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The Widening Gyre [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert B. Parker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 11.99
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Book Description

June 1 1992 Spenser
The adoring wife of a senatorial candidate has a smile as sweet as candy and dots her "i's" with little hearts. A blond beauty, she is the perfect mate for an ambitious politician, but she has a little problem with sex and drugs--a problem someone has managed to put on videotape.

The big boys figure a little blackmail will put her husband out of the race. Until Spenser hops on the candidate's bandwagon.

But getting back the tape of the lady's X-rated indiscretion is a nonstop express ride to trouble--trouble that is deep, wide and deadly.

"A thriller all the way." (Seattle Times)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Widening Gyre + A Savage Place + Ceremony
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I was nursing a bottle of Murphy's Irish Whiskey, drinking it from the neck of the bottle sparingly, and looking down from the window of my office at Berkeley Street where it crosses Boylstone. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive Jan. 20 2000
By Harmoni
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the 10th book in the Spenser series.
Spenser is hired as a guard on the U.S. Senate campaign of ultra-Christian Meade Alexander. He soon finds out that Alexander is being blackmailed with the threat of making public a video of his wife in bed with a young man. Alexander truly loves his wife and would rather give up his political aspirations than humiliate her.
Susan is in the midst of a one-year internship in Washington D.C. for her Ph.D. Spenser goes to D.C. on his case and finds Susan different in significant ways. "Her face was as it had always been: intricate, beautiful, expressive. In the last year somehow it had also become faintly remote, as if always she were listening to a whisper, barely audible, from someplace else: her name, maybe, tiny and hushed."
Spenser is also very sensitive concerning the middle-aged women he sees having sex with four "college boys" who are secretly taping the rendesvous. "These women were real, with the fine roughening of skin here and there, the tiny sag at the breast, the small folds across the stomach that real women, and men, have. . . . That kind of vulnerability shouldn't be handed around. It was for someone who loved you and was vulnerable too."
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Dec 22 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is an absolute must-read in the Spenser series. Not that the mystery is all that thrilling; it isn't. No real surprises. But for the development of the character of Spenser, flaws and all, it can't be beat. You may not like Susan - I'm not even sure that Spenser himself really likes her - but this book explains his deathless attachment to her. The theme of less-than-perfect relationships, and commitment to a flawed partner, plays through both the mystery (the wife of a fundamentalist congressman is caught cheating on film, and he is loyal to the point of self-sacrifice) and the interraction between Spenser and his own lady love (Susan sells out). One of the things that elevates Parker above other writers is his attempt to tell a universal truth, as all fine authors do. He doesn't always achieve it, but in this book he does. (Not enough Hawk, though.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spenser at his best! Nov. 21 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Widening GyreHired to head the security for a politicians Senate campaign, Spenser soon finds that the wife is sexually delinquent as well as addicted to drugs and is now being blackmailed. Spenser soon follows the trail of the blackmail and drug dealing back to Gerry, the son of Joe Broz, head of crime in Boston. Attempts to coerce or terminate Spenser all fail (inevitably) and the crime lord eventually accepts defeat to protect his son. By the end Spenser and Susan are coming to terms with their relationship.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This one played the neon-light-blink, moaning-blues song of the lonely P.I., but with a sugar plum twist of Spenser's ideal of Romantic Love oozing out-of-the-funk. Susan cast a long shadow in the background until Spenser drew her into his Spotlight midway through the plot. Prior to Susan's entrance, The Master P.I. had walked alone. Not even the Hawk had flown there, except for a cool cameo in the plot conclusion. Spenser narrated the soliloquy scene so well at times that the style in THE WIDENING GYRE, # 10 in series, read like a diary dealing with the sad refrain of "Susan's away" (she was in Washington DC, getting her PhD, developing her "Me").

When Susan did arrive in plot ... actually Spenser went to DC were she was solidly steeped into her "schooling"; stuck-in-the-mud of its professional status of mining/mixing ... she and Spencer exchanged a few thought provoking conversations, doodling boarders around Cynicism and Romantic Love. With interesting irony, Susan was the cynic, interpreting each human action/feeling as self-serving. Those conversations, containing several pages of quotable-keepers, set a large segment of the baseline for the evolving Silverman/Spenser mystique. (See chapters 19 & 22, in particular.)

Well prior to those scenes, eighteen-year-old Paul had arrived at Spenser's apartment to share the Thanksgiving holiday, and zinged Spenser with a few passages of "blow-your-socks-off" wisdom about intimacy breaking down Spenser's previously well-contained-and-clearly-coded "me-ness." If nothing else had given me a clue, I would have known Spenser was in a MOOD in this one (entertaining to the reader though not to him) by the dull description of food available, and resultant location of the "Be Thankful" dining event.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ho hum... May 29 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wonder if Robert Parker has grown tired of Spenser. I have. This book just doesn't have the same feel as some of his earlier books. In this one, I had a hard time liking Spenser. He has a drinking problem. He's no longer just a gormet. He's a glutton. Finally, Spenser feels a little better, but only after a short visit with his girlfriend. Give me a break! By the way, Susan (his girlfriend) was a pretty shallow character in this novel.
The weak plot isn't anything we really care about, even though it's supposed to involve some pretty steamy stuff. Instead, it's about some pathetic, unlikeable people who do stupid things---not very exciting. Luckily, it's a quick read.
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