“As with all of Parker’s 70 novels, the prose is tight and muscular and the dialogue is superb. A must read for faithful fans of the series.” 
Associated Press

 
“In Spenser’s end is his beginning....Spenser can still nail a person’s foibles on first meeting, still whip up a gourmet meal in a few minutes, still dispatch the thugs who haunt his office and his home, and do it all while maintaining a fierce love of Susan Silverman and English poetry....Long live Spenser.”
Booklist
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring police chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole-Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010.

Helen Brann was Robert B. Parker's literary agent for thirty-two years, from 1978 to 2010, and is the Literary Executor for the Robert B. Parker Estate. She is the owner of The Helen Brann Agency, Inc., which she founded in 1973.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S SPENSER'S VOICE! Oct. 31 2013
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
For those of us still missing the late Robert B. Parker and his iconic Spenser detective series here’s a Christmas present. Helen Brann, Parker’s longtime friend and agent has finished what was evidently his last manuscript. We understand it was to be billed as a Spenser holiday novel. Due to their long and close association Brann seems to have an unerring eye for how Parker would have wanted to complete the story. So, enjoy!

It’s Christmas time in Boston and Spenser has visions of a holiday dinner in his head when he receives a surprise visitor - Slide, an 11-year-old (“going on thirty”) street kid. The boy asks Spenser’s help for Jackie Alvarez, Slide’s mentor. Once homeless Slide found refuge at Street Business where Jackie is the director. This is an unlicensed shelter that takes in many like Slide and hopes to find jobs for them. Obviously, although the shelter receives support from Jackie’s wealthy brother, it can be a hand-to-mouth operation. Now, Jackie is receiving threats and believes someone is trying to close down Street Business. Who can say no to a kid at Christmas? Certainly not Spenser.

He calls on his pal, Hawk, to get to the bottom of the threats and soon finds it’s a deadlier situation than he had realized. A pitiless drug lord is at the bottom of it all and not only is the shelter at stake but lives as well.

Of course, Silent Night is read by the eminent Joe Mantegna who (to my knowledge) has read all of the Spenser series. He has become the voice of Spenser and a terrific one it is. He’s an accomplished Tony-Award winning actor who now stars in the popular Tv series Criminal Minds. Once again he delivers a flawless narration.

- Gail Cooke
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Nov. 23 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The editor for Robert B Parker obviously knew him well and followed his thought process and humor to a "T". One of the best yet since his unfortunate passing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  236 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Spenser Yet Nov. 8 2013
By Lee Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is hands-down, the worst Spenser novel in the series. What it does do effectively is really make you appreciate the remarkable job Ace Atkins has done with his two Spenser books (even though Parker wrote part of this one, which was finished by his agent). The plotting, if you can call it that, is limp. Spenser is an utterly passive character in this tale who does nothing but sit in his office and wait for people to come by and tell him what he needs to know. He does no detecting. And what little action he does take makes no investigative or rational sense. Come to think of it, nobody in this book....particularly the state and local police...behave in anything remotely realistic or rational. Usually, when Parker's plotting was weak, he'd distract you from it with punchy dialogue and sharply drawn characters. Not this time. The dialogue is expositional and leaden and the characters, especially Spenser, Hawk, and Susan, are reduced to one-dimensional caricatures. SILENT NIGHT is a disappointment on every level. Save yourself the disappointment and skip this book.
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars this isn't robert b parker, flesh or spirit Oct. 23 2013
By David Hupp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let's stop this ghostly ghost writing.
I'm amazed the author worked closely with Parker, because I wondered if she'd ever read the real thing!
"We were at my place. I was making supper. Susan was at my kitchen counter." This passive-voice drivel introduces a chapter! Parker didn't waste words in such manner and never stopped the action with turgid mush. And, while making supper, Spenser manages to "plate" the linguini without adding the toasted pignoli and bread crumbs just described at some length. Not a minor error and Parker wouldn't "plate" anything (nor would Spenser).
She is inconsistent with Hawk's dialect: first, "Jag be subtle elegance, babe" (correct); second, "Tell Susan I'm looking forward to it." (no, no, no!).
This particular book makes me wonder how Joan Parker ever let it be produced. The only good "Parker" author was Ace Atkins. Enough!
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Like Robert B Parker Oct. 23 2013
By svenlovesflo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are expecting a story scripted in the manner of Robert B. Parker...this is not it...Just because you use the names of Spenser , Susan and Hawk...and others does not make it a Spenser novel...I have only read the first 34 pages...and may not finish this...the characters have no charm and are actually out of character ...I recommend to spend your money elsewhere

Well I tried to read some more and it is pretty much not readable...I'll just donate it to the local library

Well I keep seeing positive reviews popping up...and these people certainly have never read a Robert B. Parker Spenser novel before...and I am guessing that they have not read Silent Night either...I am tired of people posting reviews that are there only to help sales...this needs to be stopped....If I could I would rate this book a minus 100 stars...and that would be kind...loook at the other negative reviews...we are the fans...we have no underlying agenda...I have nothing against the author or the publishing company...if you do decide to buy this book... and if I were a betting man...I would bet you would have a hard time finishing the read...I definitely feel like my money was stolen
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Oct. 24 2013
By Cynthia Kirkland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have always been an avid Robert B. Parker/Spenser fan. As such, I have come to expect a certain level of action, including a fair amount of cooking, working out at the gym and gun play/fighting. Regrettably, "Silent Night" doesn't live up to my expectations. I appreciate Helen Brann's desire to continue Parker's writing. She's just not Robert B. Parker and never will be.
48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts from the past Oct. 24 2013
By bk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brain.

The CEO of Penguin Books cocked an ear, wondering what he just heard. He looked at the expansive view offered by his window, taking in the cityscape. Across the way were the windows of another building and he could see the secretaries within, sitting at their desks.

"Excuse me, Sir." buzzed his intercom. "There are people in the lobby and security is concerned for our safety."

"Thank you," he said. "I'll look into it." A questioning look took over his face. Rising from his exquisite leather covered chair, the CEO crossed his office and opened the door. A security guard immediately grabbed him and pressed him back into his office. "Hey!"

"Remain inside and keep this door locked!" yelled the guard.

Brain.

"What's happening?" yelled the CEO.

"Zombies!" cried out the security guard. "The undead are swarming the offices and attacking everyone. They're eating BRAINS! It's awful. There's Spenser and Martin Quirk, Captain Healy, Vinnie Morris, Hawk, Henry Cimoli and Rita Fiore. All dead but brought back to life. Zombies I tell you! Zombieeeees! Oh my God, it's Susan Silverman. Whew! Not as pretty s described anymore. And what's that smell?"

"My God!" cried the CEO. "What have we done?"

"Look out!" screamed the guard. "Jesse Stone is breaking through the outer door. My God, next we'll see Sunny Randall and her friend Spike!" BAM. BAM. BAM. The security guard shot a festering and rotting dog that had made its way through the shattering outer door. "Jeez, I think that was Pearl." said the guard.

Screaming. Chaos. "We just wanted to make a little money! shouted the CEO. "I had no idea what it meant to try to bring all of these characters back to life after all that made them alive and vibrant had passed on. But we did! And now we've created zombies. They look a little like the characters we knew and loved so much, but they aren't those characters at all. They're ...they're ...dead! All dead! We should have never tried to play God and wring a few more lousy dollars by bringing them back from the dead! What have we done? What have we done? Ahhhhrrrgg!"

A crush of mindless book characters breached the portal and fell on the security guard and the hapless CEO. "Brain!" they rumbled as they staggered around the bloodied office. In the days that followed the dreaded zombies were finally rounded up and dispatched back to the darkness from which they'd been wrenched. At the funeral, the state governor said kind words over the fallen publishers. "I hope such a tragedy never occurs again!" he said. "I hope they use their..."

BRAIN.
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